The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulatory changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for the summer months that has historically been applied only to E10.
EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation.
“Consistent with President Trump’s direction, EPA is working to propose and finalize these changes by the summer driving season,” said Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We will be holding a public hearing at the end of this month to gather important feedback.”
Under the proposed expansion, E15 would be allowed to be sold year-round without additional RVP control, rather than just eight months of the year.
Proposed reforms to RIN markets include:
- Prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs;
- Requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds;
- Limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and
- Increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.
Many in the ag industry are excited about the waiver and the new opportunities for year-round sales of higher blends, especially corn farmers.
Today’s proposed rule by @EPA is great progress to getting the rulemaking completed by the start of the summer driving season, June 1. @NationalCorn appreciates EPA’s efforts to meet this deadline. Year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol grows a domestic market for farmers. https://t.co/TzAArNCwP2
— National Corn (NCGA) (@NationalCorn) March 12, 2019
National Corn Growers also tweeted: “U.S. ethanol exports hit new record in 2018, as an astonishing 1.70 billion gallons of ethanol shipped to 80+ countries worldwide. Great news for family #corn farmers in a struggling Ag economy.”
EPA welcomes public comment on the proposal and intends to hold a public hearing on March 29. Additional details on the comment period and public hearing will be available shortly.