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EPA approves E15 usage

Wednesday, April 11, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matt Gruhn
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently approved usage of an ethanol blend of up to 15 percent in gasoline. This gasoline blend is approved for automobiles but not on boats.

The problem with this is that many consumers will fuel their vehicles and boats at the same pumps. It is clearly a decision that will confuse many. The EPA must proceed through several more steps before the E15 blend will appear at the pump, including state approval and structural changes to gas stations to ensure tanks are compatible with the new blend formula.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology approved a bill, H.R. 3199, on February 7 by a vote of 19 Yes to 7 No that would require a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol. Specifically, the bill recommends that the assessment compare mid-level ethanol blends of 15 to 20 percent to gasoline with blends of 0 to 10 percent. It would require an evaluation of the environment, safety, durability, and performance effects of mid-level blends on on-road, non-road, and marine engines, on-road and non-road vehicles, and related equipment.

In addition, the National Marine Manufacturers Association continues with its law suit in the D.C. Circuit Court, which challenges the EPA action. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 17.