EPA Announces Increase in Gasoline's Ethanol Content
On October 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a 50 percent increase in the allowable ethanol content in gasoline for automobiles built after 2006. Gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, commonly referred to as E15, could damage recreational marine engines and other small gasoline-powered engines because they are designed, calibrated, and certified to run on not more than 10 volume percent ethanol. This increase also raises issues about emissions, performance, durability and warranty coverage. In addition, increased corn production to meet the new standard could result in increases in the runoff of nutrients and other pollutants into watersheds. Any further EPA decision on the use of E15 has been delayed until testing on vehicles built before 2006 is complete.