The National Marine Manufacturers Association is distributing 100,000 E15 warning labels this week to NMMA member boatbuilders across the country to place on their boats in hopes of alerting boaters to the potential dangers of fuel with a high volume of ethanol.
The labels will help teach boaters that E15 should not be used in their boat.
Contrary to numerous studies that have shown ethanol to be hazardous to marine engines, the Environmental Protection Agency 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, the NMMA said.
There are serious and well-documented human safety, environmental and technological concerns associated with ethanol blends above 10 percent in recreational boat fuel tanks and engines, the NMMA said. That means anything above E10 can pose serious problems, including performance issues such as stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions and damaged valves, rubber fuel lines and gaskets, the NMMA said.
Three years ago the ethanol industry filed a waiver with the EPA to expand the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. The 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.
The NMMA, along with the oil industry, food groups and other stakeholders, have continued to oppose the introduction of E15. The NMMA said it is important for consumers to stay aware at their local gas pumps, checking for any high-ethanol fuels and using only E10 or lower in their boats.
“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,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement.