E15 Pump Warning Approved

by Ryck Lydecker

Photo of a fuel pump

In the continuing saga of efforts to increase the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline, from 10 to 15 percent, in June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved warning labels that boaters will have to watch for when filling their tanks. Last year the agency approved 15-percent ethanol for use in automobiles, but only in cars and light trucks of model year 2001 and newer. Under the EPA rule, it’s illegal to use E15 in older cars, in boats, numerous other off-road applications, and small engines such as lawn mowers and generators.

In an attempt to prevent inadvertent misfueling, the warning label would be mandated on all pumps dispensing E15 and specifically advises not to use the blend in boats. There is no requirement for retailers to modify pumps to physically prevent misfueling so when E15 enters the marketplace, consumers will have to be especially vigilant. The ethanol industry must still go though a number of federal and state regulatory steps so there may be a delay before boaters see E15 at gas stations or marina fuel docks. 

Read "Three Ethanol Myths Clarified" by Seaworthy's Bob Adriance