RFA testifies at ozone hearing on E10 volatility waiver

By Renewable Fuels Association | January 29, 2015

On Jan. 29, Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, testified before the U.S. EPA at a Washington, D.C.-based hearing focused on a proposal to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard ozone levels.

At the hearing, Dinneen expressed support for the draft EPA ozone standards, noting, “RFA supports EPA’s proposal to lower the ozone standard and assuring that more communities benefit from improved air quality…We believe significant progress toward meeting the new ozone standard can be gained by communities adopting reformulated gasoline (RFG). It is a proven program with a track record of success.” As the oxygenate of choice for RFG, ethanol has numerous air quality benefits, including reduced emissions of carbon monoxide, exhaust hydrocarbons, air toxics like benzene, and particulate matter.

He went on to call on the agency to “eliminate the one psi waiver for 10 percent ethanol blends” referencing that the “RVP waiver was granted to ethanol by EPA in 1988 using statutory authority”.

Dinneen explained that “The waiver was provided because gasoline marketers were unable to secure the specially tailored sub-RVP blendstocks necessary to market ethanol fuels.” However, in today’s marketplace, “…10 percent ethanol blends are ubiquitous in the U.S. motor fuel market. Indeed, refiners regularly produce and ship sub-octane blendstocks through the pipeline knowing that their product will be blended with ethanol, adding the additional octane necessary before reaching the consumer.”

He concluded that “Refiners could just as easily ship sub-RVP fuels and eliminate whatever increased evaporative VOC emissions result from blending ethanol” and the “reduced hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, and toxic emissions benefits of ethanol would be enhanced and consumers could breathe easier.”