The National Marine Manufacturers Association distributed a release yesterday in response to a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant limited approval for the sale of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol for model year 2007 and newer motor vehicles. NMMA said the decision specifically excludes marine engines and other non-road engines such as snowmobiles, lawn and garden equipment, as well as other gasoline-powered small engines and does not allow E15 for marine engines of any age. There is no waiver for marine engines older than model year 2000.
Later this year, EPA will decide whether or not to allow E15 for automobiles in model year 2001 through 2006. This is for on-road engines only – marine engines are not being considered, NMMA said.
As confusing as all that sounds, the confusion that could reign at the fuel dock has NMMA concerned.
“We are extremely disappointed that EPA is allowing this fuel to enter the market without the appropriate scientific data or consumer and environmental safeguards," NMMA President Thom Dammrich said in the statement. “This decision not only adversely impacts marine manufacturers, but creates a significant risk of misfueling for the nation’s 66 million boaters who will be left ‘holding the bag’ for performance issues and expensive repairs. We are astonished that EPA has decided to move forward with a fuel that will increase air pollution and damage hundreds of millions of existing products.”
NMMA is also concerned that EPA will not act to ensure compatible fuels remain available for the millions of boat owners and gasoline-powered equipment.
For its part, the Marine Manufacturers Association of America released a statement this afternoon and voiced its own reservations about the decision.
“With this new ruling the EPA sounds a lot like what the government did with the colored diesel fuel mess we had twenty years ago,” said Ed Lofgren, MRAA chairman.
What is your reaction to the government’s ruling?