[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 13 (Friday, January 20, 2012)]
[Pages 2979-2981]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-1073]




Regulation of Fuel and Fuel Additives: Modification to Octamix 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: On February 1, 1988, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
conditionally granted a waiver requested by the Texas Methanol 
Corporation (Texas Methanol) for a gasoline-alcohol fuel, pursuant to 
section 211(f) of the Clean Air Act.\1\ A minor correction was made on 
May 12, 1988.\2\ A modification to the original conditions was made on 
October 21, 1988.\3\ Baker Hughes submitted a request to modify the 
waiver. The new request seeks approval on an alternative corrosion 
inhibitor, TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A, to be used within Texas Methanol's 
gasoline-alcohol fuel, also known as OCTAMIX. EPA considers this to be 
a request for modification of the waiver under 211(f) of the Clean Air 
Act (Act).

    \1\ 53 FR 3636, February 8, 1988.
    \2\ 53 FR 17977, May 19, 1988.
    \3\ 53 FR 43768, October 28, 1988.

DATES: Comments or a request for a public hearing must be received on 
or before February 21, 2012. EPA does not plan to hold a public hearing 
on this notice, unless one is requested. If requested by February 6, 
2012, a public hearing will be held. If such a hearing is held, 
comments must be received within 90 days after the date of such 

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-
OAR-2011-0894, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: (202) 566-9744.
     Mail: EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894, Environmental Protection 
Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 
     Hand Delivery: EPA Headquarters Library, Room 3334, EPA 
West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-

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2011-0894. EPA's policy is that all comments will be included in the 
public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed 
to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information 
that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through 
www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an 
``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without 
going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses. For additional instructions on submitting 
comments, go to Unit 1.B of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this document: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Docket, EPA 
Headquarters Library, Mail Code: 2822T, EPA West Building, 1301 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open 
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 
The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1742, and 
the facsimile number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-9744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding this 
proposal contact, Joseph R. Sopata, U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air 
Quality, (202) 343-9034.


I. Background

    Section 211(f)(1) of the Clean Air Act (``CAA'' or ``the Act'') 
makes it unlawful for any manufacturer of any fuel or fuel additive to 
first introduce into commerce, or to increase the concentration in use 
of, any fuel or fuel additive for use by any person in motor vehicles 
manufactured after model year 1974, which is not substantially similar 
to any fuel or fuel additive utilized in the certification of any model 
year 1975, or subsequent model year, vehicle or engine under section 
206 of the Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (``EPA'' or ``the 
Agency'') last issued an interpretive rule on the phrase 
``substantially similar'' at 73 FR 22281 (April 25, 2008). Generally 
speaking, this interpretive rule describes the types of unleaded 
gasoline that are likely to be considered ``substantially similar'' to 
the unleaded gasoline utilized in EPA's certification program by 
placing limits on a gasoline's chemical composition as well as its 
physical properties, including the amount of alcohols and ethers 
(oxygenates) that may be added to gasoline. Fuels that are found to be 
``substantially similar'' to EPA's certification fuels may be 
registered and introduced into commerce. The current ``substantially 
similar'' interpretive rule for unleaded gasoline allows oxygen content 
up to 2.7 weight for certain ethers and alcohols.
    Section 211(f)(4) of the Act provides that upon application of any 
fuel or fuel additive manufacturer, the Administrator may waive the 
prohibitions of section 211(f)(1) if the Administrator determines that 
the applicant has established that the fuel or fuel additive, or a 
specified concentration thereof, will not cause or contribute to a 
failure of any emission control device or system (over the useful life 
of the motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, nonroad engine or nonroad 
vehicle in which such device or system is used) to achieve compliance 
by the vehicle or engine with the emission standards to which it has 
been certified pursuant to sections 206 and 213(a) of the Act. The 
statute requires that the Administrator shall take final action to 
grant or deny an application after public notice and comment, within 
270 days of receipt of the application.
    The Texas Methanol Corporation received a waiver under CAA section 
211(f)(4) for a gasoline-alcohol fuel blend, known as OCTAMIX,\4\ 
provided that the resultant fuel is composed of a maximum of 3.7 
percent by weight fuel oxygen, a maximum of 5 percent by volume 
methanol, a minimum of 2.5 percent by volume co-solvents \5\ and 42.7 
milligrams per liter (mg/l) of Petrolite TOLAD MFA-10 corrosion 
inhibitor.\6\ In the OCTAMIX waiver, the Agency invited other corrosion 
inhibitor manufacturers to submit test data to establish, on a case-by-
case basis, whether their fuel additive formulations are acceptable as 
alternatives to TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10.\7\ The physical properties of 
TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A are shown in EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0002.

    \4\ OCTAMIX decision, 53 FR 3636 (February 8, 1988).
    \5\ The co-solvents are any one or a mixture of ethanol, 
propanols, butanols, pentanols, hexanols, heptanols and octanols 
with the following constraints; the ethanol, propanols and butanols 
or mixtures thereof must compose a minimum of 60 percent by weight 
of the co-solvent mixture; a maximum limit of 40 percent by weight 
of the co-solvents mixture is placed on the pentanols, hexanols, 
heptanols and octanols; and the heptanols and octanols are limited 
to 5 percent by weight of the co-solvent mixture.
    \6\ Additional conditions were the final fuel must meet ASTM 
volatility specifications contained in ASTM D439-85a, as well as 
phase separation conditions specified in ASTM D-2 Proposal P-176 and 
Texas Methanol alcohol purity specifications.
    \7\ 53 FR at 3637.

II. Today's Announcement

    On October 14, 2011, Baker Hughes requested EPA allow the use of 
its alternative corrosion inhibitor, TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A, in the OCTAMIX 
gasoline-alcohol fuel blend which otherwise would not be allowed under 
the waiver.\8\ TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A is a fuel additive formulation 
consisting of a corrosion inhibitor.

    \8\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0894-0001.

    One of the major areas of concern to EPA in reviewing any waiver 
request is the problem of materials compatibility. Materials 
compatibility data could show a potential failure of fuel systems, 
emissions related parts and emission control parts from use of the fuel 
or fuel additive. Any failure could result in greater emissions that 
would cause or contribute to the engines or vehicles exceeding their 
emissions standards. Initially, Texas Methanol requested the use of 
TOLAD MFA-10 or an appropriate concentration of any other corrosion 
inhibitor such that the fuel will pass the National Association of 
Corrosion Engineer's TM-01-72 (NACE RUST TEST). However, EPA concluded 
that compliance with the NACE Rust Test alone was not adequate in 
determining suitability of a corrosion inhibitor for use under the 

[[Page 2981]]

waiver.\9\ The Agency decided, therefore, to look at corrosion 
inhibitors on a case-by-case basis to establish whether each 
formulation would be acceptable as an alternative to the formulation of 
the original corrosion inhibitor used in the OCTAMIX waiver.\10\

    \9\ 53 FR at 3637
    \10\ 53 FR at 3637.

    Therefore, pursuant to section 211(f)(4), EPA will examine the data 
submitted by Baker Hughes, along with all comments received from 
interested parties, to determine whether use of the corrosion 
inhibitor, TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A, in place of the original corrosion 
inhibitor TOLAD MFA-10, would cause or contribute to vehicles or 
engines failing to meet their emissions standards when using OCTAMIX. 
If use of TXCeed does not cause or contribute to such failures, EPA 
will modify the OCTAMIX waiver to allow the use of TOLAD\TM\ MFA-10A as 
an alternative corrosion inhibitor to TOLAD MFA-10.

    Dated: January 13, 2012.
Gina McCarthy,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 2012-1073 Filed 1-19-12; 8:45 am]