Polluted ethanol closes Milwaukee gas stations

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Polluted ethanol closes gas stations

2001-05-05 By Carrie Antlfinger Associated Press Writer

MILWAUKEE — Gasoline tainted by a bad batch of the fuel additive ethanol has been shipped to roughly 50 Milwaukee area service stations, forcing more than a dozen to close. The problem was discovered on Thursday after Archer Daniels Midland Co. mixed 100 times the usual amount of a rust inhibitor into ethanol that was sent to blending terminals in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

Thirteen Mobil stations in the Milwaukee area were closed, while 34 affected Citgo stations and one Speedway-Superamerica station were deciding midday Friday whether to close, according to Erin Roth, executive director of the Wisconsin Petroleum Council.

BP Amoco also received a shipment of the bad ethanol, but it was not blended with any gasoline, Roth said.

The problem comes as supplies of environmentally-friendly reformulated gasoline are tight across the Midwest and motorists in Wisconsin are paying an average of $1.80 per gallon.

Gas sold in the Midwest during the summer driving season is treated with cleaner-burning ethanol, a corn derivative, to meet federal emissions standards.

Roth was unsure how many gallons of gas were blended with the tarnished ethanol, a mishap that occured Wednesday night at a facility in Granville, Wis.

“We caught it early enough so that most of it is still in the tanks out at the terminal,” Roth said.

Archer Daniels Midland, which overtreated 120,000 gallons of ethanol with the rust inhibitor, said the shipment “will not have a long-term effect on the gasoline supply in the Midwest.”

ADM said the ethanol also was distributed to terminals in Chicago, Rockford, Ill., and Bettendorf, Iowa, but so far there have not been reports of gas stations closing in other states.

Roth said the gas could harm fuel filters, but “will not cause serious damage” to vehicles. Affected cars may not start properly.

Gas storage tanks at affected service stations will have to be cleaned out and refilled, and Roth estimated that the Milwaukee stations would be resupplied by Sunday


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), May 05, 2001


Sounds like another excuse to raise prices and blame environmental regulation instead of hodling ADM accountable for bad quality control!

-- K (infosurf@yahoo.com), May 06, 2001.

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