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MIC, other groups ask EPA for more ethanol tests

Fourteen organizations, including the Motorcycle Industry Council, recently called for “unbiased and comprehensive testing” before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits the use of mid-level ethanol blends in engines.

According to an article in Oil & Gas Journal, other groups that were part of the petition include the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, American Lung Association and the Engine Manufacturers Association.

Calling themselves an informal coalition, the groups expressed concern about air quality, engine compatibility and safety.

“There has not been sufficient testing of motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines to justify a determination that any mid-level ethanol blend would meet the requirements,” they said in a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.

The letter contends the test results that exist suggest mid-level ethanol blends might be incompatible with current motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines, might cause emission control devices or systems to fail, might defeat engines’ safety features and could lead to significantly higher emissions during the engines’ lifespan.

“Collectively, our organizations strongly believe that this issue should not be part of the rulemaking proposal for the revised Renewable Fuel Standard under the [2007 Energy Independence and Security Act],” the letter continued. “The mid-level ethanol blend issue should be discussed at length, but the vehicle should be a separate advance notice of proposed rulemaking.”

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