E15 sales won’t have to take a break in S.D.

Source: By Bob Mercer, KELO • Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Here’s some welcome news for drivers and corn farmers.

The ethanol-blend known as E15 can keep flowing without interruption at gas pumps throughout South Dakota.

That’s because the state Department of Public Safety recently passed an emergency rule.

It says ethanol can flow into South Dakota on or after September 16.

An emergency rule can last up to 90 days.

That’s more than enough to cover what would have been a two-week gap through September 30 for E15.

The emergency rule came after the federal Environmental Protection Agency made good on President Donald Trump’s promise to US farmers.

On May 31 the Trump administration lifted the Obama administration’s ban against E15 sales in the summer months because of smog.

The South Dakota department already had rules allowing E15 starting October 1.

Jenna Howell, the chief lawyer for the department, and several lobbyists delivered a courtesy briefing Monday to the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee.

The panel doesn’t have authority to review emergency rules adopted by state agencies.

Other witnesses included:

Steve Willard, a Pierre lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute;

A representative for Magellan pipeline that provides more than 55 percent of the liquid fuel products to South Dakota; and

Dawna Leitzke, executive director for the South Dakota Petroleum and Propane Marketers Association.

Howell spoke with KELOLAND after the meeting.

“For the consumers, the effect is there is simply no disruption of supply in South Dakota for the break between when the federal waiver expires later this month and when our rules become permanent,” Howell said.

“And for our suppliers and our industry it just helps to ensure that E15 can flow into our state, as well as any other ethanol blend, year-round.”