EPA sets deadlinefor E15 comments

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set May 21, 2009, as the deadline for receiving comments on ethanol-gasoline blends of up to 15% (E15), according to information in the Federal Register April 21.

EPA announced earlier it had received an application March 6 from Growth Energy and 54 other ethanol manufacturers seeking the E15 authorization and that the deadline for comments would follow the Federal Register publication.

The applicants argued that under current requirements limiting the blend to 10% there exists a "blend barrier" or "blendwall" by which motor vehicle gasoline in the United States will become saturated with ethanol at the 10% volume level very soon.

The applicants maintains that a necessary first step is to increase the allowable amount of ethanol in motor vehicle gasoline up to 15 percent (E15) in order to delay the blendwall. Growth Energy also argues that current requirements will prevent federal renewable fuel mandates from being reached, according to the information.

EPA must grant or deny the application within 270 days of receipt by EPA, in this instance December 1, 2009.

The EPA notice is available in the online Federal Register.

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