Georgia working with fuel industry to clear up ethanol problem

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin says his department is working with the fuel industry to clear up a problem with water in ethanol blends.

“We have been experiencing some minor problems with moisture in ethanol blends,” Irvin said. “When we find the problem, we shut down the fuel pumps affected by the moisture to assure that the consumer receives quality fuel for their vehicles.

“We are receiving excellent cooperation from the industry, the service stations and others associated with the industry,” he said.

Working with the department are: Roger Lane, Georgia’s Oilmen’s Association, and Jim Tudor, Georgia Association of Convenience Stores.

Irvin said the department’s fuel inspectors are checking the 277 stations converted to dispense the 10 percent ethanol blend, most of which are located in the northern part of state around the metro Atlanta area.

Frequently, gasoline storage tanks may have a small amount of water at the very bottom. With ethanol, the water may suspend throughout the product rather than sinking to the bottom showing an unacceptable high level of water contamination.

Irvin said, “In the past few days we have sealed pumps at seven locations in order to ensure fuel quality in the state. The department will continue to closely monitor this situation until it is resolved.”

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