The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute issued a warning this week that the EPA's approval of the sale of 15% ethanol (E15) gasoline is dangerous.
The EPA approved E15 sales in the U.S. for automobiles made since 2001.
OPEI said that government test results show E15 to be harmful to outdoor power equipment, as well as boats other non-road engine products. OPEI said that fuel used for automobiles and other engine products would have to be divided, and that this increases the risk for misfueling, significant engine damage, and consumer hazard.
"For the first time in American history, fuel used for some automobiles may no longer safe for any non-road products. It may, in fact, destroy or damage generators, chain saws, utility vehicles, lawn mowers, boats and marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, and more," says Kris Kiser, OPEI's president and CEO.
In September 2011, members of the Engine Products Group (OPEI, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers) filed a formal legal challenge to EPA's E15 partial waiver decision. The EPG asked the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the E15 waiver decision. The decision on this matter is expected to be issued at any time by the court.
The EPA plans to educate Americans about the differences in the new fuel through the use of using hundreds 3 inch by 3 inch pump labels. Kriser calls that, "Frighteningly inadequate."
OPEI said EPA's own prior experience with the introduction of new fuels shows that labeling alone is insufficient to prevent misfueling. For example, when the EPA led the transition to unleaded fuels, the agency reported a misfueling rate of nearly 15% almost 10 years after the introduction of unleaded gasoline--even with a physical barrier at the pumps.
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