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KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- The Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa (PMCI) wants Iowa consumers to have all the facts when it comes to the new EPA E15 fuel announcement. Petroleum retailers are monitoring the EPA's partial waiver of E15, and analyzing the challenges of how to sell the product, Journal Express reported.
“Fuel retailers must comply with many federal and state laws and regulations,” Dawn Carlson, president of PMCI told the news outelt, “including laws that require fuel be proven safe and compatible with dispensers and storage equipment. Organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) must test and approve standards for this new fuel and that could take years. Until there are standards established by government and liability protection established for retailers, we’re not likely to see a rapid conversion to E15 at retail stations.”
According to the news outlet, EPA's partial waiver allowing for E15 in model year 2001 and newer autos comes with two conditions: 1) Those for mitigating the potential for misfueling of E15 in all vehicles, engines and equipment for which E15 is not approved and 2) Those addressing fuel and ethanol quality.
And, before E15 can be offered by a retailer, the retailer would have to: 1) appropriate labels (which the EPA has not determined) and 2) submit a written plan to EPA providing assurance that they would not allow a non-approved vehicle to fill up and release emissions impacting air quality.
A big problem can occur when a consumer who misfuels and puts E15 in a non-approved vehicle could be fined $2,500 per incident by the EPA air quality division, while the retailer could be fined $25,000 per incident, stated the news outlet.
Journal Express stated that the new waiver announcement is being viewed by many as a political move. To bring it into Iowa, the state might find itself raising the cost of gas five cents more per gallon and subject the state to supply challenges which may further increase prices.
While Iowa consumers have benefitted from the retailer tax incentives on E10 fuels they also want a choice between lower priced E10 and higher performance full-strength fuel. “Removing tax credits from E10 at this time would be putting the cart in front of the horse, so to speak, and cause the price of fuel to increase,” Carlson to Journal Express. “PMCI will continue to work with the Governor’s office, Secretary of Agriculture and lawmakers on these issues to protect consumers from higher priced fuel based on government intervention.”