At least two gas stations in Iowa are making the jump to E15. Last week, the EPA agreed to allow refiners to blend more ethanol into gasoline, raising the amount of the corn-based fuel additive from 10 to 15%. A New Century FS station in Vinton started selling E15 today.
Owner Kevin DeGoey says the station is 15 years old. “After about 15 years, things start taking some wear and tear and you have to start looking at replacing some things anyway,” DeGoey said. “The Renewable Fuels (Association) had some grants we could take advantage of if we decided to go with the blender pumps.”
The new E15 blend, for now, is only allowed in 2007 or newer vehicles. Retailers who pump E15 into the wrong vehicle could be fined up to $25,000. DeGoey says he’s counting on the EPA to expand E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles. “So, we’re not real concerned about the E15 side of it…there is some liability there, but we’re a company that’s pushing for renewable fuels and I think that’s the direction we need to head,” DeGoey said.
The president of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, Dawn Carlson, said she’s encouraging retailers who do sell E15 to exercise caution and possibly even place a full-time attendant at the pump. An EPA decision on allowing E15 in vehicles of model year 2001 to 2006 is expected by the end of this year. In addition to the station in Vinton, a gas station in Rock Rapids in northwest Iowa is selling E15.