[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 17 (Wednesday, January 26, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4662-4683]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1646]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0211; FRL-9258-6]


Partial Grant of Clean Air Act Waiver Application Submitted by 
Growth Energy To Increase the Allowable Ethanol Content of Gasoline to 
15 Percent; Decision of the Administrator

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of Decision Granting a Partial Waiver.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking additional 
final action on Growth Energy's application for a waiver submitted 
under section 211(f)(4) of the Clean Air Act. Today's partial waiver 
allows fuel and fuel additive manufacturers to introduce into commerce 
gasoline that contains greater than 10 volume percent ethanol and no 
more than 15 volume percent ethanol (E15) for use in model year (MY) 
2001 through 2006 light-duty motor vehicles (passenger cars, light-duty 
trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles), if certain conditions are 
fulfilled. In October 2010, we granted a partial waiver for E15 for use 
in MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles subject to the same 
conditions. Taken together, the two waiver decisions allow the 
introduction into commerce of E15 for use in MY2001 and newer light-
duty motor vehicles if those conditions are met.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0211. All documents and public comments in the 
docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Publicly 
available docket materials are available either electronically through 
http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation 
Docket in the EPA Headquarters Library, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 
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 telephone number for the Reading Room is (202) 566-1744. 
The Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center's Web site is 
http://www.epa.gov/oar/docket.html. The electronic mail (e-mail) 
address for the Air and Radiation Docket is: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov, 
the telephone number is (202) 566-1742 and the fax number is (202) 566-
9744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Anderson, Office of 
Transportation and Air Quality, Mailcode: 6405J, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: (202) 343-9718; fax number: (202) 343-2800; e-mail 
address: Anderson.Robert@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:

 Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary
    A. Prior E15 Partial Waiver Decision
    B. Waiver Decision for MY2001-2006 Light-Duty Motor Vehicles
    C. Conditions on Today's Partial Waiver and Proposed Rule on 
Misfueling Mitigation
II. Introduction
III. Method of Review
IV. Analysis for MY2001-2006 Light-Duty Motor Vehicles
    A. Exhaust Emissions
    1. Long-term (Durability) Exhaust Emissions
    a. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    b. EPA Analysis and Durability Studies
    i. Description of DOE Catalyst Study for MY2001-2006 Motor 
Vehicles
    ii. DOE Catalyst Study Results
    2. Immediate Exhaust Emissions
    a. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    b. EPA Analysis
    B. Evaporative Emissions
    1. Immediate Evaporative Emissions
    a. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    i. Coordinating Research Council Test Programs--Results
    ii. Coordinating Research Council Test Programs--Analysis
    2. Long-term (Durability) Evaporative Emissions
    C. Materials Compatibility
    1. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    2. EPA Analysis and Conclusions
    D. Driveability and Operability
    1. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    2. EPA Analysis and Conclusions
    E. Conclusions
V. Legal Issues Arising In This Partial Waiver Decision
VI. Waiver Conditions
VII. Partial Waiver Decision and Conditions

I. Executive Summary

A. Prior E15 Partial Waiver Decision

    In March 2009, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers 
petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) to allow 
the introduction into commerce of up to 15 volume percent (vol%) 
ethanol in gasoline. Prior to Growth Energy's petition, ethanol was 
limited to 10 vol% in motor vehicle gasoline (E10). The petition 
requested that EPA exercise its authority under section 211(f)(4) of 
the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) to waive the prohibition on the 
introduction of E15 into commerce under section 211(f)(1) of the Act. 
In April 2009, EPA invited public comment on Growth Energy's waiver 
request and received about 78,000 comments. On October 13, 2010, EPA 
took two actions on the waiver request based on the information 
available at that time (``October Waiver Decision'').\1\ First, it 
partially approved Growth Energy's waiver request to allow the 
introduction of E15 into commerce for use in MY2007 and newer light-
duty motor vehicles, subject to several conditions. Second, the Agency 
denied the waiver request for MY2000 and older light-duty motor 
vehicles, heavy-duty gasoline engines and vehicles, highway and off-
highway motorcycles, and other nonroad engines, vehicles, and 
equipment. The Agency also deferred making a decision on the waiver 
request for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles to await the results 
of additional testing being conducted by the Department of Energy 
(DOE).
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    \1\ Partial Grant and Partial Denial of CAA Waiver Application 
Submitted by Growth Energy to Increase the Allowable Ethanol Content 
of Gasoline to 15 Percent; Decision of the Administrator. See 75 FR 
68094, November 4, 2010.
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B. Waiver Decision for MY2001-2006 Light-Duty Motor Vehicles

    In today's action, EPA is partially granting Growth Energy's waiver 
request for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles based on our analysis 
of the available information, including DOE and other test data and 
public comments. This partial grant waives the prohibition on fuel and 
fuel additive manufacturers and allows the introduction into commerce 
of gasoline containing greater than 10 vol% ethanol and no more than 15 
vol% ethanol for use in MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, which 
includes passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger 
vehicles (large sport utility vehicles).\2\ It is subject to the same 
conditions that apply to the partial waiver issued in October for 
MY2007

[[Page 4663]]

and newer light-duty motor vehicles. Today's waiver decision together 
with the October Waiver Decision means that E15 may be introduced into 
commerce, subject to those conditions, for use in all MY2001 and newer 
light-duty motor vehicles.\3\
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    \2\ For purposes of today's decision, ``MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles'' include MY2001-2006 light-duty vehicles (LDV), 
light-duty trucks (LDT), and medium-duty passenger vehicles (MDPV), 
the same types of motor vehicles as in the October Waiver Decision, 
but for the earlier model years 2001-2006.
    \3\ It should be noted that a number of additional steps must be 
completed by various parties before E15 may be distributed and sold. 
These steps include but are not limited to submission of a complete 
E15 fuels registration application by the fuel and fuel additive 
manufacturers who wish to introduce E15 into commerce, and EPA 
review and approval of the application, under the regulations at 40 
CFR Part 79. Various state laws may also affect the distribution and 
sale of E15.
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    To receive a waiver under CAA section 211(f)(4), a fuel or fuel 
additive manufacturer must demonstrate that a new fuel or fuel additive 
will not cause or contribute to the failure of engines or vehicles to 
achieve compliance with the emission standards to which they have been 
certified over their useful life. The information submitted by Growth 
Energy was not sufficient to support a waiver covering introduction of 
E15 into commerce for use in MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles. 
However, key data for responding to the waiver request for MY2001-2006 
light-duty motor vehicles was provided by a DOE test program to 
determine the effect of long-term use of gasoline-ethanol blends, 
including E15, on the durability of emissions control systems, 
including catalysts, used in light-duty motor vehicles to control 
exhaust emissions (DOE Catalyst Study).\4\
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    \4\ DOE embarked on the study, in consultation with EPA, auto 
manufacturers, fuel providers and others, after enactment of the 
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which significantly 
expanded the federal Renewable Fuel Standard program by increasing 
the volume of renewable fuels that must be used in transportation 
fuel in order to reduce imported petroleum and emissions of 
greenhouse gases.
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    In 2008, DOE began testing 19 MY2007 and newer light-duty motor 
vehicle models, and the resulting test data were an important part of 
the basis for EPA's October Waiver Decision, which granted a partial 
waiver for use of E15 in those model year and newer motor vehicles. In 
2010, DOE began a second phase of its study with eight motor vehicle 
models to provide emissions-related data for MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles. Many of the models were selected for their expected 
sensitivity to the effects of long-term use of higher gasoline-ethanol 
blends, such as E15, so that any potential emissions problems would be 
more likely to become apparent. The test fleet also included several 
high-sales volume vehicle models. As a whole, the test fleet was 
appropriately composed to provide important information for assessing 
the potential impact of E15 on emissions of MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles.
    In view of the ongoing DOE Catalyst Study, the Agency delayed 
making a decision on the waiver request for MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles until the test program was completed and the results 
made available to the public. DOE testing was largely completed in 
November, and retesting of several models that experienced mechanical 
problems unrelated to fuel use was completed in December. The test 
results were made available to the public on a rolling basis, with EPA 
submitting data to the docket as soon as the data were received and 
checked for accuracy and completeness with DOE.
    As described more fully in Section IV of this notice, EPA is making 
today's decision based on the results of the DOE Catalyst Study and 
other relevant test programs, as well as the Agency's engineering 
assessment that changes in regulatory requirements affecting MY2001-
2006 light-duty motor vehicles generally led manufacturers to design 
and build vehicles able to use E15 without a significant impact on 
emissions. Consistent with past waiver decisions, the Agency is making 
its decision based on potential effects of E15 in four areas: (1) 
Exhaust emissions--immediate \5\ and long-term (known as durability); 
(2) evaporative emissions--immediate and long-term; (3) the impact of 
materials compatibility on emissions; and (4) the impact of 
driveability and operability on emissions.
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    \5\ In past waiver decisions, we have referred to ``immediate'' 
emissions as ``instantaneous'' emissions. ``Immediate'' and 
``instantaneous'' are synonymous in this context.
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    For MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, EPA concludes that the 
DOE Catalyst Study, other information and EPA's engineering analysis 
adequately demonstrate that the impact of E15 on overall exhaust 
emissions, including both immediate and long-term, will not cause or 
contribute to violations of the exhaust emissions standards for these 
motor vehicles. All but one of the vehicles that completed DOE testing 
met exhaust emission standards on average after the vehicles 
accumulated significant mileage, and were then tested, on E15. Although 
one vehicle tested on E15 slightly exceeded one emission standard, the 
exceedance does not appear related to fuel use since its counterpart 
tested on E0 (gasoline containing no ethanol) exceeded the same 
standard. Compliance with emission standards by the E15 test fleet as a 
whole is particularly compelling given that the vehicles tested were 
older, high mileage vehicles (reflecting their model year), and much of 
the testing was conducted at mileages beyond the vehicles' regulatory 
``full useful life'' (FUL) of 100,000-120,000 miles, depending on 
vehicle type and model year. The test results also show that the 
vehicles aged and tested on E15 did not have significantly higher 
emissions than the vehicles aged and tested on E0, and some vehicles' 
emissions actually decreased on E15. Overall, the test results for 
MY2001-2006 are similar to the DOE test results for MY2007 and newer 
light-duty motor vehicles, indicating that the earlier model year 
vehicles are more like later model year vehicles in their ability to 
maintain emission control performance when operated on E15. The DOE 
test results thus strongly confirm EPA's engineering assessment that 
auto manufacturers responded to regulatory changes applicable to 
MY2001-2006 with design changes that made light-duty motor vehicles 
capable of maintaining exhaust emissions performance when operated on 
mid-level gasoline-ethanol blends, up to and including E15.
    With respect to evaporative emissions, EPA concludes that analysis 
of test data and other available information and the Agency's 
engineering assessment adequately demonstrate for purposes of CAA 
section 211(f)(4), with the possible limited exception noted below, 
that the impact of E15 on overall evaporative emissions, including both 
immediate and durability-related, will not cause or contribute to 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles exceeding their applicable 
evaporative emissions standards, so long as the fuel does not exceed a 
Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of 9.0 psi in the summertime volatility 
control season.\6\ Analysis of available information suggests, but does 
not establish, the possibility that a limited number of vehicle models 
with emissions already very close to applicable evaporative emission 
standards might exceed the standards in-use if operated on E15. 
However, this possibility should be considered in light of information 
indicating that use of E15 by those vehicles will, overall, be better 
for the environment with respect to in-use evaporative emissions than 
would otherwise occur if a waiver were not

[[Page 4664]]

granted. In fact, E15 may result in somewhat lower in-use evaporative 
emissions compared to fuel currently sold in almost all of the country 
(E10), as a result of differences in the allowable RVP of the two 
gasoline-ethanol blends. As such, the possibility of a limited number 
of evaporative emission exceedances, under these somewhat unique 
circumstances, does not warrant denial of the request for a waiver with 
respect to these model year vehicles. Available information on 
materials compatibility and driveability also supports a partial waiver 
for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles. Further information and 
explanation concerning each of these findings are provided later in 
this notice.
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    \6\ EPA regulates the Reid Vapor Pressure of gasoline sold at 
retail stations during the summer ozone season (June 1 to September 
15) to reduce evaporative emissions from gasoline that contribute to 
ground-level ozone. Gasoline needs a higher vapor pressure in the 
wintertime for cold start purposes.
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C. Conditions on Today's Partial Waiver and Proposed Rule on Misfueling 
Mitigation

    Like the waiver for MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, 
today's partial waiver is subject to several conditions to ensure fuel 
quality, limit the fuel's summertime vapor pressure, and mitigate the 
potential for other vehicles, engines and products to be misfueled with 
E15. Specifically, EPA is placing two types of conditions on the 
partial waiver granted today: (1) Those for mitigating the potential 
for misfueling of E15 in all vehicles, engines and equipment for which 
E15 is not approved; and (2) those addressing fuel and ethanol quality. 
All of the conditions are discussed in Section X of the October Waiver 
Decision (see 75 FR 68094, 68148 (November 4, 2010)) and are listed 
below in Section IV. EPA is applying the same conditions on 
introduction of E15 into commerce for use in MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles that it applied to use of E15 in MY2007 and newer such 
vehicles, and for the same reasons, as explained in the October Waiver 
Decision. To meet the misfueling-related conditions, any fuel or fuel 
additive manufacturer subject to this waiver must obtain EPA approval 
of and implement a plan that meets the conditions for ensuring that the 
fuel or fuel additive is only introduced into commerce for use in 
MY2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, and not for use in other 
on- and off-road vehicles, engines and equipment for which E15 is not 
approved. See Section VI below.
    To help ensure that E15 is used only in motor vehicles for which it 
is approved, EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
published concurrently with the October Waiver Decision (``Misfueling 
Mitigation NPRM,'' 75 FR 68044, November 4, 2010). In that NPRM, EPA 
proposed safeguards to provide the most practical way to mitigate the 
potential for misfueling of other vehicles, engines and equipment with 
E15. The Agency received many comments in response to the NPRM, 
particularly with regard to the proposed misfueling mitigation 
measures. EPA is now in the process of considering those comments in 
developing final mitigation measures so that vehicles, engines and 
products are appropriately fueled if E15 is introduced into commerce. 
As noted above, today's waiver decision authorizes, but does not 
require, E15 to be introduced into commerce (subject to several 
conditions), and a number of additional steps must be taken before that 
occurs. In addition, any significant shift in the marketplace from E10 
to E15 will take time as producers, distributors and suppliers make the 
necessary adjustments. EPA is developing a program of misfueling 
mitigation measures that would work in tandem with the various steps 
involved in distributing and marketing E15 so that needed safeguards 
are timely and effective.
    EPA expects that the mitigation measures that are adopted would 
satisfy the misfueling mitigation conditions of the partial waiver 
decision issued in October and today, and would promote the successful 
introduction of E15 into commerce. In addition to the misfueling 
mitigation conditions, E15 and the ethanol used to make E15 must also 
meet certain fuel and fuel additive quality specifications before it 
may be introduced into commerce.

II. Introduction

    Section II of the October Waiver Decision includes a comprehensive 
review of the relevant CAA provisions and the amendments made to those 
provisions by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. It also 
describes Growth Energy's waiver application and the public review 
process that EPA conducted as part of its consideration of the 
application. Today's partial waiver decision fully incorporates by 
reference Section II of the October Waiver Decision and provides 
additional information as needed to address the potential use of E15 in 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles.

III. Method of Review

    A full explanation of the method of review for waiver requests 
under CAA section 211(f)(4) is provided in Section III, Method of 
Review, in the October Waiver Decision. We fully incorporate by 
reference Section III of the October Waiver Decision into this partial 
waiver decision. For convenience, a brief description of our method of 
review is provided here.
    Section 211(f)(4) clearly places upon the waiver applicant the 
burden of establishing that its fuel or fuel additive will not cause or 
contribute to the failure of vehicles or engines to meet their assigned 
emission standards over their useful lives. If interpreted literally, 
however, this burden of proof would be virtually impossible to meet as 
it requires the proof of a negative proposition: that no vehicle or 
engine will fail to meet emission standards to which it is subject. 
Recognizing that Congress contemplated a workable waiver provision, EPA 
has previously indicated that reliable statistical sampling and fleet 
testing protocols is one approach that could be used to demonstrate 
that a fuel or fuel additive under consideration would not cause or 
contribute to motor vehicles in the applicable national fleet failing 
to meet their applicable emissions standards.\7\
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    \7\ See 43 FR 41425 (September 18, 1978).
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    EPA has also stated that an applicant may make a demonstration 
based upon a reasonable engineering theory regarding emissions effects 
and support these judgments with confirmatory testing as an alternative 
to providing the amount of data necessary to conduct robust statistical 
analyses.\8\ If a reasonable theory exists, based on good engineering 
judgment, which predicts the emission effects of a fuel or fuel 
additive, an applicant need only conduct a sufficient amount of testing 
or provide other data and analysis sufficient to demonstrate the 
validity of such a theory.\9\ In making a waiver determination, EPA 
reviews all of the material in the public docket.
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    \8\ See 44 FR 12244 (February 23, 1979).
    \9\ See Waiver Decision on Application of E.I. DuPont de Nemours 
and Company (DuPont), 46 FR 6124 (February 28, 1983).
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    For EPA to grant a waiver, the available information must be 
sufficient to answer the essential statutory question of whether the 
proposed fuel or fuel additive will impact emission controls such that 
it causes or contributes to vehicles and engines exceeding their 
emission standards. What specific types of information and analysis may 
be relevant for assessing a specific fuel or fuel additive depends in 
part on the physical and chemical characteristics of the proposed fuel 
or fuel additive and the emission controls it would affect. Applicable 
methods of review and the type of information sufficient to make the 
required showing thus vary as necessary and appropriate for addressing 
the emission control

[[Page 4665]]

issues that a proposed fuel or fuel additive raises. As discussed 
below, the grant of a partial waiver in this case is based on a 
combination of engineering assessment, test data, and other 
information, which together provide a reliable factual and technical 
basis for making the judgment required under section 211(f)(4). This 
approach is consistent with the discretion provided under the statute 
and EPA's recognition in prior waiver decisions that more than one 
approach can be used to make the determination required under the 
statute, including combinations of test data and engineering 
assessment.
    As noted previously, the emissions impact analysis for a waiver 
request must address the following four major areas \10\: (1) Exhaust 
emissions, immediate and long-term; (2) evaporative emissions, 
immediate and long-term; (3) materials compatibility; and (4) 
driveability and operability. EPA evaluates the emissions impacts in 
these four categories individually and collectively in making its 
waiver determination.
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    \10\ See 44 FR 12244 (February 23, 1979).
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    Exhaust and evaporative emissions data are analyzed according to 
the effects that a fuel or fuel additive is predicted to have on 
emissions over time. A fuel might have only an immediate effect on 
emissions (i.e., the emission effects of the fuel or fuel additive are 
immediate and remain constant throughout the life of the vehicle or 
engine when operating on the waiver fuel). A fuel might instead or in 
addition affect the operation of the engine or related emission control 
hardware in a physical manner (e.g., operating temperatures, component 
interaction, chemical changes, increased permeation, or materials 
degradation) that might lead to emissions deterioration over time. 
Depending on the type of effect a fuel may have, different types of 
testing or other information may be appropriate to evaluate the effect 
on emissions.
    Materials compatibility issues can lead to substantial exhaust and 
evaporative emissions increases. In most cases, materials compatibility 
issues show up in emissions testing; however, there may be impacts that 
do not show up due to the way the testing is performed or because the 
tests simply do not capture the effect.
    A change in the driveability of a motor vehicle that results in 
significant deviation from normal operation (i.e., stalling, 
hesitation, etc.) could result in increased emissions. These increases 
may not be demonstrated in the test cycles used for certifying vehicles 
as complying with emission standards, but they are present during in-
use operation. For example, a motor vehicle stall and subsequent 
restart can result in a significant emissions increase. Further, 
concerns exist that vehicles might be tampered with in an attempt to 
correct the driveability issue and emissions might increase as a 
result.

IV. Analysis for MY2001-2006 Light-Duty Motor Vehicles

    As described in detail below, DOE and other test data together with 
other available information and EPA's engineering analysis support 
granting a partial waiver for use of E15 in MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles. As with EPA's waiver decision for MY2007 and newer 
light-duty motor vehicles, the DOE Catalyst Program provided critically 
important test data for assessing the ability of MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles to meet applicable exhaust emission standards if 
operated on E15. DOE's test fleet was carefully assembled to be broadly 
representative of the national fleet for those model years and to 
discern any emission problems that might arise from use of E15. Results 
from DOE's testing strongly support a determination that E15 will not 
cause or contribute to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles exceeding 
their applicable exhaust emission standards. Analysis of other test 
data, including EPA compliance information, combined with EPA's 
engineering assessment shows that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
should generally be able to meet evaporative emission standards when 
operated on E15 so long as the fuel does not exceed a RVP of 9.0 psi in 
the summertime volatility control season. In fact, such vehicles should 
have somewhat lower evaporative emissions when operated on 9.0 psi E15 
than when operated on currently available in-use fuel. Although our 
analysis suggests the possibility that a relatively small number of 
vehicles already emitting at close to applicable evaporative emission 
standards may exceed those standards on E15, that possibility does not 
warrant denial of the waiver, particularly in light of the evaporative 
emission benefits that 9.0 psi E15 is expected to achieve in comparison 
to commercially available in-use fuel.\11\
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    \11\ As explained later in this notice, EPA has traditionally 
interpreted and applied CAA section 211(f)(4) to authorize a waiver 
for fuels or fuel additives that statistical analysis shows will not 
result in a significant increase in violations of the vehicle 
emissions standards. Even if EPA were to adopt a more stringent test 
for waiver decisions, it would not apply such a test in these 
circumstances, where the actual environmental impact of the fuel is 
neutral or positive. In the unique circumstances here, the potential 
emissions violation should not be considered significant, given 
their actual impact on in-use emissions is neutral or even positive. 
Also, since the EPA regulations for determining auto manufacturers' 
compliance with emission standards specify use of E0 fuel during 
compliance testing, manufacturers' compliance status will not be 
adversely affected by any emission failures that might occur in-use 
as the result of any immediate emissions impacts of E15.
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    In the October Waiver Decision, EPA discussed at length Growth 
Energy's request and the information provided by Growth Energy in its 
waiver application and by the public in comments on the request. As the 
Agency noted, the information provided for light-duty motor vehicles 
was generally not specific to model years. EPA described and addressed 
that information in discussing its decisions for MY2007 and newer 
light-duty motor vehicles and MY2000 and older light-duty motor 
vehicles. Rather than repeat the full discussion in the October Waiver 
Decision, we incorporate it by reference here and expand on it below as 
needed to address MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles.
    At the outset of our analysis for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles, it is useful to note that our analysis for these model years 
is somewhat different from that used for MY2007 and newer light-duty 
motor vehicles. DOE's Catalyst Study tested a large number of MY2007 
and newer light-duty motor vehicles representing a cross section of the 
fleet. The size of the MY2007 and newer motor vehicle test fleet 
allowed a statistical analysis of the potential impact of a fuel or 
fuel additive on exhaust emissions. DOE's data and EPA's analysis of 
that data provided much of the basis for EPA's determination that E15 
will not cause or contribute to MY2007 and newer light-duty motor 
vehicles failing to meet applicable emission standards. The data and 
analysis also confirmed EPA's engineering assessment that regulatory 
changes applicable to those model years likely resulted in 
manufacturers making design changes that allowed the vehicles to 
continue to comply with exhaust emission standards when operated on 
E15. For the other factors relevant to waiver determinations (e.g., 
evaporative emissions, materials compatibility), EPA employed 
engineering judgment based on and/or confirmed by available 
information, including data from DOE and other test programs.
    For MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, DOE tested fewer vehicle 
models but selected models for their expected sensitivity to ethanol 
blends

[[Page 4666]]

and to achieve broad representation of the national vehicle fleet for 
these model years. As a result, while DOE's test fleet does not include 
enough vehicles to allow the same statistical analysis conducted for 
MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, it is composed in a way 
that provides data that is very informative about the expected effects 
of E15 on the in-use fleet, and confirms the engineering assessment 
that regulatory requirements applicable to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles resulted in emission control improvements sufficient to 
maintain compliance with applicable exhaust standards if these vehicles 
are operated on E15. For MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, EPA is 
thus utilizing a broad range of evidence relevant to making waiver 
decisions under CAA section 211(f)(4) and considering the DOE Catalyst 
Study in combination with other available test data and information and 
EPA's engineering assessment in determining whether a waiver for these 
model years is appropriate.
    In evaluating Growth Energy's waiver request with respect to 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, EPA considered the potential 
impact of E15 on the four relevant emission-related categories listed 
previously. The technical issue is whether these motor vehicles would 
still meet the applicable emission standards over their fuel useful 
life if they operated in-use on E15 and emissions testing was performed 
using E15 as the fuel.\12\
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    \12\ Compliance with vehicle and engine standards is determined 
for certification and in-use (i.e., recall) purposes using federal 
test procedures which include a specified test fuel that is E0. The 
purpose of the waiver process under CAA section 211(f)(4) is to 
determine whether a vehicle operated on the fuel or fuel additive 
for which a waiver is requested (here E15) would meet applicable 
emission standards after operating in-use and then testing using 
that fuel. In that way, section 211(f)(4) helps protect the emission 
control effectiveness of vehicles operated under real-world 
conditions, which ultimately determines the amount of emission 
reductions achieved.
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    In considering the potential impact of E15 on the four factors, we 
focused on MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles subject to pre-Tier 2 
emission standards (i.e., the standards in effect before Tier 2 
standards applied to all light-duty motor vehicles). As described in 
the October Waiver Decision, Tier 2 standards began phasing in with 
MY2004 and, according to EPA certification information, were fully 
phased in by MY2007 for passenger cars and several categories of light-
duty trucks. EPA expected, and DOE testing confirmed, that Tier 2 
standards and related compliance requirements prompted manufacturers to 
make changes to vehicles that helped maintain emission control under 
real-world conditions, including fueling with E10. The applicability of 
Tier 2 standards was thus found to be an important basis for partially 
granting the waiver request for MY2007 and newer model light-duty motor 
vehicles.
    Since Tier 2 standards began to phase in with MY2004, many MY2004-
2006 light-duty motor vehicles are subject to Tier 2 standards. Indeed, 
as illustrated by Figure IV.A-1, more than 60% of MY2005, and more than 
80% of MY2006, light-duty motor vehicles are certified as complying 
with Tier 2 standards. EPA's reasons for partially granting the waiver 
with respect to MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles also apply 
to MY2004-2006 Tier 2 vehicles. However, in its October Decision, EPA 
did not grant the partial waiver with respect to MY2004-2006 Tier 2 
vehicles because the Agency expected most vehicle owners for those 
model years would not know what emission standards their vehicles are 
supposed to meet, and that information is not easily discerned from the 
vehicle itself. EPA thus decided to use a model year cut-off for 
delineating which model years were covered by the partial waiver. For 
purposes of today's decision, though, it is important to note that 
MY2004-06 vehicles certified to Tier 2 standards should be able to use 
E15 without adverse impacts on their emissions for the reasons given in 
the October Waiver Decision. The analysis in today's decision focuses 
on light-duty motor vehicles that are not certified to Tier 2 
standards.

A. Exhaust Emissions

    As described below, a number of regulatory actions took place by 
2000 that placed emphasis on real-world testing of motor vehicles, 
which in turn led to changes in design of exhaust emission control 
systems. Those actions, together with actual compliance information, 
provide a strong basis for an engineering assessment that manufacturers 
improved exhaust emission controls for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles in ways similar in nature to Tier 2 motor vehicles and are 
likely sufficient to allow such vehicles to use E15 and still meet 
exhaust emission standards. DOE's testing of pre-Tier 2 vehicle models 
(including several expected to be sensitive to ethanol's impact on 
emissions control) strongly confirms that assessment and demonstrates 
that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles can operate on E15 without 
significant impact on exhaust emission control and that E15 is not 
expected to cause or contribute to failures to meet applicable exhaust 
emissions standards.
1. Long-term (Durability) Exhaust Emissions
    The October Waiver Decision describes at length various changes in 
regulatory requirements since the 1970s that over time have required 
auto manufacturers to design and build increasingly cleaner vehicles 
that can maintain their emission control performance over the vehicles' 
FUL under real-world conditions. For today's decision, we focus on 
those changes that were applicable by or affected MY2001, since those 
changes are relevant to any engineering assessment of whether MY2001-
2006 light-duty motor vehicles that are not Tier 2 vehicles would 
operate on E15 without significant loss of emission control.
a. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    As mentioned above, Growth Energy's submission and the information 
supplied by commenters regarding long-term exhaust emission impacts of 
E15 were generally not specific to the model year of motor vehicles. 
For a detailed discussion of Growth Energy's submission and summary of 
public comments with respect to the impact of long-term use of E15 on 
exhaust emissions, refer to section IV.A.1 for MY2007 and newer light-
duty motor vehicles and IV.C.3.b.i for MY2000 and older light-duty 
motor vehicles of the October Waiver Decision.
b. EPA Analysis and Durability Studies
    By MY2001, the federal National Low Emission Vehicle (NLEV) program 
for reducing exhaust emissions was fully phased in for all cars and 
light-duty trucks (LDT) up to 6000 lb. gross vehicle weight (GVW) (LDT 
1s and 2s) (63 FR 926, January 7, 1998).\13\ This program essentially 
adopted the existing California LEV standards (which began phasing in 
for California with MY1994) as a national vehicle program. NLEV motor 
vehicles were required to meet more stringent emission standards for 
emissions of all criteria pollutants,\14\ which in turn required 
substantial

[[Page 4667]]

changes to emission control hardware and strategies compared with motor 
vehicles certified to the previous Tier 1 standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ The program was fully phased in by MY1999 in the Northeast 
Trading Region (the region comprised of the states that meet the 
conditions specified under 40 CFR 86.1705(d)) within the NLEV 
program. The states that opted in include Connecticut, Delaware, the 
District of Columbia, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.
    \14\ Criteria pollutants are those pollutants, including 
precursors, for which EPA has set National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards under CAA section 109.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Light-duty trucks from 6001-8500 lb. GVW (e.g., large pickup trucks 
and vans, known as LDT 3s and 4s) were not subject to NLEV standards, 
and instead transitioned directly from Tier 1 to Tier 2 standards. Many 
of the improvements made for smaller light-duty motor vehicles (i.e., 
catalyst designs and washcoat formulation) may have been applied to 
these motor vehicles. These motor vehicles also emit at levels 
substantially below their applicable federal standard because, as 
discussed later in this section, many were also certified to a more 
stringent California emission standard. This ``compliance margin,'' 
which is the difference between a vehicle's certified emission level 
and the applicable standard, suggests these heavier light-duty trucks 
benefited from at least some of the advances in exhaust emission 
controls developed for lighter trucks, and, in any event, can continue 
to comply with standards even if operated on E15, as discussed below.
    Issuance in 2000 of more stringent Tier 2 standards (65 FR 6698, 
February 10, 2000) also affected manufacturers' planning. To comply 
with those standards, including compliance over vehicles' FUL,\15\ 
manufacturers were required to focus on ensuring the durability of the 
exhaust and evaporative emission controls of their vehicles under real-
world conditions. Although Tier 2 standards only began to phase in with 
MY2004, manufacturers were allowed to earn credit towards compliance 
with those standards in earlier model years. As a result, they had a 
strong incentive to develop and apply emission control hardware and 
strategies resembling future Tier 2 designs to earlier model year 
light-duty motor vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ FUL is 100,000 miles for NLEV passenger cars and light-duty 
truck category 1; 120,000 miles for NLEV light-duty truck category 
2; and 120,000 miles for Tier 1 light-duty truck categories 3 and 4. 
Light-duty trucks up to 6000 lbs. GVW are composed of light-duty 
truck categories 1 and 2 where category 1 has a loaded vehicle 
weight equal to 3,750 lbs. and category 2 has a loaded vehicle 
weight greater than 3,750 lbs. Light-duty trucks of 6001-8500 lbs. 
GVW are composed of light-duty truck categories 3 and 4 where 
category 3 has an adjusted loaded vehicle weight less than or equal 
to 5,750 lbs and category 4 has an adjusted loaded vehicle weight 
greater than 5,750 lbs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Overall, the transition from Tier 1 to NLEV and then to Tier 2 
exhaust standards called for design changes that all moved in the same 
direction of increased control of exhaust emissions, through 
increasingly sophisticated emissions control systems aimed at reducing 
the level of emissions created by the combustion of the fuel in the 
engine combined with increased control of these emissions by the 
catalyst system. This increasing sophistication was based on better air 
fuel ratio control, and increased efficiency, durability and faster 
light-off of the catalyst. While Tier 2 standards called for the most 
sophisticated engine and catalyst system designs, the NLEV standards 
prompted major redesign efforts by manufacturers that were later 
expanded and advanced even further to meet, and earn credits towards 
compliance with, Tier 2 standards. From an engineering perspective, the 
emissions control systems of pre-Tier 2, NLEV vehicles are 
significantly more robust than those used in MY2000 and older vehicles 
and more like those of Tier 2 vehicles in terms of the degree of 
sophistication of engine controls and catalyst technology.
    Review of the emission control and related changes made by 
manufacturers for MY2001-2006 confirms that the LEV and NLEV programs 
involved use of more sophisticated technologies and strategies. From 
its decades-long role in certifying and overseeing in-use compliance of 
light-duty motor vehicles, EPA is aware that manufacturers made a 
number of improvements to reduce emissions at cold start, provide 
better fuel control, and make their emission control systems more 
durable. These improvements included independent catalysts per bank on 
V-engines, higher cell density catalyst substrates with thinner cell 
walls for lower thermal inertia/faster light-off, stereo oxygen sensors 
on V-engines, and improved catalyst washcoats with improved light-off 
and better resistance to thermal deterioration.\16\ In addition, 
manufacturers improved oxygen sensor designs for better durability and 
improved oxygen sensor heater control strategies to reduce the 
likelihood of cracking due to thermal shock. These technologies were 
developed even further for Tier 2 vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Close-coupled faster light-off catalysts, faster light-off 
oxygen sensors, and more sophisticated cold start strategies enable 
faster transition from open loop to closed loop operation for 
reduced cold start emissions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The phase-in of these various exhaust emission control programs for 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles is shown in Figure IV.A-1. As the 
figure illustrates, the percentage of Tier 2 vehicles significantly 
increased between MY2004 and MY2006 such that the large majority of the 
MY2005 and MY2006 light-duty motor vehicle fleet met the more stringent 
standards applicable to MY2007 and newer motor vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ Interim Non-Tier 2 refers to MY2004 or newer vehicles not 
certified to Tier 2 FTP exhaust emission standards during the Tier 2 
phase in period. Interim Non-Tier 2 emission standards included all 
of the Tier 2 emission standard bins in addition to bins unique to 
the Interim Non-Tier 2 program. The Interim Non-Tier 2 fleet average 
NOX standard was 0.30 g/mi compared to the Tier 2 fleet 
average NOX standard of 0.07 g/mile. The Interim Non-Tier 
2 standards were more stringent than both the NLEV and Tier 1 
standards.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 4668]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN26JA11.006

    Another important regulatory change for improving the exhaust 
emissions control durability of MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
was the Compliance Assurance Program (``CAP2000''), which took effect 
by MY2000 for light-duty motor vehicles. CAP2000 placed more emphasis 
on in-use performance of vehicle emission controls, including the 
potential impacts of operation on different available in-use fuels. In 
particular, the In-use Verification Program (IUVP) introduced under 
CAP2000 requires manufacturers to perform exhaust and evaporative 
emissions tests on customer vehicles in the in-use fleet to confirm the 
durability projections that manufacturers make at certification. These 
tests must be performed at low and high mileage intervals and include 
at least one vehicle per test group \18\ at 75% of FUL. This emphasis 
on real-world vehicle testing to ensure durable emission controls 
prompted manufacturers to consider different commercially available 
fuels (including ethanol blends up to E10) when developing and testing 
their emissions systems for MY2000 and later.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ EPA certifies light-duty motor vehicles on a test group 
basis. A test group is a group of vehicles having similar design and 
emission characteristics.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section VI.A of the Misfueling Mitigation NPRM describes the 
growing market penetration of E10 over time. In the late 1990s, when 
manufacturers were planning for MY2001, national availability of E10 
was increasing, and E10 was already the predominant form of gasoline 
sold in several major metropolitan areas. For example, by 2000, E10 
comprised nearly 15% of the U.S. gasoline market, and for certain major 
metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Milwaukee, the gasoline market 
entirely shifted to E10 by around 1996. With the advent of CAP2000 and 
with E10 pervasive in several major markets, manufacturers had a strong 
incentive to plan for ethanol exposure in designing for durable 
emissions performance.
    Finally, the Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (SFTP) compliance 
requirements began to phase in with MY2001 and were fully phased in 
with MY2004. These standards further increased manufacturers' 
incentives to design emissions controls that would be durable in use 
and with exposure to available gasoline-ethanol blends. The SFTP 
compliance requirements expanded motor vehicle emission testing to 
better represent actual consumer driving habits and conditions by 
including the US06 test (a high speed and high acceleration cycle) and 
the SCO3 test (an air conditioning test cycle run in a environmental 
test chamber at 95 [deg]F). In response to these requirements, 
manufacturers developed increasingly robust emissions control systems 
capable of withstanding the higher engine and catalyst temperatures 
experienced during these more severe cycles without simply relying on 
enrichment of the air-to-fuel ratio (which causes increased emissions) 
for temperature control. This improved ability to handle higher 
temperatures would also help emission control

[[Page 4669]]

systems withstand enleanment \19\ from ethanol use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ Enleanment refers to increasing the amount of oxygen in the 
mixture of air and fuel that enters the engine for combustion. 
Enrichment refers to increasing the amount of fuel in that mixture. 
At any one air to fuel ratio, adding ethanol to the fuel adds 
additional oxygen to the mixture of air and fuel, tending to enlean 
the mixture.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another consideration in our engineering analysis is the extent to 
which MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, when tested on E0 (as 
required for determining auto manufacturers' compliance with emission 
standards), emit at levels below the applicable standards and therefore 
have a compliance margin. Compliance margins are generally designed 
into motor vehicles by manufacturers to account for possible variations 
in production vehicles and changes to vehicle emissions control systems 
from actual field usage, such as the type of driving employed and the 
type of fuel used. The larger the compliance margin, the more likely it 
is that vehicles would accommodate any emissions increases from fueling 
with E15 and continue to meet emission standards in-use. As discussed 
in more detail later in this decision, a survey of certification data 
\20\ shows that the average FUL compliance margin (which accounts for 
in-use deterioration) projected at the time of certification for the 
entire MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicle fleet was approximately 
66%. In-use data from the IUVP program indicates that motor vehicles 
actually achieved a similar compliance margin when operated in real-
world conditions. The size of the compliance margins for MY2001-2006 
light-duty motor vehicles suggests manufacturers were in fact designing 
and building motor vehicles that were significantly cleaner than 
required as part of a planned migration to technologies capable of 
meeting the tighter Tier 2 standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ These data are submitted by manufacturers to EPA's 
Certification and Fuel Economy Information System to demonstrate 
compliance with the applicable emission standards and are part of 
the application process to receive a certificate of conformity. The 
CAA requires that all motor vehicles be covered by a certificate of 
conformity before they may enter into commerce.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on our engineering analysis of the expected impact of 
relevant regulatory changes and certification and IUVP data, we believe 
that the regulatory changes affecting MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles prompted manufacturers to design those MY2001-2006 vehicles 
using technology similar to the technology used for Tier 2 motor 
vehicles. As with Tier 2 motor vehicles, these technology changes would 
be expected to maintain the durability of the performance of emission 
control systems when motor vehicles are operated on E10 and also allow 
the motor vehicles to operate over time on E15 without significant 
changes in exhaust emissions. The designs of the emission control 
systems of MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles also included a large 
compliance margin to address, among other things, variations in in-use 
driving patterns and fuels, and this large compliance margin would be 
expected to offset exhaust emissions increases that might be associated 
with the long-term use of E15. The combination of these factors leads 
to the engineering conclusion that the long-term use of E15 by MY2001-
2006 light-duty motor vehicles is not expected to lead to significant 
emission increases and to cause or contribute to failures to meet 
applicable exhaust emissions standards.
i. Description of DOE Catalyst Study for MY2001-2006 Motor Vehicles
    The results of DOE's Catalyst Study for MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles provide strong confirmation that those vehicles should 
be able to operate on E15 and continue to comply with applicable 
exhaust emission standards. As described in detail below, DOE selected 
vehicle models so that the test fleet would broadly represent the 
national MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicle fleet and be likely to 
reveal any adverse emissions impacts from long-term operation on E15. 
DOE also followed all other aspects of the test protocol it used for 
MY2007 and newer motor vehicle testing to assure appropriate and 
consistent rigor in testing of MY2001-2006 motor vehicles. DOE test 
results indicate that the changes manufacturers made to MY2001-2006 
light-duty motor vehicle emission controls, calibration, hardware, 
etc., in response to regulatory changes in fact resulted in vehicle 
exhaust emissions control systems, including the catalyst, that are 
capable of withstanding the additional enleanment caused by E15 and 
maintaining exhaust emission performance on E15 over the FUL of the 
motor vehicles.
    To evaluate the actual impacts of E15 on MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles, DOE tested eight MY2000-2003 motor vehicle models,\21\ 
including high sales volume models produced by several light-duty motor 
vehicle manufacturers. The specific purpose of the program was to 
evaluate the long-term effects of E0, E10, E15, and E20 on catalyst 
durability of MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles that were subject 
to pre-Tier 2 standards (i.e., NLEV or Tier 1). A number of criteria 
were used to select motor vehicle models for the program. In 
particular, vehicle selection was based on high sales volume models so 
that the test fleet would be broadly representative of the in-use 
fleet. Since the number of models tested for MY2001-2006 was not as 
large as the number tested for newer model years, models were also 
selected for expected emissions related sensitivity (particularly in 
terms of their ability to apply learned fuel trim from closed loop to 
open loop operation \22\) so that the test fleet would be more likely 
to include vehicles that would reveal any adverse impacts of E15. In 
addition, one-half of the motor vehicle models were selected for their 
likely sensitivity to ethanol-gasoline blends as indicated by the 
results the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) Mid-level Ethanol 
Blends Catalyst Durability Study Screening (E-87-1). CRC is a research 
organization comprised of auto manufacturers and oil companies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ The MY2000 vehicle models selected were representative of 
all MY2001 and later pre-Tier 2 vehicles since they were certified 
as meeting Tier 1 or NLEV standards.
    \22\ See October Waiver Decision Section IV.A for a full 
discussion of the relevance of learned fuel trim to waiver 
determinations for gasoline-ethanol blends.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Testing of all vehicles followed the same protocol as that used for 
MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, although the NLEV or Tier 1 
vehicles were all used vehicles with relatively high mileage due to 
their age. See Table IV.A-1--Vehicle Attribute Summary for the list of 
specific models.

[[Page 4670]]



                                                         Table IV.A-1--Vehicle Attribute Summary
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Project Vehicle Summary              Engine                                                  Emissions standard                  Starting odometer
--------------------------------------------------------                          ---------------------------------------------------    (x1000 miles)
                                                               Engine Family                                                         -------------------
     Year            Vehicle           Disp     Config                                                    NMOG       CO        NOX       E0        E15
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Southwest Research Institute
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2000.........  Chevrolet Silverado        5.3        V8  YGMXT05.3181............  Tier 1/LDT 3.......     0.460       6.4      0.98       111       112
2002.........  Nissan Frontier....        2.4        I4  2NSXT02.4C4B............  NLEV (LEV).........     0.130       5.5       0.5        95        91
2002.........  Dodge Durango......        4.7        V8  2CRXT04.75B0............  Tier 1/LDT 3.......     0.460       6.4      0.98        71        60
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Transportation Research Center
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2003.........  Toyota Camry.......        2.4        I4  3TYXV02.4HHA............  ULEV...............     0.055       4.2       0.3        77        77
2003.........  Ford Taurus........        3          V6  3FMXV03.0VF3............  NLEV (LEV).........     0.090       4.2       0.3        93        88
2003.........  Chevrolet Cavalier.        2.2        I4  3GMXV02.2025............  NLEV (LEV).........     0.090       4.2       0.3        78        81
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Environmental Testing Corp
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2000.........  Honda Accord.......        2.3        I4  YHNXV02.3PF3............  NLEV (LEV).........     0.090       4.2       0.3       106        95
2000.........  Ford Focus.........        2          I4  YFMXV02.0VF3............  NLEV (LEV).........     0.090       4.2       0.3       103        85
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For testing purposes, at least two vehicles of the same model were 
matched to prevent confounding of the data by differences in vehicle 
attributes. Specifically, the test group, engine displacement, 
evaporative emissions control family, model year, powertrain control 
unit calibration, axle ratios, wheel size, and tire size were 
constrained to be identical within a vehicle set. Physical inspections 
of the vehicles were conducted to eliminate obviously problematic 
vehicles (such as those with gross fluid leaks, obvious and excessive 
body damage, etc.). Odometer reading was also used to identify 
candidate vehicles with the goal of restricting the difference in 
odometer readings within a vehicle set to a maximum of 10,000 miles in 
order to facilitate data comparisons between the vehicles. One vehicle 
from each set was aged on E0, one was aged on E15, and each vehicle was 
tested on both E0 and E15. Additional vehicles were aged on E20 or 
E10.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ As discussed previously, EPA relied on the vehicles using 
E15 and E0 for aging and test results, as that allows the emissions 
impact of the candidate fuel to be compared to the emissions impact 
of the fuel used for testing for compliance with the certification 
standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The assignment of a particular vehicle to a particular fuel was 
random and was accomplished prior to conducting any emissions tests on 
the vehicles. Obtaining suitable matched sets of vehicles was 
challenging for several of the older model year vehicles for the simple 
reason that these were older vehicles with various driving histories. 
As a result, there were a few instances where it was necessary to test 
vehicles with mileages that were not within the 10,000 mile odometer 
range target for matched vehicles in order to obtain a suitably-matched 
set of vehicles.
ii. DOE Catalyst Study Results
    As noted above, the results from the DOE Catalyst Study for MY2001-
2006 light-duty motor vehicles confirm the engineering analysis that 
long-term use of E15 is not expected to lead to significant emissions 
increases or contribute to those vehicles exceeding their exhaust 
emission standards over their FUL. Emission test results and the 
applicable emission standards \24\ for the vehicles aged on E0 (``E0 
vehicles'') and the vehicles aged on E15 (``E15 vehicles'') at the 
start, middle, and end of the test program are shown in Tables IV.A-2 
and 3. There were no trends or patterns that appeared fuel related. No 
significant increases in long-term exhaust emissions were observed with 
the E15 vehicles. Furthermore, the test results show that the vehicles 
aged and tested on E15 did not have significantly higher emissions than 
the vehicles aged and tested on E0, and some vehicles' emissions 
actually decreased on E15. Overall, the exhaust emission test results 
across test vehicles were generally similar with regard to 
deterioration and failure rates to the test results observed for the 
Tier 2 vehicle test fleet (which included some MY2005 and 2006 motor 
vehicles) and discussed in the October Waiver Decision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Total hydrocarbons (THC), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), 
non-methane organic gases (NMOG), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon 
monoxide (CO).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All E15 vehicles except one were below their emissions limits at 
the end of the test. One E15 vehicle exceeded its non-methane organic 
gas (NMOG) emissions limits at the end of the test program. The 
vehicle, a 2000 Honda Accord, was just above its FUL NMOG standard 
after 50,000 miles of aging.\25\ The exceedance of the NMOG standard 
did not appear to be related to E15 since the NMOG emissions of the E0 
counterpart motor vehicle also exceeded the standard after only 25,000 
miles of aging. Two other E0 motor vehicles (2003 Chevy Cavalier and 
2003 Toyota Camry) also failed the NMOG standard but their E15 
counterpart did not.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ In general, EPA may take action to compel a manufacturer to 
recall and remedy a problem after determining that a substantial 
number of properly maintained and operated vehicles fail to conform 
to EPA standards in actual use. EPA will use the information from 
the DOE test program to help it identify future vehicle test classes 
as part of its overall vehicle compliance program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All motor vehicles except for the E0 Accord were below their carbon 
monoxide (CO) emissions limits at the end of the test. One end-of-test 
program data point for the E15 Frontier was over the standard but the 
test point average was well below the standard. All motor vehicles were 
below their oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions limits at the 
end of the test program.
    Testing of older motor vehicles did pose challenges since they had 
relatively high mileages and their maintenance and driving histories 
were not well known. As a result, test results for these motor vehicles 
showed greater variability than the results for the newer motor 
vehicles of the Tier 2 test fleet. There were also mechanical issues to 
address during mileage accumulation. Considering the higher variability 
expected in this situation, there were generally small changes in 
emissions (both increases and decreases) with mileage accumulation for 
most of the motor vehicles (with the exception of the Honda Accord 
samples) with no indication of significant deterioration of the exhaust 
emission control system, including the catalyst, due to E15.\26\ The

[[Page 4671]]

relative durability of exhaust emissions control performance is 
particularly notable given the high mileage of the test vehicles at the 
end of testing. The results from the DOE test program thus provide 
compelling support for the conclusion that the long-term use of E15 
will not cause or contribute to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
exceeding their exhaust emission standards over their FUL.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ The exhaust emissions of some vehicles actually decreased 
over the course of the testing program. There are a few possible 
reasons for this result. For example, ``TOP TIER Detergent 
Gasoline'' was used during the aging cycles. With unknown aging 
conditions and fuel quality prior to the testing and mileage 
accumulation, some vehicles may have become cleaner between the 
start of the test and the midpoint of the test due to the detergent 
additives in the aging fuel. In addition, the standard Road Cycle 
used for the mileage accumulation may have helped restore catalyst 
activity in some vehicles if they were never driven hard enough 
(high speed and/or high load) during previous aging.

              Table IV.A-2--E15 Emission Test Results Compared to the Respective Certification Standards at Start, Middle, and End of Test
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Year          Make              Model         Cert Standard          THC              NMHC              NMOG               CO               NOX
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       E15 Start of Test Program Pass/Fail Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002.....  Nissan..........  Frontier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2002.....  Dodge...........  Durango.........  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Chevy...........  Cavalier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Ford............  Taurus..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Toyota..........  Camry...........  ULEV............  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Ford............  Focus...........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Honda...........  Accord..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Chevy...........  Silverado.......  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        E15 Middle Test Program Pass/Fail Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002.....  Nissan..........  Frontier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2002.....  Dodge...........  Durango.........  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Chevy...........  Cavalier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Ford............  Taurus..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Toyota..........  Camry...........  ULEV............  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Ford............  Focus...........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Honda...........  Accord..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass*...........  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Chevy...........  Silverado.......  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        E15 End of Test Program Pass/Fail Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002.....  Nissan..........  Frontier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass*...........  Pass.
2002.....  Dodge...........  Durango.........  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Chevy...........  Cavalier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Ford............  Taurus..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Toyota..........  Camry...........  ULEV............  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Ford............  Focus...........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Honda...........  Accord..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Fail............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Chevy...........  Silverado.......  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Indicates that average of composites met standards, but one test result exceeded standard.


               Table IV.A-3--E0 Emission Test Results Compared to the Respective Certification Standards at Start, Middle, and End of Test
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Year          Make              Model         Cert Standard          THC              NMHC              NMOG               CO               NOX
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       E0 Start of Test Program Pass/Fail Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002.....  Nissan..........  Frontier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2002.....  Dodge...........  Durango.........  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Chevy...........  Cavalier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Ford............  Taurus..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Toyota..........  Camry...........  ULEV............  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass*...........  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Ford............  Focus...........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Honda...........  Accord..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Chevy...........  Silverado.......  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        E0 Middle Test Program Pass/Fail Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002.....  Nissan..........  Frontier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2002.....  Dodge...........  Durango.........  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Chevy...........  Cavalier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass*...........  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Ford............  Taurus..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Toyota..........  Camry...........  ULEV............  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Ford............  Focus...........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Honda...........  Accord..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Fail............  Fail............  Pass.
2000.....  Chevy...........  Silverado.......  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 4672]]

 
                                                        E0 End of Test Program Pass/Fail Results
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2002.....  Nissan..........  Frontier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2002.....  Dodge...........  Durango.........  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Chevy...........  Cavalier........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Fail............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Ford............  Taurus..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass............  Pass.
2003.....  Toyota..........  Camry...........  ULEV............  N/A.............  N/A.............  Fail............  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Ford............  Focus...........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Pass*...........  Pass............  Pass.
2000.....  Honda...........  Accord..........  NLEV(LEV).......  N/A.............  N/A.............  Fail............  Fail............  Pass.
2000.....  Chevy...........  Silverado.......  Tier 1/LDT3.....  Pass............  Pass............  N/A.............  Pass............  Pass.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Indicates that average of composites met standards, but one test result exceeded standard.

2. Immediate Exhaust Emissions
    Instantaneous or immediate impacts of a fuel or fuel additive are 
those that are experienced essentially immediately upon switching from 
the original fuel. The immediate exhaust emission impacts of interest 
are any that are caused by E15 in comparison to the test fuel on which 
motor vehicles are tested for compliance with the applicable standards 
(E0). Immediate exhaust emission impacts must be taken into 
consideration along with the long-term or durability emission impacts 
discussed in the previous section in assessing the waiver.
a. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    As mentioned above, Growth Energy's submission and the information 
supplied by commenters regarding immediate exhaust emission impacts of 
E15 on light-duty motor vehicles were not specific to the model year of 
the motor vehicles. For more information, including a detailed 
discussion of Growth Energy's submission and summary of public comments 
on immediate exhaust emission impacts, refer to section IV.A.2 for 
MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles and IV.C.3.b.ii for MY2000 
and older light-duty motor vehicles of the October Waiver Decision.
b. EPA Analysis
    Since the earliest days of gasoline-ethanol blends, many test 
programs have been carried out on light-duty motor vehicles and trucks 
to quantify the immediate emissions impacts of blending ethanol into 
gasoline. The common theme across these various test programs is that, 
consistent with combustion theory, the enleanment of the air-to-fuel 
(A/F) ratio caused by the oxygen in ethanol leads to an immediate 
reduction in HC and CO emissions and a corresponding increase in 
NOX emissions. While other factors influence this, such as 
the combustion characteristics of the ethanol itself, other changes 
that occur in the gasoline when ethanol is added, and the test 
conditions under which the emissions are measured which can cause some 
variations in study results, the bottom line is that the immediate 
emissions changes from increased levels of ethanol are fairly well 
known.
    More recent data and information \27\ show that (1) newer motor 
vehicles exhibit similar immediate emission impact trends as the data 
and modeling show for older motor vehicles, and (2) the immediate 
emission impacts of E15 continue to show the same trends as E10 with 
the effects being slightly larger for E15 due to its higher ethanol 
content and therefore the increased enleanment due to its higher oxygen 
content. Thus, MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles are expected to 
have immediate emissions impacts similar to MY2007 and newer, and 
MY2000 and older, light-duty motor vehicles, and the magnitude of the 
E15 impact is expected to be relatively small. As the analysis in the 
October Waiver Decision for Tier 2 vehicles shows, non-methane 
hydrocarbon (NMHC) and CO emissions are expected to decrease for 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles while NOX emissions 
are expected to increase between 5 and 10% (depending on how other fuel 
properties change). This estimated impact is based on extrapolation 
from E10 modeling using the Agency's Predictive Models.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ CRC E74b, DOE Pilot Study, DOE Catalyst Study, and the RIT 
Study, all of which are discussed at length in the October Waiver 
Decision.
    \28\ A detailed description of the development of the EPA 
Predictive Models is available in a Technical Support Document: 
``Analysis of California's Request for Waiver of the Reformulated 
Gasoline Oxygen Content Requirement for California Covered Areas,'' 
EPA420-R-01-016, June 2001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although the overall weight of the available data shows that E15 
will cause a small immediate increase in NOX emissions, the 
issue is whether such increases, by themselves or in combination with 
long-term durability effects, would cause or contribute to MY2001-2006 
light-duty motor vehicles to exceed their emissions standards. Given 
the relatively small magnitude of the immediate NOX 
emissions increase in relation to the large compliance margins that 
motor vehicle manufacturers have traditionally built in to the products 
they certify, and the lack of any significant increase in 
NOX emissions deterioration with E15 in comparison to E0, it 
is reasonable to expect that E15 will not cause or contribute to 
compliant MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles exceeding their 
emissions standards.
    Available information on the compliance margins of MY2001-2006 
light-duty motor vehicles indicates that these vehicles have compliance 
margins even larger than the average compliance margin manufacturers 
typically provide. Average compliance margins projected during 
certification for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles are shown in 
Table IV.A-4.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Based on data submitted to EPA's Certification and Fuel 
Economy Information System and available on the EPA Web site at 
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/crttst.htm.

[[Page 4673]]



  Table IV.A-4--Average Certification Compliance Margin (Percent by Pollutant) for MY2001-2006 Light-Duty Motor
                                                    Vehicles
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Percent Compliance Margin by Pollutant
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        NMOG         NMHC       Total HC       NOX           CO        Overall
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MY2001-2006 Tier 2 & NLEV.........          51%          N/A          N/A          65%          75%          63%
MY2001-2003 NLEV..................          49%          N/A          N/A           71           78           66
MY2001-2003 Tier 1 LDT 3 & 4......          N/A          74%          80%           73           71           74
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Data collected from EPA's IUVP also show large compliance margins 
for light-duty motor vehicles operating in real-world conditions. Based 
on data from IUVP testing of MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles as 
of August 2010, the average compliance margin was 56%, 69%, and 76% for 
hydrocarbons (NMOG, NMHC, and Total HC), NOX, and CO, 
respectively. These large certification program and in-use testing 
compliance margins indicate that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
on average would absorb the immediate emissions impact of E15 on 
NOX emissions without exceeding the applicable emission 
standards.
    In addition, the results of the recently completed DOE Catalyst 
Study provide direct evidence that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles would accommodate the immediate impact of E15 on 
NOX emissions and still comply with applicable standards. 
While the Catalyst Study was carried out to assess long-term 
(durability) exhaust emissions impacts, the immediate emission impacts 
of ethanol are also captured in the testing. All of the motor vehicles 
tested for the MY2001-2006 program continued to comply with their NOx 
emission standards at FUL despite both the immediate and durability 
impacts of E15 on emissions. The results from the DOE test program thus 
support the conclusion that the immediate emissions impact of E15 will 
not cause or contribute to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
exceeding their exhaust emission standards over their FUL.

B. Evaporative Emissions

    Assessment of the impact of E15 on evaporative emissions compliance 
requires consideration of the applicable evaporative emissions 
standards to which the particular motor vehicles were certified. There 
are now five main components of motor vehicle evaporative emissions 
that are addressed by standards: (1) Diurnal (evaporative emissions 
that come off the fuel system as a motor vehicle heats up during the 
course of the day); (2) hot soak (evaporative emissions that come off a 
hot motor vehicle as it cools down after the engine is shut off); (3) 
running loss (evaporative emissions that come off the fuel system 
during motor vehicle operation); (4) permeation (evaporative emissions 
that come through the walls of elastomers in the fuel system and are 
measured as part of the diurnal test); and (5) unintended leaks due to 
deterioration/damage that is now largely monitored through onboard 
diagnostic standards.
    As with exhaust emissions, emission control improvements adopted in 
response to applicable regulatory requirements are important to the 
consideration of the potential impact of a fuel or fuel additive on 
evaporative emissions, both immediate and long-term. EPA has set 
evaporative emission standards for motor vehicles since 1971. During 
the ensuing years, evaporative standards have continued to evolve, 
resulting in technology and designs that achieve additional evaporative 
emissions reductions. A number of regulatory actions occurred by MY2001 
that placed an emphasis on the control of evaporative emissions and on 
real-world testing of motor vehicles, which in turn led to changes in 
evaporative emission control systems. These regulatory changes together 
with test data and information and analysis concerning compliance 
margins support the conclusion that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles operated on E15 would generally continue to comply with 
evaporative emission standards and likely achieve actual evaporative 
emission levels somewhat lower than what they currently experience when 
operated on in-use fuel.
1. Immediate Evaporative Emissions
a. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    Growth Energy's submission and the information supplied by 
commenters regarding immediate evaporative emission impacts of E15 were 
not specific to the model year of the motor vehicles. For more 
information, including a detailed discussion of Growth Energy's 
submission and summary of public comments regarding immediate 
evaporative emissions, refer to section IV.A.3 for MY2007 and newer 
light-duty motor vehicles and IV.C.3.c for MY2000 and older light-duty 
motor vehicles of the October Waiver Decision.
b. EPA Analysis and Test Programs
    As discussed in the October Waiver Decision, prior to MY1999, 
evaporative emissions standards addressed diurnal and hot soak 
emissions, but the test procedures for determining compliance did not 
require control of running loss and permeation emissions. These latter 
emissions became subject to control with the enhanced evaporative 
emissions requirements and were fully phased in for light-duty motor 
vehicles and light-duty trucks by MY1999. These requirements included 
both new emission standards and new test procedures: The two-day and 
three-day diurnal tests with new canister loading procedures, and a 
running loss test. Prior to the enhanced evaporative requirements, the 
diurnal evaporative emissions test was only 1 hour and there was no 
running loss measurement. The longer diurnal measurement and the 
addition of the running loss test made the control of emissions from 
both permeation and running losses more critical. In addition to the 
new procedures, the regulatory useful life of covered vehicles was 
extended from 5 years/50,000 miles to 10 years/100,000 miles for light-
duty motor vehicles.
    Along with the enhanced evaporative emissions requirements, EPA 
introduced the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) requirements for evaporative 
leak detection monitors; those requirements were fully phased in with 
MY1999. OBD required motor vehicles to detect a leak equivalent to 
0.040 inch in the fuel or evaporative emissions system. Beginning in 
MY2001, EPA allowed manufacturers to comply with California OBD 
regulations, which required motor vehicles to detect a leak equivalent 
to a 0.020 inch. While not required federally, according to EPA 
certification data for MY2001-2006, many manufacturers developed one 
leak detection system that complied with the more stringent California 
requirement for use in vehicles for sale in all 50 states.

[[Page 4674]]

    As described in the exhaust emissions section above, CAP2000 took 
effect beginning with MY2000 and was designed to place more emphasis on 
in-use performance of vehicle emission controls, including the fact 
that vehicles operate nationwide on different available fuels. In 
particular, CAP2000 introduced the IUVP program, which requires 
manufacturers to perform exhaust and evaporative emissions tests on 
customer in-use vehicles. These tests must be performed at low and high 
mileage intervals. This emphasis on real-world vehicle testing prompted 
manufacturers to consider different commercially available fuels 
(including E10) when developing and testing their emissions systems. 
Also under CAP2000, manufacturers are required to focus on using an 
effective durability process for predicting in-use deterioration as 
part of the process of certifying vehicles as complying with applicable 
evaporative emission standards. For this process, manufacturers are 
required to use fuel representative of commercial gasoline that will 
generally be available at retail outlets for the mileage accumulation 
on their durability demonstration vehicles.
    Based on the enhanced evaporative emission standards and test 
procedures, the CAP2000 requirements, and the OBD leak detection 
requirement, our engineering assessment is that regulatory changes 
prompted manufacturers to make the evaporative emission systems of 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, in comparison to prior model 
year vehicles, more compatible from an emissions perspective with fuels 
that would be encountered in the marketplace, including ethanol blends. 
As such, MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles generally would be 
expected to include design elements that would better control 
evaporative emissions than prior model year vehicles when fueled on 
ethanol blends, moving in the direction of the design elements 
implemented for Tier 2.
    It should also be noted that for MY2004-2006 Tier 2 vehicles, 
manufacturers were required to use E10 for the full mileage 
accumulation period used in the certification durability demonstration 
process to demonstrate evaporative emissions durability. In addition, 
Tier 2 evaporative emissions standards were significantly lower (over a 
50% reduction). These Tier 2 requirements prompted manufacturers to 
further change materials to those with improved permeation barriers 
with ethanol. For purposes of the evaporative emissions discussion 
below, it is important to note that a large percentage of MY2004-2006 
motor vehicles certified to Tier 2 evaporative emission standards 
should be able to use E15 without adverse impacts on their evaporative 
emissions for the reasons given in the October Waiver Decision. The 
analysis in today's decision of the potential E15 impact on evaporative 
emissions focuses on light-duty motor vehicles that are certified to 
enhanced evaporative emission standards (pre-Tier 2 standards). Figure 
IV.B-1 shows the fleet percentage by evaporative emissions standard 
level for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN26JA11.007


[[Page 4675]]


i. Coordinating Research Council Test Programs--Results
    EPA examined available test data and other information to evaluate 
whether expected enhancement to evaporative emissions control systems 
were in fact sufficient to permit MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
to operate on E15 without significant adverse impact on immediate 
evaporative emissions.
    In section IV.A.3 of the October Waiver Decision, EPA discussed the 
impact of ethanol on diurnal emissions as a result of ethanol's effect 
on fuel volatility absent countervailing changes to fuel or emission 
controls. EPA reviewed the CRC E-77 test programs \30\ and found they 
support the conclusion that evaporative emissions (excluding 
permeation) measured on the diurnal test with E10 and E20 are likely to 
be comparable to those with E0, at the same RVP. This conclusion also 
applies to E15 by interpolation. Testing performed on E0, E10, and E20 
shows that diurnal emissions, with the exception of permeation, are a 
function of the volatility of the fuel, not the ethanol content. As a 
result, EPA concluded that for Tier 2 vehicles E15, with adequate 
control of volatility, would not adversely affect vehicles' diurnal 
evaporative emissions with the possible exception of permeation 
emissions. This conclusion is applicable to MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles as well as to MY2007 and newer light-duty motor 
vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Enhanced Evaporative Emission Vehicles (CRC Report: E-77-
2), March 2010, and Evaporative Emissions from In-Use Vehicles: Test 
Fleet Expansion (CRC Report: E-77-2b), June 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The impact of gasoline volatility on diurnal evaporative emissions 
led EPA to condition the introduction of E15 into commerce for MY2007 
and newer light-duty motor vehicles on E15 having no more than 9.0 RVP 
during the summertime period when RVP is controlled. For the same 
evaporative emission control reasons, EPA is applying the same RVP 
limit condition to today's waiver for use of E15 in MY2001-2006 light-
duty motor vehicles. As EPA explained in the October Waiver Decision, 
the CRC E-77 test program indicated that as the volatility of the fuel 
increased, the number of motor vehicles which experienced canister 
emissions breakthrough also increased, with three of five enhanced 
evaporative vehicles experiencing canister breakthrough at 10.0 psi 
RVP. These elevated diurnal emissions with increased volatility are 
expected, since the increased volatility of 10.0 psi versus 9.0 psi 
fuel results in roughly a 25% increase in evaporative vapor generation 
that must be captured by the canister, beyond the amount of vapor 
generation that must be captured during evaporative emission testing 
using E0 fuel. The canister breakthrough measured in the CRC E-77 
program was enough to cause these enhanced evaporative vehicles to 
exceed their evaporative emissions standard on E10 fuel. It should be 
noted, however, that the CRC diurnal tests were done on a more severe 
temperature cycle of 65 [deg]F--105 [deg]F (California cycle), as 
opposed to the federal requirement of 72 [deg]F--96 [deg]F. These test 
results nonetheless confirm the expectation that ethanol blends with 
volatility higher than 9.0 psi RVP during the summer will lead to motor 
vehicles exceeding their evaporative emissions standard in-use.
    At the same time, the Agency is not aware of any data showing that 
motor vehicles would continue to meet their evaporative emissions 
standards when tested using E15 with an RVP greater than 9.0 psi. Given 
the significant potential for increased evaporative emissions at higher 
gasoline volatility levels and the lack of any data to indicate this 
would not cause a problem with compliance with the standard, the E15 
waiver can only be considered in the context of E15 that maintains the 
same volatility as required of the E0 test fuel. As long as the 
volatility of the fuel does not exceed 9.0 psi during the summer, 
diurnal emissions from E15 are not anticipated to cause the motor 
vehicles to exceed their evaporative emissions standards in-use.
    As a related but separate matter, as discussed in section IX of the 
October Waiver Decision, EPA interprets CAA section 211(h)(4) as 
limiting the 1.0 psi waiver to gasoline-ethanol blends that contain 10 
vol% ethanol, including limiting the provision concerning ``deemed to 
be in full compliance'' to the same 10 vol% blends. This interpretation 
is consistent with how EPA has historically implemented CAA section 
211(h)(4) through 40 CFR 80.27(d), which provides that gasoline-ethanol 
blends that contain at least 9 vol% ethanol and not more than 10 vol% 
ethanol qualify for the 1.0 psi waiver of the applicable RVP standard. 
EPA has invited comment on this issue in the Misfueling Mitigation NPRM 
(75 FR 68044, 68061 (November 4, 2010)).
    E15 does not appear to raise any issues with respect to hot soak 
and running loss emissions from MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, 
for the same reasons applicable to MY2007 and newer motor vehicles. 
Data from the CRC E-77 test programs suggest that there may be some 
correlation between hot soak and running loss \31\ emissions and 
ethanol content, but the impact is small, of questionable statistical 
significance, and may be related to permeation that occurs during the 
testing (Figures IV.B-2 and 3). While there was an increase in the 
measured hot soak and running loss emissions with the E10 fuel compared 
to the E0 fuel, the emissions from the E20 fuel were comparable to the 
emissions from the E0 fuel, and lower than the emissions from the E10 
fuel. We expect by interpolation that emissions from E15 would be 
between the emissions from E10 and E20 and that any emissions increase 
would be too small to result in evaporative emission standard 
exceedances.
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ Running loss emissions measured in the CRC E-77 programs 
did not use the certification cycle. The study was focused on the 
worst case for permeation emissions and therefore used back-to-back 
LA92 cycles to increase the tank temperature with more aggressive 
driving. The certification cycle, which uses the Urban Dynamometer 
Driving Schedule, followed by a two-minute idle, two New York City 
Cycles followed by a two-minute idle, and another Urban Dynamometer 
Driving Schedule followed by a two-minute idle, has many stops and 
starts, making it more difficult to purge the canister. There was no 
canister breakthrough measured during running loss tests in the 
study.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 4676]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN26JA11.008


[[Page 4677]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN26JA11.009


[[Page 4678]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN26JA11.010

BILLING CODE 6560-50-C
    As described in the October Waiver Decision, while the CRC E-77 
test programs were valuable in assessing diurnal emissions, their 
primary purpose was to allow the quantification and modeling of 
evaporative emissions from permeation separate and apart from the other 
evaporative emissions for E0, E10, and E20. Some key findings of the 
test programs were that (1) gasoline-ethanol blends can significantly 
increase permeation emissions compared to pure gasoline; and (2) 
permeation emissions are a function of the presence of ethanol in the 
gasoline irrespective of concentration (especially in the E6 to E20 
range). Consequently, results for E15 would be anticipated to be 
comparable to those for E10 and E20 having the same RVP.
ii. Coordinating Research Council Test Programs--Analysis
    We believe CRC E-65 and E-77 test results are useful for indicating 
the potential magnitude of permeation emission increases for the 
vehicles in the test programs as well as for the MY2001-2006 motor 
vehicle fleet. The CRC E-65 and E-77 test programs covered a large 
segment of the MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicle fleet (high sales 
volume models). While the test programs used unique test procedures 
designed to isolate the effects of ethanol on permeation,\32\ we have 
no reason to believe that the test procedures are more or less 
stringent than the federal test procedures in measuring permeation, 
since permeation is affected much more by the ethanol content of the 
fuel than by changes in temperature and fuel volatility. Therefore, 
while the overall results of the CRC E-65 and E-77 test programs cannot 
be directly compared to federal emission standards, the observed 
impacts on permeation are appropriate to use for generally assessing 
potential evaporative emission increases from E15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ For example, the California diurnal temperature profile of 
65 to 105 [deg]F and fuel with an RVP of 9 psi were used.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For pre-Tier 2 MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, the results 
of the CRC test programs indicate that the permeation emissions of 
these vehicles are likely to increase with use of ethanol-gasoline 
blends to a greater extent than is expected for MY2007 and newer motor 
vehicles.\33\ The issue thus becomes whether the increase will cause or 
contribute to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles exceeding their 
evaporative emission standards. We used the results of the CRC test 
programs to estimate the increase in evaporative emissions from the 
permeation effect of an E10-20 fuel (and therefore E15 by 
interpolation) for vehicles in the programs, since they represent a 
large segment of the national fleet. We began by averaging the results 
of the CRC E-65 and E-77 programs together for each of the models 
tested

[[Page 4679]]

given the limited sample size of each program and the fact that ethanol 
content alone, versus RVP or the specific ethanol volume percentage of 
the fuel, has the greatest effect on permeation. Then, we calculated 
the permeation change (E0 to E10-20) for each vehicle model.\34\ Next, 
we added that vehicle model's permeation increase to the vehicle 
model's projected evaporative emission level (as determined for 
certifying compliance with emission standards) to estimate what the 
vehicle model's projected evaporative emissions would be if operated on 
E15. The results of this analysis show that all of the vehicle models 
tested in the CRC programs would meet their evaporative emissions 
standard even with the calculated permeation increase (Figure IV.B-1). 
Hence, while the permeation impact of E10 and E20, and therefore E15 by 
interpolation, on these vehicle models is projected to be larger than 
for E0, the vehicle models also have very large compliance margins that 
would allow them to still meet their evaporative emission standards on 
E15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Compare Figure IV.B-4 in today's notice with Figure IV.A-3 
in the October Waiver Decision.
    \34\ We also averaged the ethanol blends together to compare to 
E0. As noted above, the effect of ethanol blends on permeation 
emissions is essentially constant across E6, E10 and E20, so it is 
appropriate to average the emissions increases resulting from the 
different blends to obtain a more robust result.

                                 Table IV.B-1--Enhanced Evaporative Vehicles Permeation Measured in CRC E65 and E-77(b)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                    Avg.
                                                             E0  7    E0  9    E10  7  E10  10   E20  9    Avg.     E10     Delta     Cert    Projected
             MY                       Make & model            psi      psi      psi      psi      psi       E0      and     E0 to    Level    Emissions
                                                              (mg)     (mg)     (mg)     (mg)     (mg)     (mg)     E20      E10-     (g)        (g)
                                                                                                                    (mg)      20
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(mg)-----------------------
1999.......................  Honda Accord.................      367      628     1260     1548     1103      498     1304      806      1.0          1.8
2001.......................  Toyota Corolla...............      383      500     1783     1794     1775      441     1784     1343      0.4          1.7
2001.......................  Dodge Caravan................      398      406     1087     1406     1548      402     1347      945      1.0          1.9
2004.......................  Ford Escape..................      494     1102      524      492      752      798      589     -209      0.9          0.7
2000.......................  Mitsubishi Galant............      603      706      895      828      751      655      824      170      0.6          0.8
2001.......................  Toyota Tacoma................       91  .......  .......  .......      508       91      508      418      0.4          0.8
2000.......................  Honda Odyssey................      458  .......  .......  .......     1765      458     1765     1308      0.7          2.0
2002.......................  Nissan Altima................     1172     1500     2583     2777     1959     1336     2439     1103      0.8          1.9
2004.......................  Toyota Highlander*...........      294      202  .......  .......      451      249      157  .......      0.3          0.4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Tier 2 vehicle

    As noted above, the vehicles tested in the CRC programs represent a 
broad cross-section of the national light-duty motor vehicle fleet, so 
our analysis indicates that most MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles 
would still meet applicable evaporative emission standards if operated 
on E15. However, the test programs were not fully representative as 
they included no General Motors models or larger light-duty trucks. 
Thus, there may be some vehicles in the fleet with smaller compliance 
margins such that the impact of permeation could increase their total 
evaporative emissions beyond the standard to which they were certified.
    Even if a small number of vehicle models might exceed evaporative 
emission standards in-use when operated on E15, we believe that a 
waiver is appropriate for two reasons. One, any increase in evaporative 
emission standard exceedances is expected to be limited since all the 
CRC motor vehicles tested continued to meet their evaporative emission 
standards and those motor vehicles represent a large segment of the 
national fleet. In past waiver decisions, EPA has applied statistical 
tests that are failed if the fuel or fuel additive being considered 
would increase the number of motor vehicles exceeding their emissions 
standard by a significant amount. For example, see the discussion of 
the Petrocoal Waiver in MVMA v. EPA, 768 F.2d 385, 399 (DC Cir. 1985) 
(``Petrocoal Waiver, 46 FR at 48,978. The Deteriorated Emissions Test 
is designed to provide a 90 percent probability of failure of the test 
if 25 percent or more of the vehicle fleet tested would fail to meet 
emission standards using the waiver fuel or fuel additive.''). This was 
based on EPA's longstanding interpretation that the criteria in CAA 
section 211(f)(4) could be met where a fuel or fuel additive would not 
cause or contribute to a ``significant'' number of motor vehicles in 
the national fleet failing their emission standards. See MVMA, 768 F.2d 
at 391 (``This burden, which Congress has imposed on the applicant, if 
interpreted literally, is virtually impossible to meet as it requires 
proof of a negative proposition, i.e., that no vehicle will fail to 
meet emission standards with respect to which it has been certified. 
Taken literally, it would require the testing of every vehicle. 
Recognizing that Congress contemplated a workable waiver provision, 
mitigation of this stringent burden was deemed necessary. For purposes 
of the waiver provision, EPA has previously indicated that reliable 
statistical sampling and fleet testing protocols may be used to 
demonstrate that a fuel under consideration would not cause or 
contribute to a significant failure of emission standards by vehicles 
in the national fleet.'') The statistical tests used by EPA were 
intended to identify failures of a statistically significant number of 
motor vehicles resulting from the fuel or fuel additive itself as 
opposed to other non-fuel related causes. Consequently, the statistical 
tests do not bar a waiver for a fuel or fuel additive that would 
increase the number of motor vehicles exceeding their applicable 
emission standards by an amount smaller than the statistical tests were 
designed to confidently discern. While EPA is not applying those 
statistical tests in this case, they represent the Agency's past 
judgment that a possible increase in a limited number of motor vehicles 
exceeding their applicable emission standards is not necessarily a 
basis for denying a waiver request.
    In this case, the CRC test data indicate that the large majority of 
MY2001-2006 vehicle models have compliance margins adequate to meet 
their evaporative emissions standard when operated on E15. EPA's 
engineering assessment is that the degree of control of permeation 
emissions from E15 exhibited in the CRC test programs (although less 
than the degree of control exhibited by Tier 2 vehicles) and the size 
of compliance margins likely result in large part from the response to 
EPA's regulatory changes discussed above.

[[Page 4680]]

Manufacturers were improving their evaporative emissions systems so 
they would be more effective at controlling evaporative emissions from 
in-use fuels, including fuels containing ethanol. The regulatory 
changes also generally applied to the kinds of vehicles not included in 
the CRC test program, so similar levels of permeation emission control 
and compliance margins could also be expected in those vehicles. There 
is thus the possibility of, at most, limited emission standard 
exceedances in the MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicle fleet with the 
use of E15, considering the results of the CRC test programs, EPA's 
analysis using the compliance margins of those vehicles, and the 
expectation of similar emissions levels and compliance margins for 
other MY2001-2006 vehicles. This judgment is based on all of the 
information before the Agency, including the engineering assessment 
discussed above.
    A second reason that a waiver is appropriate in this case is that 
the environment would likely benefit from, and in any event would not 
be harmed by, the impact of E15 use on evaporative emissions of MY2001-
2006 light-duty motor vehicles. As explained in the Misfueling 
Mitigation NPRM, E10 is now the pervasive fuel in the national motor 
vehicle fuel market. The use of E10 already results in some permeation 
increases, resulting from its ethanol content, and E15 would cause no 
greater permeation emissions than E10. As a result, permeation 
emissions from the use of E15 should not lead to any actual increase in 
exceedances of the evaporative emissions standards in the in-use fleet 
of MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles compared to no use of E15. In 
addition, as a result of the CAA's 1 psi waiver for E10, the use of E10 
results in significant additional evaporative emissions from canister 
breakthrough, resulting from the fuel's higher volatility at 10.0 psi 
RVP. Since a waiver for E15 would not allow RVP greater than 9.0 psi, 
the lower volatility of E15 would lead to significantly lower 
evaporative emissions than would otherwise result from canister 
breakthrough with E10. To the extent it is used in the marketplace, E15 
would likely replace the use of E10.\35\ Therefore, its use would 
likely benefit, and would not harm, the environment by reducing in-use 
vehicle evaporative emissions.\36\ In these somewhat unique 
circumstances, EPA believes that any limited number of motor vehicles 
exceeding their evaporative emission standards when using E15 should 
not be considered significant for purposes of determining whether to 
grant a waiver under section 211(f)(4).\37\
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    \35\ E10 is already the predominant gasoline fuel in most of the 
country and it is reasonable to assume that, if and when E15 is 
introduced into the marketplace, it would be in a market where fuel 
ethanol is already available and sold as E10.
    \36\ E15 use would also not affect vehicle manufacturers' 
compliance status since in-use testing for recall and other 
regulatory purposes is conducted on E0 fuel, and any effect of E15 
on immediate evaporative emissions is transient and would not affect 
results of compliance testing on E0 fuel.
    \37\ It is important to note that the relevant comparison for 
evaluating whether a fuel or fuel additive will have an impact on 
failures of emission standards is a comparison between the proposed 
fuel or additive (here E15) and the fuel on which vehicles are 
tested for purposes of determining auto manufacturers' compliance 
with emission standards (E0). While E15 may result in limited 
additional exceedances of evaporative emission standards in 
comparison to E0, it will reduce actual in-use evaporative emissions 
compared to E10, the fuel it is expected to replace. We believe it 
is appropriate to consider both E15's limited potential for 
increasing exceedances of standards when compared to E0 fuel, and 
this real-world evaporative emissions benefit of E15 in considering 
the significance of any such exceedances, in deciding whether to 
grant a waiver for E15 use in MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This interpretation and approach is also appropriate as it furthers 
the goals of Congress in the recent amendments to the Renewable Fuel 
Standard (RFS) program under section 211(o). Congress' purpose in 
enacting the EISA amendments to section 211(o) was to increase the 
volume of renewable fuel, including gasoline-ethanol blends, to improve 
the nation's energy and economic security. Granting a waiver for E15 is 
consistent with and advances these goals. This provides further support 
for EPA's decision that it is appropriate to grant a partial waiver for 
E15 where it would not cause or contribute to a significant number of 
motor vehicles exceeding their evaporative emission standards, 
especially given the fact that E15 use would not increase, but would 
likely reduce, actual in-use evaporative emissions when compared to E10 
use.
2. Long-term (Durability) Evaporative Emissions
    Considering regulatory changes applicable to MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles, the Agency believes that manufacturers generally 
designed their enhanced evaporative emission control systems for long-
term exposure to E10 and that the systems should be compatible and 
durable with E15 use over the FUL of the motor vehicle.
    As mentioned previously, CAP 2000 requires MY2001-2006 motor 
vehicle evaporative emission systems to be tested on in-use vehicles 
exposed to market fuel, including fuels containing ethanol. Further, in 
MY1999, along with enhanced evaporative emissions requirements, OBD 
leak detection requirements were introduced with the more stringent 
California requirement adopted optionally by manufacturers in 2001 to 
enable the sale of vehicles in all 50 states with one leak detection 
system. To avoid excessive warranty costs and potential recalls, 
manufacturers needed to ensure the evaporative emissions control and 
fuel systems would be compatible with and durable to market fuel, 
including fuels containing ethanol.\38\ As a result of these 
requirements, manufacturers had a strong incentive to develop 
evaporative emission systems that are robust to market fuels, including 
fuels containing ethanol. Manufacturers also design to account for 
production variability in materials and tolerances. Robustness in the 
design of these components provides a safety margin that, according to 
the compliance margin data discussed above, results in vehicles 
actually emitting at levels well below required levels. There is thus 
an engineering basis for expecting robustness in design to allow 
MY2001-2006 motor vehicle evaporative emission systems to maintain 
durable emissions control with long-term use of E15.
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    \38\ Manufacturers are required by the CAA to warrant that their 
vehicles are free from defects in materials and workmanship which 
would cause such vehicle to fail to conform to applicable 
regulations for the two year/24,000 mile warranty period. These 
vehicles are also subject to the recall provisions of Section 207 of 
the CAA which requires a manufacture to remedy non-conformities if 
the Administrator has determined that a substantial number of any 
class or category of vehicles do not conform to the regulations when 
in actual use throughout their useful life.
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    Available data from IUVP, EPA's in-use surveillance program, and 
manufacturer emission defect information reports support that these 
vehicles can maintain evaporative emission control with long-term E15 
use. The data are robust given the nature of these programs. IUVP, as 
previously described, requires manufacturers to perform exhaust and 
evaporative emissions tests on in-use vehicles, including at high 
mileage, and submit the data to EPA. EPA itself conducts an ongoing 
surveillance program at its Ann Arbor laboratory to assess vehicle 
emissions a few years after vehicles enter customer service. EPA 
typically recruits two- or three-year-old vehicles from vehicle owners 
for this program. These vehicles are chosen for a variety of reasons, 
ranging from issues of past emissions performance to gaining a better 
understanding of how new technologies are working. As for defects, 
manufacturers are required to report

[[Page 4681]]

emission-related defects to EPA. An emission-related defect is a defect 
in design, materials, or workmanship in a device, system, or assembly, 
as described in the approved application for certification.
    Review of the data from these programs indicates there have been no 
detected defects (e.g., leaks from material softening, swelling, or 
cracking) or evaporative test failures attributable to ethanol exposure 
over time for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, notwithstanding 
the long-term and expanding use of E10 across the country. As 
previously mentioned, E10 has been exclusively utilized as gasoline 
fuel in major U.S. cities since as early as 1996. By 2006, many, if not 
most, U.S. major metropolitan areas (for example, those cities 
utilizing reformulated gasoline) were using E10 and close to half of 
the U.S. gasoline market was comprised of E10. Now over 80 percent of 
the U.S. market is E10. For these periods, EPA is unaware of any 
significant problems associated with the use of the fuel in MY2001-2006 
(or newer) light-duty motor vehicles. The lack of any reported problems 
with use of E10, coupled with the large compliance margins of most 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles, indicates that MY2001-2006 
light-duty motor vehicles generally should be able to accommodate E15 
without exceeding evaporative emission standards. Even if a small 
subset of the MY2001-2006 fleet experienced some decrease in 
evaporative emissions control durability on E15, it is unlikely to 
outweigh the evaporative emission benefits resulting from E15's lower 
volatility compared to commercially available E10.
    Several commenters recommended that we wait for the results of the 
CRC E91 ``Evaporative Emissions Durability Testing'' program which is 
studying the impact of E10 and E20 on permeation emissions. The test 
results are expected by the end of 2011. The Agency does not believe it 
is necessary to await the program's results to decide the waiver 
request for MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles. In view of the lack 
of ethanol-related problems documented in our IUVP, in-use 
surveillance, and defect report data and information, and our 
engineering analysis, we expect that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles are likely to have evaporative emission control systems with a 
margin of safety sufficient to generally enable them to operate on E15 
without experiencing long-term deterioration. Any evaporative emission 
standard exceedances that might occur are expected to be small and 
offset by the environmental benefit of the evaporative emission 
benefits of E15 compared to E10.

C. Materials Compatibility

    As explained previously, materials compatibility is a factor in 
considering a waiver request since poor materials compatibility can 
lead to serious exhaust and evaporative emissions compliance problems 
not only immediately upon using the new fuel or fuel additive, but 
especially over time.
1. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    As with the exhaust and evaporative emissions sections above, 
Growth Energy's submission and the information supplied by commenters 
regarding materials compatibility impacts of E15 were not specific to 
the model year of the motor vehicles. For information on Growth 
Energy's submission and public comments on materials compatibility, 
refer to section IV.A.4 for MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles 
and section IV.C.3.d for MY2000 and older light-duty motor vehicles of 
the October Waiver Decision.
2. EPA Analysis and Conclusions
    The Agency has reviewed the studies that have shown generally 
acceptable materials compatibility in newer motor vehicles with ethanol 
up to 10 vol%, but degradation of certain metals, elastomers, plastics, 
and vehicle finishes with higher dosages.\39\ However, most of these 
studies, including the Minnesota Compatibility Study, were on component 
parts using laboratory bench tests rather than durability studies of 
whole vehicle fuel systems simulating real-world vehicle use. In 
addition, there is no way to correlate the results of the study with 
MY2001-2006 motor vehicles. Many different materials were used over the 
years and we do not have data that shows which manufacturers used which 
specific materials at various points in time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ SAE J1297, revised July, 2007, Surface Vehicle Information 
Report, Alternative Fuels.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As the Agency noted in the October Waiver Decision, newer motor 
vehicles, including NLEVs, were designed to encounter more regular 
ethanol exposure compared to earlier model year motor vehicles. The 
Agency believes that the CAP2000 in-use testing and durability 
demonstration requirements as well as the introduction of OBD leak 
detection monitors and enhanced evaporative emission test procedures 
have led manufacturers to design vehicles using materials that will 
continue to function properly with respect to evaporative emissions 
when ethanol blends are used. This includes materials compatible with 
long-term use of ethanol blends, as the standards apply for the useful 
life of the vehicle, and the IUVP test program and the OBD leak 
detection requirement monitor compliance throughout the useful life. As 
discussed in the long-term evaporative emissions section of this 
notice, data from IUVP, EPA's in-use surveillance program, and 
manufacturer emission defect information reports have not detected any 
failures attributable to ethanol up to E10. Based on the Agency's 
engineering judgment and this supplemental information, and the 
generally large evaporative emissions compliance margin for these 
vehicles, EPA does not expect that there will be materials 
compatibility issues with E15 that would cause MY2001-2006 light-duty 
motor vehicles to exceed their evaporative emission standards over 
their FUL. For exhaust emissions, the same kind of information supports 
the same conclusion. In addition, the results of the DOE Catalyst Study 
support this conclusion, as E15 was used for long-term aging of the 
vehicles and the Study did not uncover any emissions deterioration 
problems with E15 in comparison to E0 that would result in materials 
compatibility issues.

D. Driveability and Operability

1. Growth Energy's Submission and Public Comment Summary
    As with the exhaust and evaporative emissions and material 
compatibility sections above, Growth Energy's submission and 
information supplied by commenters regarding driveability and 
operability impacts of E15 were not specific to the model year of the 
motor vehicles. For information on Growth Energy's submission and 
public comments on driveability and operability, refer to section 
IV.A.5 for MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles and IV.C.3.e for 
MY2000 and older light-duty motor vehicles of the October Waiver 
Decision.
2. EPA Analysis and Conclusions
    Our engineering judgment as confirmed by the results of DOE's 
Catalyst Study is that MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles (NLEV and 
some remaining Tier 1 trucks) are similar enough to MY2007 and newer 
Tier 2 motor vehicles in design of the emissions control systems that 
the analysis and conclusions presented in the October Waiver Decision 
apply to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles applies. The Agency's 
review of the data

[[Page 4682]]

and information from the different test programs finds no specific 
reports of driveability, operability or OBD issues across many 
different vehicles and duty cycles including lab testing and in-use 
operation. Thus, while the potential exists for some vehicles more 
sensitive to ethanol to experience driveability or operability issues, 
the frequency is likely not more than what is currently experienced in-
use today. Therefore, the Agency does not anticipate that there will be 
driveability, operability or OBD issues with E15 on properly operated 
and maintained MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles.

E. Conclusions

    As described in the preceding sections, EPA evaluated the potential 
impact of E15 with respect to the four emission-related categories for 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles. Based on results from the DOE 
Catalyst Study and other information, coupled with our engineering 
judgment, EPA believes the evidence supports the conclusion that 
MY2001-2006 light-duty motor vehicles will not exceed their emission 
standards over their FUL when operated on E15. Where there is a 
possibility of such exceedances, the somewhat unique circumstances here 
warrant determining that such a possibility is not significant. 
Therefore, EPA is partially granting the waiver for MY2001-2006 light-
duty motor vehicles.
    The October Waiver Decision granted a partial waiver with respect 
to MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, and today's decision 
grants a partial waiver with respect to MY2001-2006 light-duty motor 
vehicles. The two waiver decisions taken together allow introduction of 
E15 into commerce for use in MY2001 and newer light-duty motor 
vehicles.

V. Legal Issues Arising In This Partial Waiver Decision

    We fully incorporate by reference Section IX of the October Waiver 
Decision into this decision. Section IX, entitled ``Legal Issues 
Arising in This Partial Waiver Decision,'' presents discussion 
regarding legal issues arising from issuing these partial waiver 
decisions. We incorporate that discussion here as our rationale is the 
same for this decision.

VI. Waiver Conditions

    We fully incorporate by reference Section X of the October Waiver 
Decision into this decision. Section X, entitled ``Waiver Conditions,'' 
provides a more detailed explanation regarding the conditions placed on 
these partial waiver decisions. We incorporate that discussion here as 
our rationale is the same for this decision.

VII. Partial Waiver Decision and Conditions

    Based on all the data and information described above and in the 
October Waiver Decision, the waiver request application submitted by 
Growth Energy for its gasoline-ethanol blend with up to 15 vol% ethanol 
is partially and conditionally granted as follows:
    (1) The partial waiver applies only to fuels or fuel additives 
introduced into commerce for use in MY2001 and newer light-duty motor 
vehicles, light-duty trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles 
(hereafter ``MY2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles'') as certified 
under Section 206 of the Act. The waiver does not apply to fuels or 
fuel additives introduced into commerce for use in pre-MY2001 motor 
vehicles, heavy-duty gasoline engines or vehicles, or motorcycles 
certified under section 206 of the Act, or any nonroad engines, nonroad 
vehicles, or motorcycles certified under section 213(a) of the Act.
    (2) The waiver applies to the blending of greater than 10 vol% and 
no more than 15 vol% anhydrous ethanol into gasoline,\40\ and the 
ethanol must meet the specifications for fuel ethanol found in the ASTM 
International specification D4806-10.\41\
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    \40\ Gasoline in this case may be gasoline blendstocks that 
produce gasoline upon the addition of the specified amount of 
ethanol covered by the waiver.
    \41\ ASTM International D4806-10, Standard Specification for 
Denatured Fuel Ethanol for Blending with Gasolines for Use as 
Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) The final fuel must have a Reid Vapor Pressure not in excess of 
9.0 psi during the time period from May 1 to September 15.
    (4) Fuel and fuel additive manufacturers subject to this partial 
waiver must submit to EPA a plan, for EPA's approval, and must fully 
implement that EPA-approved plan, prior to introduction of the fuel or 
fuel additive into commerce as appropriate. The plan must include 
provisions that will implement all reasonable precautions for ensuring 
that the fuel or fuel additive (i.e. gasoline intended for use in E15, 
ethanol intended for use in E15, or final E15 blend) is only introduced 
into commerce for use in MY2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles. 
The plan must be sent to the following address: Director, Compliance 
and Innovative Strategies Division, U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Mail Code 6405J, Washington, DC 
20460.
    Reasonable precautions in a plan must include, but are not limited 
to, the following conditions on this partial waiver:
    (a)(i) Reasonable measures for ensuring that any retail fuel pump 
dispensers that are dispensing a gasoline produced with greater than 10 
vol% ethanol and no more than 15 vol% ethanol are clearly labeled for 
ensuring that consumers do not misfuel the waivered gasoline-ethanol 
blend into vehicles or engines not covered by the waiver. The label 
shall convey the following information:
    (A) The fuel being dispensed contains 15% ethanol maximum;
    (B) The fuel is for use in only MY2001 and newer gasoline cars, 
MY2001 and newer light-duty trucks and all flex-fuel vehicles;
    (C) Federal law prohibits the use of the fuel in other vehicles and 
engines; and
    (D) Using E15 in vehicles and engines not approved for use might 
damage those vehicles and engines.
    (ii) The fuel or fuel additive manufacturer must submit the label 
it intends to use for EPA approval prior to its use on any fuel pump 
dispenser.
    (b) Reasonable measures for ensuring that product transfer 
documents accompanying the shipment of a gasoline produced with greater 
than 10 vol% ethanol and no more than 15 vol% ethanol properly document 
the volume of ethanol.
    (c)(i) Participation in a survey of compliance at fuel retail 
dispensing facilities. The fuel or fuel additive manufacturer must 
submit a statistically sound survey plan to EPA for its approval and 
begin implementing the survey plan prior to the introduction of E15 
into the marketplace. The results of the survey must be provided to 
EPA.\42\ The fuel or fuel additive manufacturer conducting a survey may 
choose from either of the following two options:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on November 4, 
2010 in the Federal Register (see 75 FR 68044), EPA proposed a more 
detailed labeling, product transfer documents, and survey plan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Individual survey option: Conduct a survey of labels and 
ethanol content at retail stations wherever your gasoline, ethanol, or 
ethanol blend may be distributed if it may be blended as E15. The 
survey plan must be approved by EPA prior to conducting the survey 
plan.
    (iii) Nationwide survey option: Contract with an individual survey 
organization to perform a nationwide survey program of sampling and 
testing designed to provide oversight of all retail stations that sell 
gasoline. The

[[Page 4683]]

survey plan must be approved by EPA prior to conducting the survey 
plan.
    (d) Any other reasonable measures EPA determines are appropriate.
    (5) Failure to fully implement any condition of this partial waiver 
means the fuel or fuel additive introduced into commerce is not covered 
by this partial wavier.
    These conditions are the same as those provided in the October 
partial waiver for MY2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles. They 
have been modified here only to reflect the combined model years 
covering MY2001 and newer.
    This partial waiver 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 March 28, 
2011. 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: January 21, 2011.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2011-1646 Filed 1-25-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P