NMMA takes ethanol fight to the Web

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association has set up an online action alert to allow interested parties to submit comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, encouraging them to deny the petition to increase ethanol blend levels in gasoline to E15.

The comment period, which began this week, ends May 21.

A pro-ethanol lobbying organization called Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers recently submitted a formal petition to EPA requesting a waiver under the Clean Air Act to increase ethanol blend levels in gasoline up to 15 percent (E15) by volume.

As is required by law, the EPA published a Notice for Comment in the Federal Register.

"There is enormous political pressure on federal agencies to allow a high blend level despite well-known problems with mid-level ethanol gasoline," NMMA legislative director Matthew Dunn said in a letter to industry stakeholders.

"We are asking all interested parties to submit comments to EPA arguing that the waiver petition be denied," he added. "Although NMMA has been working with EPA and DOE to initiate testing on marine engines and equipment and has formally submitted a test plan for our sector, there has been no testing to date by any federal agency on the impacts of mid-level ethanol blends on marine products.

"As you all know, marine engines are designed and certified to run on not more than E10, the current legal allowable blend limit," he added. "Increasing the limit will likely bring marine engines out of compliance with federal clear-air laws, damage marine engines due to higher temperatures, pose safety risks to boaters and sportsmen and likely mean warranties will be voided."

The NMMA is developing a template for comments to EPA, and encourages organizations to send comments directly to EPA. In the meantime, those interested can click here to send comments.

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