Law & Order

EPA Proposes Modifying or Removing E15 Labeling Requirements

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to either modify or remove the current E15 warning label requirement. EPA currently requires fuel dispenser labels for gasoline-ethanol blends of greater than 10% ethanol and up to 15% ethanol (E15). The label is 3 by 5 inches and includes the following language with font size and color requirements: ‘‘ATTENTION, E15, up to 15% Ethanol, use only in 2001 and newer passenger vehicles, flex-fuel vehicles, don’t use in other vehicles, boats, or gasoline powered equipment. It may cause damage and is prohibited by Federal law.’’

The proposed new label would be smaller, and the warning message softened. The label would be about 3 by 3 inches and include the following language: ‘‘Contains up to 15% ethanol, safe for use in, 2001 and newer passenger vehicles, or flex-fuel vehicles, avoid use in other vehicles, motorcycles, boats, or gasoline-powered equipment. It may cause damage and is prohibited by Federal law.”

Alternatively, the EPA is seeking comment on whether a label is necessary. SEMA contends the label is vital to protect vehicles and engines for which E15 use is inappropriate. In previous comments, SEMA has urged the EPA to expand the warning so that consumers understand that E15 is incompatible with older vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, boats, small engines and many other machines. SEMA supports making the warning label larger and including the words “WARNING” and “Check your owner’s manual,” along with pictograms of a classic vehicle, boat, motorcycle, ATV, lawnmower, chainsaw and snowmobile.

Comments on the proposed rule are due February 18, 2021. For additional information, contact Eric Snyder at