Four years after the AMA was told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had backed off its ill-advised requirement for a 4-gallon minimum fuel purchase at blender pumps, the agency says it is sticking to its policy.
As part of its E15 Misfueling Mitigation Program, the EPA is allowing retailers to sell fuel with 10 percent ethanol from the same pump used for blends of 15 percent ethanol. This creates a problem for motorcyclists, who could wind up with as much as a quart of E15 in their tanks even if they select the proper fuel.
The ethanol lobby is promoting this approach as a way for retailers to sell more E15.
In its “E15 & Flex Fuel Retailer Roadmap” for fuel retailers, a pro-ethanol group advises retailers to use the blender pumps and post an inaccurate notice that says: "Minimum Fueling Volume 4 Gallons. Dispensing Less May Violate Federal Law.”
An EPA spokesperson says it is not a violation of federal law to buy less than 4 gallons of fuel from a blender pump. However, retailers may require a 4-gallon purchase.
At the same time, any retailer using a blender pump must also provide a separate pump that dispenses E10 only.
“The message from Washington, D.C., is clear: Congress and the EPA are not protecting you,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Ethanol producers and their lobbyists don’t care about the danger of inadvertently misfueling your motorcycle with E15. Confusing labels at the pump aren’t a solution.”