FTC finalizes proposed labeling requirements for ethanol blends

By Erin Voegele | December 29, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission has announced final amendments regarding ethanol blends above E10 to its fuel rating rule, which determines the fuel rating that appears on pump labels and how octane levels are calculated. A proposed rule was published in April 2014. The FTC extended the original comment period on the rulemaking later that year. 

According to information published by the FTC, the commission began a review of its rule for automobile fuel ratings, certification and posting in 2009 as part of its systematic review of all current FTC rules and guides. Comments were sought on proposed revisions to the rule regarding ethanol blends. In 2011, the agency issued final amendments governing other issues and deferring consideration of ethanol blend labeling to consider the U.S. EPA’s decision to approve E15 for 2001 and newer vehicles.  

According to the FTC, it is now proposing to revise rating, certification and labeling requirements for blends of gasoline with more than 10 percent ethanol, along with a new octane rating method that is expected to lower compliance costs.

A copy of the amendments published by the FTC indicates the rulemaking aims to establish specific rating and certification requirements for ethanol blends with between 10 percent and 83 percent ethanol. It also aims to modify the ethanol fuel labeling to permit a single pump label for high-level ethanol blends. Finally, the final amendments do not adopt infrared spectrophotometry as a method to determine octane rating for gasoline as was proposed in the rulemaking published in 2014.

A full copy of the final rule can be downloaded from the FTC website. A public comment period will open following publication of the rule in the Federal Register. Comments will be due June 2.