EPA approves first round of E15 registrations

By Kris Bevill | April 03, 2012

The U.S. EPA publicly announced its approval of the first E15 registrations on April 2, releasing a list of 20 ethanol producers who have successfully registered their product to be used in E15. In a news release, the agency noted that registration of ethanol to make E15 is a significant step toward introducing the fuel to the market, but does not fully complete the process. “Registration is a prerequisite to introducing E15 into the marketplace,” the agency said. “Before it can be sold, manufacturers must first take additional measures to help ensure retail stations and other gasoline distributors understand and implement labeling rules and other E15-related requirements.”

The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy heralded the E15 registration approvals as being the most significant development in three years of work by the industry to make E15 available to consumers. "This announcement strengthens the ethanol industry's efforts to innovate and continue to deliver domestically produced and affordable alternatives to foreign oil," Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said. "With ethanol selling an average of a dollar a gallon cheaper than gasoline and $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon, we'd encourage all Americans to ask their local filling station how soon they will see more-affordable E15."

“States in the Midwest have begun to address their regulatory requirements and perhaps as early as summer we could see E15 at fuel stations in the heartland of America,” RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen said. “The future for consumers, ethanol producers and this country has just gotten a little brighter, a little stronger.”

As noted by the EPA, additional steps are required before E15 can be legally sold, including the successful completion of a misfueling mitigation plan (MMP) and a fuel survey. The RFA has taken the lead in creating a sample MMP which was recently approved by the EPA and has been made available for producers to use at no charge. The RFA has also created a sample fuel survey, which has also been approved by the EPA and should be made available to producers and retailers soon, according to the group. Additionally, the RFA is distributing an E15 Retailer Handbook to guide interested retailers through the process of E15 compliance. Stakeholders have also formed an education and outreach campaign dubbed the E15EOC  to provide consumers with information related to E15.

Iowa, Illinois and Kansas are expected to be the first states to make E15 available for consumers. While the federal approval process for E15 is largely completed, states also have regulations that must be addressed before the fuel can be sold, and those three states have taken steps to make E15 available as soon as possible.

The EPA’s list of ethanol producers who have been approved to sell their product for use in E15 so far includes producers throughout the Midwest. Many of the largest production capacities in the industry are on the list, including Archer Daniels Midland Co., Abengoa Bioenergy Holding U.S. Inc. and White Energy Inc. Cargill Inc., Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC and Poet Biorefining-Caro, Mich., have also successfully registered their products for E15 as have 14 smaller producers, including Biofuel Energy Corp. in Colorado; Absolute Energy LLC, Amaizing Energy LLC, Golden Grain Energy LLC and Little Sioux Corn Processors LLLP in Iowa; Adkins Energy LLC in Illinois; New Energy Corp. in Indiana; Nesika Energy LLC and Western Plains Energy LLC in Kansas; Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC in Kentucky; Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. in Minnesota; Standard Ethanol LLC in Nebraska; Glacial Lakes Corn Processors in South Dakota and Ace Ethanol LLC in Wisconsin.