Maricopa County Can Now Use E85

April 12, 2006

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed House Bill (HB) 2590 on April 11 that allows the sale of ethanol E85 in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Previously, Arizona had rules in place that prevented sale and distribution of ethanol in Maricopa County as part of the effort to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles. The rules date back to 1997 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared the county in nonattainment for carbon monoxide and ozone pollution.

The new law amends the state's regulations to include E85—a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% conventional gasoline—that meets ASTM D5798-99 specifications. Furthermore, state vehicles and school buses that run on E85 will now be counted toward the state's goals for alternative fuel vehicles. Read HB-2590.

The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) in Jefferson City, Missouri, had provided the Arizona Legislature with emission testing data and other information in an effort to modify the state's clean air rules. NEVC Executive Director Phil Lampert said, "This barrier has prohibited E85 advocates to establish the much needed E85 infrastructure in Maricopa County." The Arizona Senate publishes background materials about ethanol fuel, emissions, and HB-2590.