EPA Officials Mandate That Consumers Buy At Least 4 Gallons Of Gasoline When Filling Up With Certain Ethanol-Blend Pumps

On August 1, 2012 the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) received a letter from EPA responding to AMA concerns that E15 — a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume – could be put in motorcycle and ATV fuel tanks inadvertently when consumers use blender pumps. A blender pump dispenses different fuel blends through the same hose. The vast majority of motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use today are not designed to operate on E15 fuel. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require all consumers to buy at least four gallons of gasoline from certain gas pumps after the new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend is introduced into the market,

“With E15 gasoline, our members who make a concerted effort to fuel their motorcycles or ATVs with E10-or-less gasoline may be unknowingly refueling with residual fuel left in the hose,” Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, wrote in a June 20 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

“Unlike an automobile or SUV with a large fuel tank, the residual fuel left in a fueling hose could be detrimental to the performance of motorcycle or ATV engines due to the small size of their fuel tanks and the higher concentration of ethanol that would, therefore, be present in the fuel,” Allard wrote. “In addition, the use of E15 will lower fuel efficiency and possibly cause premature engine failure,” he wrote. “Use of E15 fuel voids many manufacturer warranties. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users.”

Byron Bunker of the EPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, responded to the AMA: “EPA requires that retail stations that own or operate blender pumps either dispense E15 from a dedicated hose and nozzle if able or, in the case of E15 and E10 being dispensed from the same hose, require that at least four gallons of fuel be purchased to prevent vehicles and engines with smaller fuel tanks from being exposed to gasoline-ethanol blended fuels containing greater than 10 volume percent ethanol,” Bunker wrote. “Additionally, EPA is requiring that retail stations that offer E10 and E15 from the same hose and nozzle use additional labeling to inform consumers about the minimum purchase requirement,” Bunker wrote.

The problem with the new EPA policy is that not all motorcycle and ATV gas tanks hold four or more gallons! The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and ATV engines caused by the inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available, and has asked that motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study into the effects of E15. In October 2010, the EPA approved the use of E15 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 2001-2006 light-duty vehicles to the approved list. Riders should pay attention to this list because no motorcycles or ATVs are currently listed.

AMA encourages riders to contact their senators and representatives. urging the EPA to come up with a better solution and to back an independent study to determine whether E15 is safe for motorcycle and ATV engines. A prewritten email that you can personalize is available at American Motorcyclist Association.

34 Responses to “EPA Officials Mandate That Consumers Buy At Least 4 Gallons Of Gasoline When Filling Up With Certain Ethanol-Blend Pumps”

  1. 1 BrotherTiberius Aug 14th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    The government can’t mandate you to buy anything, they can only do that by declaring it a “tax” (see generally the brooh-ha-ha regarding the Afordable Care Act that the Supreme Court decided in June.)

    The solution here is to redesign the pumps to drain that undischarged fuel back to the storage tanks. The government, through the EPA and Energy Department, could mandate that through regulation.

    At least, that’s the way this country lawyer sees it…

  2. 2 Irish Rose Aug 14th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I just passed this article to a friend of mine that does a lot of trail riding with his son. On the one hand, I can understand the why behind the mandate. However, I do have a conspiracy theory about this. I have to wonder if it’s an attempt at a money-grab from suppliers.

  3. 3 Paul Aug 14th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    IMHO…The EPA is getting more and more out of line with this type of b.s..They need to be scaled way back. Everyday a new regulation ,most of which are killing small buisness

  4. 4 CafeSportyTC Aug 14th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    if e-10 has already been hell on my CV’s, Webers and dell’orto’s than i cant wait to see what kind of hell this wreaks on my cars and bikes with e-15…^%$^% fantastic…

  5. 5 Mike Greenwald Aug 14th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Welcome to regulation and law enforcement from the EPA. In my opinion, motorcyclists and the coal industry should form a strong alliance to stop the overreach of the EPA.

  6. 6 Kroeter Aug 14th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    The joke about this is that this helps the farmers. But the old farmer with his 10 cows, five pigs, and 200 acres is long gone, squeezed out or bought out of the game. Now it’s about large farming corporations who are in the pockets of the legislators. Long-term testing may reveal that this is not a good idea, so why wait and lose out on those millions? Slam it through now.

  7. 7 Lightnin'Larry Aug 14th, 2012 at 11:38 am


  8. 8 Mike Greenwald Aug 14th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Motorcyclists and coal miners have a common enemy in the EPA.

  9. 9 Jack Aug 14th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Too bad Kroeter doesn’t know anything about farm operations.

    How much gas is actually in that hose and how would it throw the Ethanol balance out of whack? Seems to me that it shouldn’t be enough to get so many panties in a bunch.

  10. 10 Nicholas Hollis Aug 14th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    This Executive Branch “Putsch”- engineered by the ADM-led biofuels crowd has been rammed through via eleventh hour legislative “compromises and add-ons” in Congress – and implemented by EPA over a series of both Republican and Democratic Administrations. In virtually every decision-making cross-roads, EPA has been pressured by USDA (and Department of Energy) and/or ordered by the White House to tilt in favor of Big Ethanol. The public has been hoodwinked and kept in the dark at most of these junctures– so don’t blame EPA or the corn farmers for this impending train wreck in our Nation’s agro-food system.

  11. 11 richard Aug 14th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I read this differently. The EPA is trying to protect those of us with less than 4 gallon tanks because the ratio of ethanol , left over in the gas pump line may cause us who ride MCs engine damage. The culprit here is the corn growers/association that want to increase ethanol to increase their market and profit margin.

  12. 12 Blackmax Aug 14th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Sounds fishy to me ????/
    Who’s going to pay for all the motorcycles, ATV’s, etc, etc ruined by those few drops of this stuff
    that gets into your tank from every fill up. And good grief, if you fill up with the wrong stuff from a duo gas pump. The warranties are VOIDED if this stuff gets into your tank.
    It all sounds like crap to me

  13. 13 Mike Greenwald Aug 14th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Without subsidy from the federal government, your fuel cost would be 5 to 6you times what you are currently paying for fuel.

  14. 14 Paul Aug 14th, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Yeah!!!! I’m with the gov’t and I’m here to help.lmao.

  15. 15 Peter Aug 14th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    The EPA is not acting in the consumers best interests. Once again we have a massive bureaucracy getting its marching orders to increase corporate profits and interests above consumers. Everyday these faceless nameless bureaucrats make up new rules in secret for profit. The CIA all day long smuggles planeloads of coke, The ATF sells Mexican drug lords assault weapons, Gasoline prices are manipulated to gouge consumers, wars are maintained for no good reason. The corruption is now complete.

  16. 16 Trail Boss Aug 15th, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I’m fed up with over regulation, federal power grabs, federal subsidies and the like.

  17. 17 ROB Aug 15th, 2012 at 7:25 am

    That is why we run 100LL airplane fuel in our bikes and off road equipment. Never goes bad gives me more power and at $5.15 a gallon I think it is worth every penny. As far as the EPA they are working to kill the small manufactures 1 bill at a time. This is the number 1 reason for companies to re-locate to other countries. Cost of manufacturing in our industry has doubled in the last 5 years.

  18. 18 Bill Kniegge Aug 15th, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Cyril…This is just an fyi…
    A colleague of mine is one of the most respected techs for Porsche Cars in the Eastern USA… and an avid biker as well.
    In disucssing the ethanol situation he suggested that the use of Startron http://mystarbrite.com/startron//content/view/93/123/lang,en/ is an excellent additive to rid the fuel of ethanol issues. They had similar issues with Porsche products and tested it extensively…

    I have nothing to do with Startron co. but believe it is a short term fix until we get the corn on the table instead of in our fuel!

    Bill KNiegge

  19. 19 Zyon Aug 15th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    So I need to top off before going on a trip and only dump 3 1/2 gallons into my truck…. wonder what’s going to happen to me? Get a fine in the mail? My credit card gets billed for the full 4 gallons regardless?

  20. 20 burnout Aug 15th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Where is common sense when we need it? peace

  21. 21 Woody Aug 15th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I’m thinking if the only breaks the oil industries got were the same as any other business AND we dropped the various taxes, silly regulations and mandates, fuel would would not cost 5-6 times as much as it does now.

  22. 22 kam Aug 15th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Half the corn now produced goes to fuel food prices have increased. But wait the government is here to help us by creating a market for corn to raise our food prices give us worse gas mileage and use more water and electric to produce ethanol. Thanks for your help?

    I know some of you voted for change but mine is going in the pump and for food. Thank goodness there is an election in a few months to get us back on track.

    United we stand divided we fall. Our country has been divided for the last four years!

  23. 23 Ryan Aug 15th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Kam. Right!?! With the republicans obstructing Obama without any reason other than to make him fail to get a chance to be elected. Republicans see only their interest, not the one of our country. Re-elect Obama. Romney has no idea and no program and understand nothing about foreign policy. Tax returns, please?

  24. 24 jim Aug 15th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks for your display of ignorance!!!!!!!!

  25. 25 Rodent Aug 15th, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    These A-holes are public employees, we is the public and they work for us.FIRE ‘EM!

  26. 26 kam Aug 16th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Obviously you are one of the sheep that elected this whack job into office. Wake up and look at what he has done to this country. He will go down in history as the biggest disgrace we have ever known.

    I don’t mean to insult your choice, I just wanted to tell you get off mys side.

  27. 27 John Rezneck Aug 16th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Jim & Kam. Disagree. Obama did a fabulous job in foreign policy. Here, he did great things and could have done much more without republicans’ opposition and daily caricature of his efforts to improve our country. You would have preferred McCain/Palin? LOL. I bet Obama is going to be re-elected because most people are not stupid. Nobody could have done a better job. It’s a worldwide crisis. BTW, stock market (S&P 500) is up 74% since he was elected. Republicans’ support is mainly from red necks or not far who believe GOP lies. Romney has no program, refuses to answer specifically on any important topic. See you in November…

  28. 28 kam Aug 16th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Have you also notice more people than ever in history are on food stamps. The debt is at a record high. Gas prices are at record highs. Inflation is rampant. Health care is going to bring socialism even faster. I too want utopia, but I have a secret Unicorns are not real! Stop quoting the media and read what is truly happening.

    I realize it is hard to accept the reality that the two party system is broken and we do not have a leader in the white house. It saddens me america is divided and it shows here.

    We may not agree on politics and that the system is broken, but I hope we both agree that we all ride hard until it is over.

  29. 29 Mike Greenwald Aug 17th, 2012 at 12:37 am

    John Rezneck,

    Let’s continue to tell your truth. The only way that the market showed an increase was after the fed devalued the dollar was through devaluation of the dollar by over printing currency based upon increased federal deficit spending and federal manipulation of the market. In reality, the market value has been diminished and the illusion of health comes from high numbers. There has been a shell game going on for more than one hundred years.

    It is not raining, you’re pissing on your own boots.


  30. 30 Woody Aug 17th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    @ cam actually “only” 40% of our corn goes for fuel, but that’s been enough to help corn go from $2/bushel not that long ago to around $8 now. Nothing like burning food food for fuel to make what’s left cost more, especially when there’s a drought. Add to that we now have approx 110 million people (about 1/3 the country) getting some kind of assistance so it’s getting harder to win elections running on any political platform that involves work. Sigh, gotta get back to work now, I have $110 million people depending on me for money they didn’t earn from the “business I didn’t create”.

  31. 31 Keith Brinton Aug 18th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    this is just one more example of your government sticking to us all. This bullshit was pushed on us as a way to keep the enviroment safe and healthy but where do you all think these harmful chemicals come from? Do you think it all is imported from another planet? News flash the earth produces every chemical know to man, we dont go to mars to get any of it. So if the earth produced it all then explain to me how the earth is being destroyed by the very chemicals it produces in the first place. People in this country are so gulible we believe anything we see or hear on TV. The government tells us we have a global warming issue yet last winter the polar ice cap froze down further than it had in recorded history. The oil spill in the gulf last year was going to kill all fish and plant life yet the fish are fine. WHY? because it is all a scam to get your money. Truth is more oil seeps out of the ocean floor every day than was spilled in the gulf. Dont believe me than walk the beaches i santa barbara california. There is always tar on the beaches because it seeps out of the ocean floor. So if this oil will hurt us than why did they let it run free for so long? So you would pay more at the pumps. We have more oil on US soil than any other country, in fact if all that oil was allowed to be pumped out we would be paying pennies per gallon not dollars. This is just like the Diamond industry. Did you all know that there are already more Diamonds mined cut and pollished and warehoused than the world will buy for the next 500 years, if all those diamonds were released the cost for a diamond would be about the same as buying a bag of sand, but the people that own all those diamond mines and pollishing companies will only release a few at a time because it keeps the price up. Same thing with oil if we allowed all the oil to be pumped and used then the price would crash. That is why the oil companies pay millions of dollars each year to ensure our elected officials will not allow all those oil wells and reserved to be used. If the government was not being lobbied by every crooked business owner in the world to give them more profit we would all be living better. Truth be told this country is going to shit and it has nothing to do with our enviroment. It is all about who pays our elected officials to place laws in effect that help these companies rape us of our hard earned dollars. Funny how people say that the government in mexico and other countries are corrupt but at least if you go to mexico you already know they are going to screw you, here in the USA people think there safe. But we are all being lied to and cheated every single day. Lobbying is just a pleasant way of saying the politicians are being bought. Taking money for a vote should be treason. And should be a death sentence. And Obama is at the front of the line collecting as much as he can. Just watch after he is out of office how much money he has. He came into this presidentcy with less than 5 million net worth I bet it will be 100 times that in just 4 short years. Most of which will be givin to him by the insurance companies for shoving there health plan on all of us. If you are old enough you can remember a time when car insurance was optional as soon as it was mandated by the government the prices went up they was supposed to be less because every one would be paying but just the opisite happened and so will the cost of health insurance. You will be paying more if Obama gets his way, The politicians are all out of control and we are the ones that will pay the price in the end. That is if your amoung the 60% that actually work. If your in the 40% of all americans that is collecting some sort of government assistance your probably smiling about now.

  32. 32 Lowell Anderson Aug 20th, 2012 at 9:09 am

    It takes more energy to produce Ethanol than it can provide. It’s horrible on you vehicle because of it’s ability to bring water into your engine, but the goverment mandates it so they can make money off it’s production.. It is that simple.
    The EPA is big business and make their own laws and regulations. Pressure your state representatives to fight these unfounded regulations and stop the EPA and its money making mandates!

  33. 33 Lugnut Aug 20th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    To Mr. Rezneck:

    The “fine” job done by Mr. Obama is vivdly on display in the denial of a missile defense system yo Poland, the Libyan “lead from behind” fiasco, the Syrian massacres where the “its not my job” President hides behind Hillary, his forcing the Israeli Prime Minister out the back door, and on and on. Yeah – see you in November.

    In the meantime, do something about that rectal cranial inversion you seem to be suffering from.

    And the EPA sucks. And they are your new masters.


    The hunt is on.

  34. 34 John Rezneck Aug 20th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Lugnut. You have a nut loose.

    “The denial of a missile defense system to Poland” Right decision. There is already a missile defense system in place in Europe.

    “The Libyan “lead from behind” fiasco” You’re crazy, it’s considered, including by the republicans, a complete success. See the result!

    “The Syrian massacres where the “its not my job” You are misinformed. Obama authorized the CIA to provide intelligence on the ground to help the “rebels” To put troops on the ground will create huge tension with Russia & China. Before Christmas the Syrian President will be gone. Another Obama smart way to handle this tragedy without having Americans killed..

    “President hides behind Hillary” Doesn’t make any sense. He calls the shots, she executes.

    Yes, Obama deserves to be elected.

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Cyril Huze