BRP engineer testifies on dangers of E15

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Jeff Wasil, emissions certification engineer for Bombardier Recreational Products' Evinrude Marine Engine division, testified Thursday on behalf of the National Marine Manufacturers Association at a congressional hearing titled "Hitting the Ethanol Blend Wall: Examining the Science on E15."

The hearing, held by the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, was to examine the scientific and technical issues related to the EPA’s recent waiver decisions permitting mid-level blends of as much as 15 percent ethanol in gasoline and receive feedback on draft legislative language.

In his testimony, Wasil outlined the technical reasons that ethanol is incompatible with boat engines and other non-road engines, as well as concerns that the EPA’s gas pump label will not do enough to prevent consumers from misfueling.

He also endorsed draft legislation that calls for a National Academy of Sciences survey of scientific information related to the effects on engines of ethanol blends greater than 10 percent.

Wasil also testified that the warning label the EPA has proposed for placement on gasoline pumps is “completely inadequate. The label they propose will not properly warn and inform consumers about problems associated with E15, and it is almost certain to result in massive misfueling and subsequent engine damage.”

Wasil also discussed concerns that the EPA is not requiring that E10 continue to be available.

“There is no need to rush E15 into the marketplace. Let’s have a strategic pause while more testing is done to determine the effects of E15 on various kinds of engines and to see whether there might be alternatives to ethanol, such as butanol,” he added.

Click here for a transcript of Wasil's testimony.

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