E15 study bill passes House committee

Published online: Feb 13, 2012 News Boating Industry
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WASHINGTON - A House committee voted this week to approve a fund for a "comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends, and for other purposes."

The resolution called for multiple governmental groups to work together, including the EPA and National Academy of Sciences, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications associated with the use of gasoline blends with higher than 10-percent volume of ethanol.

The assessment requested in the bill would provide a broad view of the impact of ethanol and E15 across a variety of industries and equipment, from potential damage to existing fueling infrastructure at gas stations and other pumps and storage, to ways of reducing the risk of pump misfueling at storage and retail locations.

The study would also examine the best methods and practices to prevent misfueling, or fueling with E15 in a boat or other motor equipment not able to handle it, and provide recommendations to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other standards associations regarding fuel pump labeling.

A total of 31 organizations have come out in support of the House bill that would require the EPA to work with the Academy of Sciences on the study, including two marine industry groups, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Boat Owners Association of the United States.

In a letter sent on Feb. 6, the groups urged the House committee to pass the bill which would necessitate funding and study before E15 could be introduced to the marketplace.

H.R. 3199 has to go before the House and Senate for final approval, but Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who introduced the legislation, said he is determined to make sure that the right decision is made.

"Every American who owns a car, boat, or lawnmower will be impacted, so when it comes to decisions about our fuel, we need to make sure and get the science right," Sensenbrenner said in a statement.

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