WASHINGTON, D.C. - An informal coalition consisting of-governmental organizations representing the refining and petrochemical, environmental, vehicle and engine manufacturing communities today released a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson calling for "unbiased and comprehensive testing" prior to permitting the use of mid-level ethanol blends in vehicular and equipment engines. The organizations are collectively concerned about implications for air quality, engine compatibility, and safety for consumers.
"In our collective opinion, EPA's decision on whether to permit the use of mid-level ethanol blends in motor vehicle and equipment engines must be guided solely by sound, unbiased and comprehensive science and must hold true to EPA's fundamental purposes of protecting the environment and consumers," the coalition wrote. "Our groups stand ready to assist you in maintaining a fact-based mid-level ethanol blend approval process.
"There has not been sufficient testing of motor vehicle and nonroad equipment engines to justify a determination that any mid-level ethanol blend would meet the requirements of the revised Section 211(f)(4). The test results that do exist suggest that mid-level ethanol blends:
- May be incompatible with today's motor vehicle and nonroad equipment engines;
- May cause a failure of emission control devices or systems;
- May defeat these engines' safety features; and, (4) may lead to a significant increase in emissions from these engines over their useful life.
The introduction of mid-level ethanol blends without unbiased and comprehensive testing may be detrimental to air quality and consumers.
"Collectively, our organizations strongly believe that this issue should not be part of the rulemaking proposal for the revised renewable Fuel Standard as expanded under EISA. The mid-level ethanol blend issue should be discussed at length, but the 'vehicle' should be separate advance notice of proposed rulemaking."