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Gas Station Pump Labels Are Supposed to Warn Boaters
Against Putting the Wrong Fuel in the Tank;
Survey Reveals They Fail Miserably

The current E15 warning label

The prototype E15 warning label that recent survey respondents said provided a more effective warning to consumers

Respondents favor prototype E15 warning label 4-to-1 over existing label

With the boat in tow, you head to the gas station to fill her up. At the pump you find a fuel prohibited for use in boats, E15 gas, being sold alongside approved E10 fuel. What’s to prevent you from misfueling? A little warning label about the size of a pack of gum that’s often hard to notice, difficult to understand, and too often fails to protect consumers, said boat owners and other non-road-engine users in a recent National Marine Manufacturers Association survey on the effectiveness of current E15 warning labels.

The ethanol warning label survey is being used to help persuade EPA regulators, currently reviewing E15 labels, to offer a more effective warning. Survey takers were shown the existing orange E15 warning label and a red prototype label with pictographs. Respondents were more than four times as likely to say that the prototype label more clearly conveys the idea of a "warning" for consumers than the current label.

What made the difference? The prototype’s red color and visual reinforcement was cited as more effective than the real label. Where the label is located on the pump can also be improved: 70% of respondents noted that inconsistent placement of the E15 label on fuel dispensing pumps made it harder to locate and less effective.

“EPA has some work to do in regard to educating consumers at the pump with more effective ethanol fuel labeling that better communicates the hazards of E15 for boat engines and other small motors,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. E15 is prohibited by federal law for use in recreational boat engines, off-road vehicles and small engines.

In addition to supporting improvements to the ethanol content warning label type, size and location on the pump, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) supports public education efforts, evaluating the adoption of different fuel pump nozzle sizes, ceasing misleading marketing of ethanol fuels such as “Regular 88” fuel (containing 15% ethanol), evaluating the use of physical barriers and keypad systems, and offering a dedicated pump for E0 (0% ethanol) fuel.

Further Reading
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Big Ethanol” is at it again. In a new advertising campaign timed with the start of boating season, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the leading trade ...
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A survey of recreational boaters' experience with refueling their vessels this past summer shows little love for corn-ethanol fuel blends mandated by the federal ...
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President Trump has officially moved to allow E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline sales year-round – a fuel prohibited for use in recreational boats and a decision ...
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As boaters head into the Labor Day weekend and fill up their boat's gas tank for one last hurrah of the season, a vast majority say they want ethanol-free gas, but  ...
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Jun 17, 2015 ... Engine manufacturers from across the recreational boating industry identified biobutanol as a suitable and safe alternative biofuel to ethanol, .
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One mistake at the fuel pump this summer could be costly for boaters who misfuel and inadvertently dispense unapproved, high ethanol blends into the boat's ...
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Industry backs biobutanol as alternative to ethanol - Coastal Boating ... industry identified biobutanol as a suitable and safe alternative biofuel to ethanol, .
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With more ethanol than ever before being served up at the nation's gas station pumps this Labor Day holiday weekend, Boat Owners Association of The United  ...
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The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is the 2005 federal law that requires the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When it was written,  ...
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In an action that many are seeing as anti-environment, anti-consumer and a big nod to the ethanol lobby, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving ...


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