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Groups Submit Comments on Proposed Motor Vehicle Emission & Fuel Standards

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Several groups have recently provided comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the agency’s proposed rule on Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen notes the group supports swift implementation of the proposed changes and commends the agency for its efforts to reduce the sulfur content of the nation’s fuels and emissions of air toxics and particulate matter from motor vehicles. The National Corn Growers Association also commended the EPA on the rule and the agency’s recognition of the benefits of ethanol in transportation fuel. The Biotechnology Industry Organization urged the EPA to issue a final rule that maximizes investment in – and adoption of – advanced biofuels. Brent Erickson – Executive Vice President of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section – wrote that BIO supports the proposed rule and believes the final rule has the potential to encourage the continued development and commercialization of all biofuels.

BIO believes the agency should work to set the emissions test fuel to maximize investment and adoption of all biofuels – including higher ethanol blends and drop-ins – while also maximizing the level of octane in the U.S. fuel supply. According to Erickson – such action would help EPA meet one of its stated goals of this rulemaking to address the impacts of motor vehicles and fuels on air quality and public health.

NCGA’s comments were based on two main principles. First – the RFS volumes of biofuels in the future should be met in order to preserve the 150-million metric tons of annual CO2 equivalent emission reductions attributed to the RFS 2 program by EPA. Second – ethanol blends should be splash-blended to increase octane above the level of 87 AKI. NCGA also expresses support for EPA’s specifications for lower sulfur levels for in-use gasoline and EPA’s recognition that a high-octane mid-level ethanol blend could help automakers achieve the 2017 and later GHG emission standards and CAFE standards. And while generally supportive of establishing new certification fuel requirements for flex-fuel vehicles – NCGA does note concern that the proposed approach would inhibit the future development of FFVs and the development of dedicated vehicles designated for the exclusive use of a high-octane mid-level ethanol blend. The group says FFVs and high octane utilizing vehicles are critical to ensure the 150 million metric tons of GHG emission reductions from the RFS volumes are attained.

While the proposed standards generally pertain to the refiners of gasoline and auto manufacturers – RFA’s Dinneen says there are some areas of concern for ethanol producers. RFA offers several recommendations in its comments – including that existing standards and specifications for flex fuels are sufficient and EPA shouldn’t subject the fuels to the same sulfur, RVP and benzene standards applicable to gasoline. RFA also states – as does NCGA – support for the proposal to establish E15 as the certification test fuel beginning in 2017. The group does not support EPA limiting the amount of denaturant. In addition – RFA believes EPA should provide equal RVP treatment for E10 and E15. For a look at all of RFA’s recommendations – visit www dot ethanolRFA dot org (www.EthanolRFA.org).

 

Source: NAFB News Service