[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 115 (Thursday, June 14, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35677-35679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14569]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894; FRL-9681-1]


Regulation of Fuel and Fuel Additives; Modification to Octamix 
Waiver (TOLAD)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency has reconsidered a portion 
of a fuel waiver granted to the Texas Methanol Corporation (Texas 
Methanol) under the Clean Air Act on February 8, 1988. This waiver was 
previously reconsidered and modified on October 28, 1988 in a Federal 
Register publication titled ``Fuel and Fuel Additives; Modification of 
a Fuel Waiver Granted to the Texas Methanol Corporation.'' Today's 
notice approves the use of an alternative corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD 
MFA-10A, in Texas Methanol's gasoline-alcohol fuel, OCTAMIX.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894. All documents and public comments in the 
docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. 
Publically available docket materials are available either 
electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at 
the Air Docket, EPA Headquarters Library, Mail Code: 2822T, EPA West 
Building, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding holidays. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The 
telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1742, and the 
facsimile number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-9744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding this notice 
contact, Joseph R. Sopata, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office 
of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, (202) 
343-9034, fax number, (202) 343-2800, email address: 
sopata.joe@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Section 211(f)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) makes it 
unlawful for any manufacturer of any fuel or fuel additive to first 
introduce into commerce, or to increase the concentration in use of, 
any fuel or fuel additive for use by any person in motor vehicles 
manufactured after model year 1974, which is not substantially similar 
to any fuel or fuel additive utilized in the certification of any model 
year 1975, or subsequent model year, vehicle or engine under section 
206 of the Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) 
last issued an interpretive rule on the phrase ``substantially 
similar'' at 73 FR 22281 (April 25, 2008). Generally speaking, this 
interpretive rule describes the types of unleaded gasoline that are 
likely to be considered ``substantially similar'' to the unleaded 
gasoline utilized in EPA's certification program by placing limits on a 
gasoline's chemical composition as well as its physical properties, 
including the amount of alcohols and ethers (oxygenates) that may be 
added to gasoline. Fuels that are found to be ``substantially similar'' 
to EPA's certification fuels may be registered and introduced into 
commerce. The current ``substantially similar'' interpretive rule for 
unleaded gasoline allows no more than 2.7 percent oxygen by weight for 
certain ethers and alcohols.
    Section 211(f)(4) of the Act provides that upon application of any 
fuel or fuel additive manufacturer, the Administrator may waive the 
prohibitions of section 211(f)(1) if the Administrator determines that 
the applicant has established that the fuel or fuel additive, or a 
specified concentration thereof, will not cause or contribute to a 
failure of any emission control device or system (over the useful life 
of the motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, nonroad engine or nonroad 
vehicle in which such device or system is used) to achieve compliance 
by the vehicle or engine with the emission standards to which it has 
been certified pursuant to sections 206 and 213(a) of the Act. The 
statute requires that the Administrator shall take final action to 
grant or deny an application after public notice and comment, within 
270 days of receipt of the application.
    The Texas Methanol Corporation received a waiver under CAA section 
211(f)(4) for a gasoline-alcohol fuel blend, known as OCTAMIX,\1\ 
provided that the resultant fuel is composed of a maximum of 3.7 
percent by weight oxygen, a maximum of 5 percent by volume methanol, a 
minimum of 2.5 percent by volume co-solvents \2\ and

[[Page 35678]]

42.7 milligrams per liter (mg/l) of Petrolite TOLAD MFA-10 corrosion 
inhibitor.\3\ In the OCTAMIX waiver, the Agency invited other corrosion 
inhibitor manufacturers to submit test data to establish, on a case-by-
case basis, whether their fuel additive formulations are acceptable as 
alternatives to TOLAD MFA-10.\4\
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    \1\ OCTAMIX waiver decision, 53 FR 3636 (February 8, 1988).
    \2\ The co-solvents are any one or a mixture of ethanol, 
propanols, butanols, pentanols, hexanols, heptanols and octanols 
with the following constraints: the ethanol, propanols and butanols 
or mixtures thereof must compose a minimum of 60 percent by weight 
of the co-solvent mixture; a maximum limit of 40 percent by weight 
of the co-solvents mixture is placed on the pentanols, hexanols, 
heptanols and octanols; and the heptanols and octanols are limited 
to 5 percent by weight of the co-solvent mixture.
    \3\ Additional conditions were the final fuel must meet ASTM 
volatility specifications contained in ASTM D439-85a, as well as 
phase separation conditions specified in ASTM D-2 Proposal P-176 and 
Texas Methanol alcohol purity specifications.
    \4\ 53 FR at 3637.
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    On October 14, 2011, Baker Hughes requested EPA allow the use of 
its alternative corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A, in the OCTAMIX 
gasoline-alcohol fuel blend which otherwise would not be allowed under 
the waiver.\5\ TOLADTM MFA-10A is a fuel additive 
formulation consisting of a corrosion inhibitor.
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    \5\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0001.
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    On January 20, 2012, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register 
(77 FR 2979) announcing receipt of Baker Hughes's request and inviting 
comment on it. The comment period closed on February 21, 2012. EPA 
received comments from four commenters (discussed below).

II. Discussion

    One of the major areas of concern to EPA in reviewing any waiver 
request is the problem of materials compatibility. Materials 
compatibility data could show a potential failure of fuel systems, 
emissions related parts and emission control parts from use of the fuel 
or fuel additive. Any failure could result in greater emissions that 
would cause or contribute to the engines or vehicles exceeding their 
emissions standards. Initially, Texas Methanol requested the use of 
TOLAD MFA-10 or an appropriate concentration of any other corrosion 
inhibitor such that the fuel will pass the National Association of 
Corrosion Engineer's TM-01-72 (NACE RUST TEST). However, EPA concluded 
that compliance with the NACE Rust Test alone was not adequate in 
determining suitability of a corrosion inhibitor for use under the 
OCTAMIX waiver.\6\ The Agency decided, therefore, to look at corrosion 
inhibitors on a case-by-case basis to establish whether each 
formulation would be acceptable as an alternative to the formulation of 
the original corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD MFA-10, used in the OCTAMIX 
waiver.\7\
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    \6\ 53 FR at 3637.
    \7\ 53 FR at 3637.
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    In order to determine whether the OCTAMIX waiver would meet the 
criteria of section 211(f) if TOLAD MFA-10A were to be used an 
alternative corrosion inhibitor, EPA reviewed all data submitted with 
or referenced by the Baker Hughes application. Baker Hughes provided 
data showing their corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD MFA-10A, met the NACE 
corrosion test.\8\ EPA also considered the information received from 
the public during the public comment period. There were four public 
comments submitted to the Agency in response to the notice published on 
January 20, 2012. Carbon Recycling International,\9\ Methanex,\10\ 
Methanol Institute \11\ and TEIR Associates Incorporated \12\ submitted 
comments in support of allowing TOLAD MFA-10A as an alternative 
corrosion inhibitor for use in the OCTAMIX fuel. Two of these 
commenters noted that the original corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD MFA-10, 
had been used successfully by several refiners on a commercial basis as 
an effective corrosion inhibitor. Two commenters, in addition to Baker 
Hughes, stated that the active ingredients for corrosion inhibitor 
efficacy are the same for both TOLAD MFA-10 and TOLAD MFA-10A, while 
one commenter in addition to Baker Hughes noted that the only 
difference between these two corrosion inhibitor formulations is a 
solvent to improve additive handling in commerce. Three commenters 
noted that the Baker Hughes' evaluation of both TOLAD MFA-10 and TOLAD 
MFA-10A resulted in equivalent passing performance with regards to the 
NACE corrosion test.\13\
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    \8\ NACE Standard TM-01-72.
    \9\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0008.
    \10\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0007.
    \11\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0005.
    \12\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0006.
    \13\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0002 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0003.
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    TOLAD MFA-10A is a fuel additive containing the same active 
ingredients for corrosion inhibitor efficacy with OCTAMIX gasoline-
alcohol fuels as the original corrosion inhibitor approved in the 
OCTAMIX waiver, TOLAD MFA-10. The only difference between TOLAD MFA-10 
and TOLAD MFA-10A is a solvent formulation change to improve additive 
handling in commerce. Both TOLAD MFA-10 and TOLAD MFA-10A were 
evaluated under the most aggressive fuel formulation of alcohols 
allowed under the OCTAMIX waiver that included only methanol at 5 
volume percent and ethanol at 2.5 volume percent. The use of higher 
molecular weight cosolvent alcohols, such as propanols or butanols, 
would tend to be less corrosive. Both TOLAD MFA-10 and TOLAD MFA-10A 
passed the NACE corrosion test with the most aggressive fuel allowed 
under the OCTAMIX waiver. Since TOLAD MFA-10A passed the NACE corrosion 
test using the most aggressive fuel formulation allowed under the 
OCTAMIX waiver, the Agency believes that Baker Hughes has demonstrated 
that TOLAD MFA-10A is an effective corrosion inhibitor for use under 
the OCTAMIX waiver.
    With regard to the question of the emissions impacts of TOLAD MFA-
10A, its minimum treat rate of 25 mg/l is about 40 percent less than 
TOLAD MFA-10. The chemical composition and treat rate of TOLAD MFA-10A, 
which is less than 0.01 mass percent by weight, is such that it is a 
fuel additive falling under the baseline gasoline fuel grouping 
category \14\ under our fuel and fuel additive registration 
regulations. In addition, the chemical composition and treat rate of 
TOLAD MFA-10A is such that it is a fuel additive that meets our 
gasoline substantially similar definition.\15\ Given that TOLAD MFA-10A 
is a fuel additive that is both substantially similar to the fuel 
additives used in our certification program and a fuel additive falling 
under our baseline gasoline fuel category, one would not expect 
significant emissions changes from the use of TOLAD MFA-10A compared to 
other fuel additives that fall under the baseline gasoline fuel 
category, which also includes TOLAD MFA-10 and DMA-67. Therefore, as 
long as the other conditions of the OCTAMIX waiver are met, which 
include applicable gasoline volatility specifications,\16\ gasoline 
phase separation specifications \17\ and alcohol purity conditions,\18\ 
the Agency

[[Page 35679]]

believes the that the use of TOLAD MFA-10A in place of TOLAD MFA-10 
will allow engines and vehicles to remain compliant with their 
emissions standards when using fuels made as approved under the 
original conditions granted for the OCTAMIX waiver.
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    \14\ See 40 CFR 79.56(e)(3)(i).
    \15\ For our most recent substantially similar gasoline 
interpretative rule, please see: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-AIR/2008/April/Day-25/a8944.pdf.
    \16\ See 40 CFR 80.27 for applicable volatility specifications 
for conventional gasoline, or 40 CFR 80 Subpart D for reformulated 
gasoline requirements, or any applicable state implementation plan 
approved by EPA that includes low RVP fuel.
    \17\ See American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4814 
for applicable gasoline phase separation conditions.
    \18\ Additional conditions were the final fuel must meet ASTM 
volatility specifications contained in ASTM D439-85a (ASTM D4814 
supercedes ASTM D439-85a), as well as phase separation conditions 
specified in ASTM D-2 Proposal P-176 (ASTM D4814 supercedes ASTM D-2 
Proposal P-176) and Texas Methanol alcohol purity specifications.
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III. Finding and Conclusion

    Based on the information submitted by Baker Hughes in its 
application, and the additional information received during the public 
comment period, I conclude that the performance of TOLAD MFA-10A in 
OCTAMIX would be comparable to TOLAD MFA-10, the original corrosion 
inhibitor approved under the OCTAMIX waiver. Therefore, I am modifying 
condition (3) of the OCTAMIX waiver to read as follows:
    (3) Any one of the following four corrosion inhibitors must be 
included:
    (a) Petrolite's corrosion inhibitor formulation, TOLAD MFA-10, 
blended in the final fuel at 42.7 mg/l;
    OR
    (b) DuPont's corrosion inhibitor formulation, DMA-67, blended in 
the final fuel at 31.4 mg/l;
    OR
    (c) Spirit of 21st Century LLC's corrosion inhibitor formulation, 
TXCeed, blended in the final fuel at 3.9 ml/gal (987.6 mg/l);
    OR
    (d) Baker Hughes's corrosion inhibitor formulation, TOLAD MFA-10A, 
blended in the final fuel at 25 mg/l.
    This action should provide additional flexibility to any 
manufacturer wishing to produce the OCTAMIX blend. At the same time, 
any manufacturer wishing to use a corrosion inhibitor other than the 
four permitted by the OCTAMIX waiver must apply for a further 
modification of the waiver. Since EPA is still unaware of any basis for 
extrapolating findings in the emissions impact of one corrosion 
inhibitor to other corrosion inhibitors, the Agency will continue to 
examine the emissions impact of specific corrosion inhibitor 
formulations on a case-by-case basis.

IV. Miscellaneous

    This waiver modification decision is final agency action of 
national applicability for purposes of section 307(b)(1) of the Act. 
Pursuant to CAA section 307(b)(1), judicial review of this final agency 
action may be sought only in the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit. Petitions for review must be filed by 
August 13, 2012. Judicial review of this final agency action may not be 
obtained in subsequent proceedings, pursuant to CAA section 307(b)(2). 
This action is not a rulemaking and is not subject to the various 
statutory and other provisions applicable to a rulemaking.

    Dated: June 7, 2012.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-14569 Filed 6-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P