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Groups ask EPA to ensure E10 will be available

Auto, marine, motorcycle, outdoor power equipment, personal watercraft and snowmobile groups filed a petition today asking the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the continued sale and availability of gasoline blends that are no more than 10 percent ethanol.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Association of Marina Industries, BoatU.S., the National Boating Federation and the Personal Watercraft Industry Association are the marine groups involved in the petition.

Marine engines, according to industry experts, were not designed, built or warranted to run on fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

"Misfueling is our prime concern, and we foresee that consumers will be forced to fuel with E15 unless EPA requires stations to carry both legacy (E10) and new E15 fuels," Kris Kiser said in a statement on behalf of the petitioning organizations.

"Many stations may not be equipped to accommodate an additional fuel, leading them to choose between E15 and E10 fuels - and E15 will likely win out since it may be more profitable for them to carry," Kiser added. "This means consumers might have no choice but to fuel with E15, and there will be little to prevent them from misfueling when they come in with a lawnmower, chainsaw, motorcycle, snowmobile, boat or older car."

The petition for rulemaking, filed with the EPA, says the agency cannot ensure with a partial waiver ruling that E10 fuel will be available for legacy fleets. The petitioners ask that the EPA, consistent with precedent, ensure consumer choice by requiring the continued sale of gasoline blends of no greater than E10 fuel.

Growth Energy, an ethanol industry trade group, petitioned the EPA in March of 2009 to raise the limit on ethanol in gasoline from 10 to 15 percent. The EPA last year approved the use of E15 for cars from model years 2001 and newer.

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