Domestic Fuels Act Reintroduced

Legislation aims to provide misfueling protection for retailers who abide by EPA’s E15 labeling requirements.

On Friday, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, introduced the “Domestic Fuels Act of 2013” (H.R. 1214), which is designed to provide more legal and regulatory certainty to retailers wanting to sell EPA-approved fuels including E15. H.R. 1214 is similar to legislation introduced last Congress.

The legislation would give the EPA Administrator the authority to issue guidelines to determine whether new and existing underground storage tanks and dispensing equipment are compatible with EPA-approved fuels. It also provides misfueling protection for retailers who abide by EPA’s E15 labeling requirements. For instance, if a motorist ignores the labels and fuels a 2000 model year or older vehicle with E15, the retailer would not be held liable if he/she correctly has the E15 label in place. The legislation satisfies this concern, so that retailers can offer E15 with more confidence. Secondly, a retailer storing and dispensing E15 in equipment that satisfies EPA’s compatibility requirements will have additional confidence that the infrastructure will perform satisfactorily.

Senate legislation hasn’t been introduced this Congress, but is expected later this year. Until H.R. 1214 is signed into law, PMAA believes E15 sales will be minimal due to the potential legal and regulatory consequences.

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