New EPA rules increase likelihood of E15 misfueling

Increased consumption targeted

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture have released new rules that would increase the nation’s ethanol consumption.

The plan calls for increasing the current biofuel mandate of 15 billion gallons a year that must be blended into the country’s fuel supplies.

And the plan would ensure that E15 (fuel containing 15 percent ethanol by volume) would be available at existing pumps, negating the need for service stations to install new pumps.

The proposal also includes measures to increase the access of ethanol to foreign markets.

The AMA opposes increased amounts of ethanol and the widespread availability of E15 because no motorcycles or ATVs currently in use in the United States are certified by the EPA to operate on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Not only can fuel system and engine damage result, misleading marketing and inconsistent labeling increase the risk of misfueling. Also, dispensing E15 from existing pumps can lead to less E10—fuel which most motorcycles can use—or E0, which is required for older and vintage machines.