Six national farm and biofuel organisations have asked the US Environmental Protection Agency to enact regulations requiring lower-volatility conventional petroleum blend stock in the summer.
This will result in lower tailpipe and evaporative emissions during the summer ozone control season and improve air quality.
This will also facilitate year-round sales of E15 nationwide and remove arcane barriers to innovation and consumer choice in the retail fuel marketplace.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the Renewable Fuels Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers said reducing the volatility of gasoline by just 1 pound per square inch (psi) would yield significant environmental benefits.
Regarding air quality, the six organisations referenced and attached a new study using EPA modeling tools, showing that reducing the vapour pressure of conventional gasoline blendstock by 1 psi “would be beneficial to air quality, as emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) would be reduced.” The study further concluded that “if the elimination of the 1-psi waiver [for E10] leads to the replacement of E10 with E15, it will also decrease greenhouse gases and particulate emissions.”
The organisations also wrote that the move would “simplify engineering of emissions control systems and help facilitate compliance with Renewable Fuel Standard requirements, with no noticeable impact on fuel costs.”
In addition, the regulatory strategy suggested in the letter would address the November 3 request from seven Midwest governors for EPA’s help to secure state-level regulatory approaches to allow the E15 blend to be made available year-round.
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