POPULATION (2015): 7,170,351




Maximum E85 use:258 Million GPY
FFVs in use:464,029
E85 stations:2
Flex Station implied demand:+128
Maximum E15 use:2.2 Billion GPY
EPA approved E15 vehicles:4,923,413
E15 Station implied demand:+1,576

Fuel specifications



Reid Vapor Pressure:

Retailers across the state use 9.0 psi RVP gasoline from June 1-September 15.

Contact information for key state regulatory agencies

Office of Weights and Measures, 360-902-1856

State Laws & Incentives

Biofuel Blend Dispenser Labeling Requirement
Pumps dispensing ethanol or biodiesel blends must have a label that specifies the percentage of ethanol or biodiesel present in the fuel. Ethanol pumps distributing between 1% and 10% must include a label stating that the fuel "contains up to 10% ethanol" and those distributing blends greater than 10% must be labeled with the capital letter E, followed by the numerical value volume of ethanol and the word "ethanol." Pumps dispensing biodiesel blends of 5% (B5) or less must include a label stating that the fuel "may contain up to five percent biodiesel" and those distributing blends greater than 5% must be labeled with the capital letter B, followed by the numerical value volume of biodiesel and the words "biodiesel" or "biodiesel blend." (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.020, and Washington Administrative Code 16-662-115)

Biofuel Quality Program
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Biofuels Quality Program tests and assesses biofuel quality and quantity to resolve any quality issues before the product reaches the consumer. WSDA samples biofuel throughout the state, monitors and tracks the quality of biofuel, and works with producers and manufacturers to help supply the highest biofuel quality fuel available to consumers. The goal of the program is to create equity in the biofuel marketplace for refiners, suppliers, distributors, and retailers, and protect consumers. For more information, see the WSDA Biofuels Quality Program website. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 19.112.005 to 119.112.080)

E85 Definition
E85 motor fuel is defined as an alternative fuel that is a blend of ethanol and hydrocarbon, of which the ethanol portion is 75-85% denatured fuel ethanol by volume and complies with the most current ASTM specification D5798. (Reference Revised Code of Washington19.112.010)

Alternative Fuel Use Requirement
All state agencies must, to the extent practicable, use 100% biofuels or electricity to operate all publicly owned vehicles. Agencies may substitute natural gas or propane for electricity or biofuel if the Washington State Department of Commerce (Department) determines that electricity and biofuel are not reasonably available. Practicability and measures of compliance are defined in rules adopted by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

In addition, effective June 1, 2018, all local government agencies must, to the extent practicable, use 100% biofuels or electricity to operate all publicly owned vehicles. The Department must define practicability and measures of compliance for local governments through a rulemaking. Transit agencies using compressed natural gas (CNG) and engine retrofits that would void vehicle warranties are exempt from this requirement. To allow the motor vehicle fuel needs of state and local government to be satisfied by Washington-produced biofuels, the Washington Department of Enterprise Services and local governments may contract in advance and execute contracts with public or private producers and suppliers for the purchase of appropriate biofuels. Agencies may substitute natural gas or propane in vehicles if the Department determines that biofuels and electricity are not reasonably available.

(Reference Washington Administrative Code 194-28 and Revised Code of Washington43.19.647 and 43.19.648)

Biofuels Production and Distribution Contracts
Conservation districts, public development authorities, municipal utilities, and public utility districts may enter into crop purchase contracts to produce, sell, and distribute biodiesel produced from Washington feedstocks, cellulosic ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol blended fuels for utility and public use. Additionally, municipal utilities and public utility districts may produce and distribute biodiesel, ethanol, and ethanol blended fuels. (Reference Revised Code of Washington 35.21.465, 35.92.440, 54.04.190, and 89.08.570)

State Emissions Reductions Requirements
Washington state must limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the following reductions:

  • By 2020, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 1990 levels;
  • By 2035, reduce overall GHG emissions in the state to 25% below 1990 levels; and
  • By 2050, reduce overall emissions to 50% below 1990 levels or 70% below the state's expected emissions that year.

Every other year, the Washington Departments of Ecology and Commerce must report to the governor and legislature on the total GHG emissions in the state for the previous two years. To reach these goals, the state will ensure that vehicles sold in the state meet stringent emissions standards; work with farmers, entrepreneurs, fuel distributors, and retailers to ensure that biofuel feedstocks are grown in Washington; ensure that refiners, blenders, and distributors of biofuels create jobs in the state; and strive to make it possible for the public to purchase fuel blends that reduce dependence on imported oil. For more information, see the Washington Department of Ecology's State Agency Climate Leadershipwebsite.

(Reference Revised Code of Washington 70.235.020 and Executive Order(PDF) 07-02, 2007)

Federal Incentives

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit
(Originally expired 12/31/13 - retroactively extended through 12/31/16, by H.R. 2029) Fueling equipment for E85 installed between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Station owners with multiple locations can use the credit towards each site. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911.

Ethanol Infrastructure Grants and Loan Guarantees
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loan guarantees to rural (population less than 50K) small businesses to purchase renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Eligible renewable energy systems include equipment used to distribute flexible fuels. The maximum grant funding is 25% of project costs and the maximum loan guarantee is $25 million. The program is funded through fiscal year 2018 but is subject to congressional appropriations thereafter. For more information, see the REAP website.

Point of Contact
Office of Rural Development, Business and Cooperative Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Phone: (202) 690-4730

Ethanol plant direct E85/ethanol sales

Click here for a complete list of domestic ethanol producers and sales contacts for E85/direct ethanol sales

E15/Flex Fuel Profit Estimate
Average Retailer:
New gallons/$$/Mo E15 & Flex: 21,400 $3,600
New Customers/Mo:+2,376 
Additional Merch. Margin from above:$6,900
RINs not applied to reduce price:$1,000
Top Performing Retailer:
New gallons/$$/Mo E15 & Flex:50,700$8,400
New Customers/Mo:+5,634 
Additional Merch. Margin from above:$16,400
RINs not applied to reduce price:$2,900

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a roadmap for ethanol

You’re thinking about adding or switching to a new fuel grade on your product slate, and you’ve considered premium and diesel, because those are the fuels all station owners consider. But today, the market is different, and you’re curious about what E15, E85, and other flex fuels could do for your business. Good move.

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