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H.188

AN ACT RELATING TO PROHIBITING THE SALE AND STORAGE OF FUEL PRODUCTS CONTAINING THE ADDITIVE MTBE

The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill as follows:

First:  In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 577(a), by striking out the word “ether” where it twice appears and inserting in lieu thereof the words gasoline ether

Second:  In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 577(b) by striking out subdivision (1) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

(1)  “Ether” means an organic compound formed by the treatment of an alcohol with a dehydrating agent resulting in two organic radicals joined by an oxygen atom.

Third:  In Sec. 1, 10 V.S.A. § 577(b), by adding subdivision (3) to read as follows:

(3)  “Gasoline ether” means any ether added to a fuel product, including methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME), di‑isopropyl ether (DIPE), and ethyl butyl ether (ETBE).  “Gasoline ether” shall not include prepackaged goods intended for retail use, including starting fluid and octane booster.

Fourth:  By adding Secs. 2 and 3 to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES REPORT

By January 15, 2006, the agency of natural resources shall report to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy with a recommendation regarding the need to ban the sale of gasoline containing alcohols used as oxygenates.  The report shall include a summary of available data addressing environmental and health effects of alcohols used as gasoline oxygenates, with specific reference, when data is available, to the following alcohols:  methanol, isopropanol, n-propanol, n-butanol, iso-butanol, sec‑butanol, tertiary‑butanol, or tertiary pentanol.  The report shall also include an evaluation of the potential impacts that restricting the use of alcohols as oxygenates would have on the production, price, and supply of gasoline in the region and Vermont.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 561(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A person who owns or is in control of any plant, building, structure, process, or equipment may apply to the secretary for a variance from the rules adopted under this chapter.  If a request for a variance is related to an application for a permit under this chapter, the applicant may file that request only after the secretary has issued a declaratory ruling that makes it clear that the applicant would not be eligible for the permit or after the secretary has granted or denied the permit, according to the provisions of subsection 562(e) of this title.  The secretary may grant a variance if the secretary finds that:

* * *

Fifth:  By adding a new section to be numbered Sec. 1 to read as follows:

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  Methyl tertiary butyl ether ("MTBE"), the most common oxygenate added to gasoline and other fuel products used in the State and throughout the United States, may leak into and contaminate groundwater supplies;

(b)  MTBE is water soluble and, therefore, difficult and costly to remove from water;

(c).  MTBE, while colorless, has a turpentine-like taste and smell which can be detected at extremely low concentrations;

(d)  MTBE and other chemically similar oxygenates may be human carcinogens and pose other potential health risks, including, but not limited to, memory loss, asthma and skin irritation;

(e)  As water is a precious and vital resource to the state's growing population, agricultural and tourism industry, and unique environment, it is imperative that the state halt further contamination and pollution of the state's groundwater supplies by potentially harmful oxygenates;

(f)  Underground storage tanks that leak, motor boats on our lakes that discharge fuel, junk yards with autos and trucks and motor vehicle accidents can lead to gasoline with MTBE leaking into the soils and entering our water supplies;

(g)  Two Vermont communities, Craftsbury Fire District #2 and the Town of Hartland, have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of MTBE, and in New Hampshire, the state and two communities have actions pending.

And by renumbering the remaining sections to be numerically correct.

 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us