EPA proposes to maintain ethanol levels for 2018

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) proposed reducing biofuel levels for 2018. The mandated volume for conventional biofuels such as ethanol, however, will remain at the maximum allowable level of 15 billion gallons.

Boating advocacy groups have come out against the EPA decision, saying the mandate continues to jeopardize boaters who fuel with E15 (15 percent ethanol) or greater fuel.

“NMMA has maintained the need for the EPA to propose lower 2018 levels to ensure that the boating public remains safe on the water and continues to enjoy access to approved fuel blends,” a statement issued by National Marine Manufacturers Association said. “This announcement is ultimately disconcerting for the more than 88 million boaters and 35,000 businesses that make up the recreational boating and fishing industry.”

NMMA has advocated for the national fuel supply to carry fuels of E10 (10 percent ethanol) or biobutanol for the benefit of boaters.

The EPA stated its proposed mandated was based upon “real world challenges, such as the slower-than-expected development of the cellulosic biofuel industry.”

EPA’s annual mandate proposals are required under the Renewable Fuel Standards, or RFS.

Public input on the EPA proposal will be accepted through Nov. 30. Details of the public process will be outlined in an upcoming issue of The Log.

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