The damage done to outboard engines by ethanol was given little consideration recently, as the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia threw out a lawsuit that sought to force better labeling at pumps carrying ethanol mixtures of 15 percent (E15).
“E15 isn’t approved to be used in any marine engine and doesn’t work to the point of being toxic,” said Randy Pulley of Precision Marine in Goldsboro, N.C.
“E15 isn’t even approved for all automotive engines. We really don’t want it at all, but if it is going to be forced on us, gas pumps need to be labeled large and prominently to show it is not for marine and other small engines.”
Since its introduction, E10 has caused problems for thousands of boat owners, as it dissolves plastic parts and eats through hoses and other components in fuel systems. E15 will be even more destructive.
But the court ruled that the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the American Petroleum Institute, and others who brought the suit don’t have standing because they “cannot show members have suffered or are suffering with an injury that is traceable to the misfueling regulations.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved gasoline with 15 percent ethanol for use in cars year 2001 or newer.
“But while the agency prohibits its use in mowers and other power equipment, the EPA’s warning label on so-called blender pumps (carrying mixtures of 15 percent ethanol, E15, or higher), is easy to miss amid all the advertising and other labeling on the pump,” said Consumer Reports.
NMMA’s Nicole Vasilaros said that NMMA is not involved in additional curt cases regarding E15, but added that the organization is reviewing additional legal options to force EPA to better label and warn consumers about the dangerous of misfueling their outboards and other engines with E15.