The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10% ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15% ethanol – known as E15 – and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks.

“Thorough testing has now shown that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks,” says Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator. “Wherever sound science and the law support steps to allow more homegrown fuels in America’s vehicles, this administration takes those steps.”

A decision on the use of E15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles will be made after EPA receives the results of additional DOE testing, expected to be completed this month. However, no waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks – or in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines – because currently there is not testing data to support such a waiver. Since 1979, up to 10% ethanol or E10 has been used for all conventional cars and light trucks, and non-road vehicles.

Steps are also being taken to help consumers easily identify the correct fuel for their vehicles and equipment. EPA is proposing E15 pump-labeling requirements, including a requirement that the fuel industry specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers. There would also be a quarterly survey of retail stations to help ensure their gas pumps are properly labeled.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated an increase in the overall volume of renewable fuels into the marketplace reaching a 36-billion-gallon total in 2022. Ethanol is considered a renewable fuel because it is produced from plant products or wastes and not from fossil fuels. Ethanol is blended with gasoline for use in most areas across the country.

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