NPRA, 13 other groups ask EPA for more mid-level ethanol blend tests

Fourteen organizations ranging from NPRA to the Sierra Club asked EPA on Dec. 18 for more tests before permitting the use of mid-level ethanol blends in engines.

Jan 2nd, 2009

Fourteen organizations ranging from the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association to the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council on Dec. 18 called for "unbiased and comprehensive testing" before the US Environmental Protection Agency permits the use of mid-level ethanol blends in engines.

The groups, which also include the American Lung Association, Engine Manufacturers Association and Motorcycle Industry Council, said they are collectively concerned about air quality, engine compatibility and safety impacts on consumers.

"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 which exist suggest that mid-level ethanol blends may not be compatible with current motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines, may cause emission control devices or systems to fail, may defeat engines' safety features, and may 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, which described themselves as an informal coalition.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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