EPA rule a plus for Midwest ethanol

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule to help reduce costs for blending ethanol into gasoline.

For the first time, Midwest refiners will receive credit toward their carbon monoxide reduction.

The rule makes it easier for oil refiners to use ethanol in cleaner-burning gasoline supplied to the Chicago and Milwaukee areas while continuing to achieve air quality benefits in the reformulated gasoline program.

EPA said it provides flexibility for refiners and helps reduce costs for blending ethanol into gasoline by adjusting the volatile organic compounds standards for ethanol reformulated gasoline, which also should help boost supply.

In March, EPA issued an enforcement discretion for these areas, allowing the adjustment to take place prior to this rule being made final.

The action is specific to Chicago and Milwaukee, because they are the only areas of the country that use ethanol exclusively in reformulated gasoline.

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