Bill aims to increase E15 labeling requirements

By Erin Voegele | June 05, 2018

In mid-May, Reps. Austin Scott, R-Ga., and Lois Frankel, D-Fla., introduced legislation that aims to introduce more stringent labeling requirements for E15.

The bill, titled the Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018, or H.R. 5855, was introduced May 16 and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. To date, no additional House members have signed on to cosponsor the legislation.

According to the text of the bill, the legislation would revise labeling requirements for E15 fuel pumps. Specifically, it would require input on labeling requirements to be solicited from industries that manufacture vehicles, engines and equipment that are prohibited from using E15 under current law. This includes boats, lawnmowers, chainsaws, motorcycles, snowmobiles and pre-2001 vehicles. Consumer groups that represent users of these vehicles, engines and equipment would also have to be consulted, along with other parties that may be impacted by new labeling requirements.

In addition, the legislation would require labels for fuel pumps that dispense E15 to include the word “WARNING” and the words “check your owner’s manual.” The labels would be required to be at least five by seven inches and include indicators with respect to vehicles, engines and equipment that are prohibited from using E15, including pictograms depicting a boat, lawnmower, chainsaw, motorcycle and snowmobile along with warnings with respect to use in pre-2001 model year vehicles.

Under the legislation, the new labels would be tested via focus groups.

Blender pimps would be required to include an additional warning label to alert consumers to the residual gasoline left in the pump hoses from the previous use.

The legislation would also require the EPA to develop a public education campaign on the risks associated with improper E15 use. The campaign would include electronic messages on pump displays “inquiring if a consumer is aware that E15 is so prohibited, to be displayed on such fuel pump prior to E15 dispensing from such fuel pump.”

In addition, state entities responsible for boat registrations would be required to distribute educational materials on E15 and its impact on marine engines at the time of initial boat registration and at the time of renewal.

A full copy of the legislation can be downloaded from the Congress.gov website.