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April 25, 2024

EPA Issues Emergency Fuel Waiver for E15 Sales

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 19, 2024, that it issued an emergency fuel waiver for E15 sales. EPA states that the waiver will help consumers protect themselves against fuel supply shocks by reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels while also supporting American agriculture and manufacturing. EPA notes that current estimates indicate that “on average, E15 is about $0.25 a gallon cheaper than E10.” According to EPA, in approximately two-thirds of the country, E15 cannot currently be sold from terminals starting on May 1, 2024, and at retail stations starting on June 1, 2024. EPA is providing relief by extending the 1-pound per square inch (psi) Reid Vapor Pressure waiver that currently applies to E10 gasoline to E15, enabling E15 sales throughout the summer driving season in these areas, if necessary. The action extends the 1-psi waiver only to E15 in parts of the country where it already exists for E10. In parts of the country that have a Reformulated Gasoline program, E15 can already be sold year-round.  The emergency fuel waiver will go into effect on May 1, 2024, when terminal operators would otherwise no longer be able to sell E15 in the affected regions of the country, and will last through May 20, 2024, which is the statutory maximum of 20 days. EPA will continue to monitor the supply with industry and federal partners, and it expects to issue new waivers, “effectively extending the emergency fuel waiver until such time as the extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East are no longer present.”