Proposed octane legislation could create a pathway toward the adoption of higher ethanol blends within the next five years. Fuel site operators need to be sure their fueling systems are ready for it.
A bill has been introduced that will seek to utilize higher octane to reduce carbon emissions by 30%. According to a NACS article, the bill will require model year 2024 and later light-duty vehicles to run on higher octane fuel and carry a warranty that covers the use of up to 30% ethanol (ethanol contributes to octane). If the measure passes, it substantiates a commitment to higher ethanol blends.
The 2015 federal UST regulations stipulate that all UST systems must be compatible with the regulated substances they store. With respect to the requirements and with PEI estimating that many operators will be replacing USTs due to warranty expiration for some 160,000 storage tanks, operators need to prepare fueling equipment to store and dispense future fuels. Here are 3 considerations operators need to be mindful of as they select and install equipment moving forward:
1. Your state’s UST biofuel compatibility requirements may be different than the federal requirements.
If your UST system is located in a state with state program approval, then your requirements may be different (i.e. stricter) than those of the EPA. Consult with your local implementing agency to verify your requirements.
2. UST biofuel compatibility regulations are not inclusive of dispensers.
Nevertheless, dispensers face the same compatibility concerns, and their requirements may be included in other regulations (such as fire codes). Verify this with your local implementing agency.
3. To be compliant, the whole UST system needs to be compatible.
The EPA’s UST System Compatibility With Biofuels booklet reminds operators that while “generally, all new tanks and piping produced today are compatible with blends of up to 100 percent ethanol and biodiesel,” the same cannot be said of ancillary components. To learn more about biofuel compatibility, watch Fuels Market News for our next article.