SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 26, June 30, 2011

EPA Issues E15 Fuel Pump Labeling Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require an orange-and-black label be placed on fuel pumps dispensing gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15). The label will warn consumers not to use the fuel in vehicles older than model-year 2001 since it could cause damage. The EPA had previously approved the sale of E15 for vehicles made in MY 2001 or later, actions opposed by SEMA.  While making it “illegal” to use E15 in older vehicles, the agency placed the burden on the motorist not to misfuel the vehicle. The EPA agreed with SEMA that the corrosive effects associated with E15 posed a risk to these vehicles. In comments previously submitted to the EPA, SEMA opposed the labeling rule as inadequate protection.

Several lawsuits have been filed to overturn the EPA’s decision to allow the sale of E15. It may take months or even years to resolve the suits. SEMA-supported legislation has also been introduced in Congress to block implementation of the E15 rulings. SEMA will continue to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities. SEMA has consistently voiced concern that ethanol increases water formation, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. SEMA represents thousands of companies that market products for these vehicles and, through its SEMA Action Network, millions of enthusiasts who buy and operate these automobiles. 

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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