Starting this week, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is sending 100,000 ethanol warning labels to its boat manufacturer members to place on their boats. The purpose of the labels is to educate boaters about the potential dangers of using fuel with a high volume of ethanol such as E15.
"It is important for consumers to stay aware at their local gas pumps, checking for any high ethanol fuels and to use only E10 or lower in their vessels,' says NMMA President Thom Dammrich. "We encourage manufacturers to take action to help educate boaters by placing these E15 warning labels on their boats to warn about the dangers posed by E15 and help prevent costly and dangerous long term engine damage.'
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved a plan submitted by the ethanol industry that effectively completes the last step in the regulatory process and allows E15 to enter the marketplace in the United States.
According to NMMA, there are well-documented human-safety, environmental, and technological concerns associated with ethanol blends over 10 percent in recreational boat fuel tanks and engines. Anything above E10 is said to pose problems including stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions, and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets.
Three years ago the ethanol industry filed a waiver with EPA to expand the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. Since then, EPA has approved two partial waivers that allow the fuel to be sold in cars from model years 2001 and newer and taken a series of steps to bring the fuel closer to the marketplace. NMMA along with the oil industry, food groups and other stakeholders have continued to oppose the introduction of E15.