Fuels

EPA Approves Year-Round E15 Sales in 8 States Starting in 2025

Agency responds to request from Midwestern governors to expand access to higher-ethanol fuel blends
ethanol e15
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a request from the governors of several Midwestern states to allow year-round access to higher-ethanol gasoline blends including E15, which is gasoline with 15% ethanol, beginning in April 2025.

The government currently restricts sales of E15 gasoline, or gasoline with 15% ethanol, in summer months due to environmental concerns over smog, though the biofuel industry says those concerns are unfounded, according to a Reuters report.

Under the provisions specified by the Clean Air Act (CAA), the governors of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin submitted petitions requesting that the EPA remove the 1-pound-per-square-inch (psi) Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for summer gasoline-ethanol blended fuels containing 10% ethanol (E10).

The EPA’s action removes regulations that extended the waiver to gasoline-ethanol blends between 10% and 15% ethanol, the agency said.

The EPA is instead applying the 9.0 psi RVP standard under CAA effective April 28, 2025, in the eight states.

“By extending the implementation date, this final action reduces the risk of gasoline supply issues this summer and the price impacts that could have come with 2024 implementation,” an EPA official told the news agency.

The EPA did not comment on whether it would issue a temporary waiver enabling E15 sales this summer.

“We cannot speculate about the 2024 summer driving season. We will continue to monitor the situation, consult closely with the Department of Energy, and be prepared to act should conditions warrant,” the EPA told Reuters.

Biofuels producer POET praised the effort, but said action is needed nationwide.

“POET is grateful to the Midwestern governors who continue to champion year-round E15 in their respective states,” Joshua Shields, senior vice president of corporate affairs for POET, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said in statement. “E15 reduces America’s reliance on foreign oil, cuts emissions, and lowers prices at the pump, and we’ve never needed all three more urgently as a nation; however, truly maximizing the benefits of E15 will require repealing outdated and unnecessary federal restrictions. A waiver for E15 this summer is an important next step, but Americans ultimately deserve a permanent nationwide fix guaranteeing the freedom to access E15 year-round in all 50 states.”

Biofuels trade association Growth Energy also issued a statement praising the EPA’s decision and expressing the need for action this summer.

“We commend EPA for finalizing its rule, and we thank the eight Midwestern governors who have now successfully secured a future for year-round E15 in their states. This is a win for the residents of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, and a win for biofuel producers and fuel retailers. While this is great news, drivers will need a solution for this summer to minimize disruptions and make sure they have the same access to E15 that they’ve had for the past five summers. E15 saves drivers money while helping them lower their carbon emissions. We look forward to working with policymakers to ensure that consumers can have permanent access to these benefits all year long.”

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