To make it easier for tank owners to access information on the compatibility of underground storage tank system components with E-15, the EPA has set up a new online resource where equipment manufacturer certifications, UL listings, and other compatibility information are posted and made available for download.
The issue of UST equipment compatibility arose when the EPA first considered the introduction of E-15 blends in 2010. Up until this time, marketers didn’t worry about demonstrating equipment compatibility because all existing UST system components were approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for a maximum E-10 blend, the highest ethanol blend then allowed for conventional vehicles under federal law.
Now that gasoline blends up to 15% ethanol are permitted, tank owners must affirmatively demonstrate that their UST system equipment is compatible with E-15 blends before offering it for sale.
Lingering concern over UST system compatibility has largely discouraged marketers in all but a few areas from selling E-15. EPA believes that its new online information clearinghouse, where manufacturers post equipment compatibility information, will ease marketer concern over E-15. Despite EPA’s optimism, the small number of manufacturer certifications currently linked to the compatibility site will do little to address marketers concerns. Most state UST and fire code regulations require UL approval to demonstrate E-15 compatibility not retroactive manufacturer certifications for existing equipment. UL announced in 2010 that it would not approve existing UST equipment already in use as E-15 compatible. Without UL approval, demonstrating E-15 compatibility is nearly impossible in most states.