In response to concerns expressed by the American Motorcyclist Association and power-equipment manufacturers, the Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps to make sure motorcyclists and ATV riders don’t inadvertently add non-approved E15 fuel to their tanks at gas stations.
In October 2010, the EPA approved the use of E15 (85 percent gasoline, 15 percent ethanol) in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). Then, in January 2011, the EPA added model year 2001-06 light-duty vehicles to the approved list. But E15 is not approved for use in motorcycles, ATVs, boats, lawn mowers, and other small engines, which should use E10 (90 percent gasoline, 10 percent ethanol).
Some retailers sell E10 and E15 through blender pumps, which dispense both fuels through the same hose. As much as a third of a gallon of E15 can remain in the hose and contaminate a subsequent E10 purchase. So the EPA has decided that retailers who sell both E10 and E15 through blender pumps must also have a separate E10 pump.
The EPA had previously tried to deal with the problem by requiring a minimum four-gallon purchase from blender pumps to dilute the residual E15 left in the hose from a previous sale. But the AMA and lawn mower manufacturers objected to the approach because many of their products have gas tanks that hold two gallons or less.