Environmental Protection Agency Postpones Ethanol Mandate

Boaters and small-engine-industry groups are worried their concerns about engine damage will be overlooked as the Environmental Protection Agency considers allowing as much as 15% ethanol in the nation’s gasoline. In theory the introduction of additional ethanol “may” reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Boaters have been complaining about problems since the 10% ethanol was introduced into gasoline used in marine engines. Ethanol, a solvent, dissolves gunk in fuel tanks and engines which can clog fuel lines and carburetors. In addition, the blended fuel seems to separate if stored for long periods of times as boats sometimes are.

The executive director of the Hudson River Sailing School in Manhattan says that having ethanol in the fuel “was a disaster for us.” The school purchased six new outboard engines last year and continually have experienced fuel line and carburetor problems. They are still experiencing problems in 2009 as they are having trouble keeping all the engines working at one time.

In light of the many complaints from boaters, small engine manufacturers, oil companies and vehicle companies the EPA has postponed the final decision until next year.  In an email statement the EPA said it would look at all data submitted to it for both on-road and nonroad sources, and that testing smaller engines, such as marine outboards, was being discussed.

For the full Wall Street Journal article go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704825504574580291347674418.html


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Filed under Boat Maintenance, Boat Operation, The Boating Environment

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