Lawmakers have introduced in the U.S. Senate a bill that would require that new fuels introduced into the marketplace are compatible with current gasoline-fueled engines. Under the bill, the EPA's Science Advisory Board would provide recommendations to the EPA on the feasibility of allowing the sale of mid-level ethanol blends. When responding to requests for waivers from the Clean Air Act's provisions, the EPA would have to explain how its decisions are compatible with SAB recommendations.
The Board also would have to address the expected availability of alternative fuels for up to five years following the launch of a new fuel and the ability of fuel delivery systems to protect engines from receiving incompatible fuel.
Presently, the Clean Air Act prohibits sales of mid-level ethanol blends. The proposed bill only would allow the EPA to issue such a waiver if its Science Advisory Board studies the compatibility of mid-level ethanol fuels with the emission requirements of the Clean Air Act and the operability of current engines.