NPRA, other groups ask EPA for more ethanol tests

Nick Snow
Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 22 -- Fourteen organizations, including the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, called on Dec. 18 for "unbiased and comprehensive testing" before the US Environmental Protection Agency permits the use of mid-level ethanol blends in engines.

Other groups included the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, American Lung Association, Engine Manufacturers Association, and Motorcycle Industry Council.

Calling themselves an informal coalition, the groups expressed concern about air quality, engine compatibility, and safety.

"There has not been sufficient testing of motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines to justify a determination that any mid-level ethanol blend would meet the requirements," they said in a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

The test results that exist suggest mid-level ethanol blends might be incompatible with current motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines, might cause emission control devices or systems to fail, might defeat engines' safety features, and might lead to significantly higher emissions over the engines' useful life, they continued.

"Collectively, our organizations strongly believe that this issue should not be part of the rulemaking proposal for the revised Renewable Fuel Standard under the [2007 Energy Independence and Security Act]. The mid-level ethanol blend issue should be discussed at length, but the vehicle should be a separate advance notice of proposed rulemaking," said the groups.

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