EPA Says E15 Ethanol Blend Safe to Use

Coming right on the heels of a new label for gas pumps, The Detroit News is reporting the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the higher gasoline-ethanol blend fuel was safe for use.

The new E15 ethanol blend increases the percentage of ethanol in the fuel to 15 percent, with the remaining 85 percent being gasoline. Previously, the highest percentage of ethanol allowed was 10 percent (E10 fuel). E10 is the norm for fuel available at gas stations across the country.

According to the EPA, the E15 blend will cause no unusual damage to engines when compared to normal gasoline for vehicles 2001 or newer. After doing extensive research, the agency has decided to issue a waiver to allow E15 to be sold nationwide.

A number of parties -- including the Big Three automakers -- are contesting the use of E15 fuel. They claim that the fuel will not work properly with a majority of engines, and that it could cause damage, reduced performance, or shortened engine lifespan as well as potentially costing drivers more in maintenance costs. The new fuel blend, however, is compatible with E85 flex-fuel engines that can run on blends with up to 85 percent ethanol.

The new E15 labels will be applied to any pump dispensing the higher-percentage blend or E85. That label includes warnings about using either of the blends in older vehicles, and is bright yellow and black to help aim in keeping customers from confusing fuel types. With the final approvals in place, all should be set for E15 to hit gas stations later this year.

Source: The Detroit News

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