The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it finalized a rule change to allow gasoline blending with 15 percent ethanol (E15) to be used during the summer months.

Specifically, EPA is finalizing regulatory changes to apply the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months so that it applies to E15 as well. This RVP waiver would allow E15, a more evaporative fuel blend, to be used during the hotter summer months.

“NCC believes that EPA’s E15 waiver proposal has neglected to consider the impact on the broiler industry, and for poultry and livestock feeders generally,” said NCC President Mike Brown in response to the announcement. “Providing a waiver to year-round E15 use will result in a rapid expansion of corn use under the RFS similar to the early years of the program adding the potential for price and supply volatility in the corn market.”

NCC used the occasion to again press for an RFS off-ramp.

Section 211(o)(7)(A) of the Clean Air Act  provides that EPA, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, may waive the applicable volumes specified in the Act in whole or in part based on a petition by one or more States, by any person subject to the requirements of the Act, or by the EPA Administrator on his own motion.  This provision of the statute is known as the “off-ramp.”  On two major occasions, in 2008 and in 2012, such waiver petitions were denied by EPA under the agency’s interpretation of the statute.

“NCC strongly supports efforts to create a more reasonable and sustainable approach to the nation’s biofuel policy and as such urges EPA to provide a more workable and transparent off-ramp process for times of economic stress on chicken producers and other poultry and livestock feeders,” Brown added.

NCC’s full comments filed with EPA on the E15 rule can be viewed by clicking here.