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OPEI files legal challenge to E15 misfueling rule

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute is challenging EPA's ruling on the labeling of E15, charging that consumers could misfuel outdoor power equipment and create damage to legacy products. The Renewable Fuels Association counters that EPA's label more than adequately informs consumers about the proper use of E15.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has announced a legal challenge to the EPA’s “Regulation to Mitigate Misfueling” rule. This rule was meant to address concerns about 15 percent ethanol blends and non-road products and older model-year vehicles. 

OPEI says that EPA’s “weak labeling effort is inadequate to avoid potential misfueling.” OPEI argues that legacy products not designed to run on ethanol blends higher than E10 could be damaged. 

 

OPEI says that the EPA’s prior experience with fuel transitions and misfueling demonstrates that labeling alone is insufficient to prevent misfueling. “As the EPA led the transition to unleaded fuels, the Agency reported a misfueling rate of nearly 15 percent almost ten years after the introduction of unleaded gasoline — even with a physical barrier at the pump,” the OPEI stated.


“EPA’s label more than adequately informs consumers as to the proper use of E15. Similar labeling, such as for the use of E85 ethanol fuel, have been around for years without incident,” counters the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Since the adoption of the E85 label, we are not aware of any gas station being found liable for misfueling. EPA’s E15 label is far more descriptive as to the approved uses for E15 and eliminates the guess work for consumers. We believe the American motoring public will be quite capable of determining if E15 is right for their vehicles.”

 

The RFA said that the new litigation would prevent EPA from finalizing a consumer label for the proper use of E15 in cars, pickups and SUVs model-year 2001 and newer.

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