Governor Issues Executive Order to Identify Health and Environmental Risks Associated with Ethanol Use

June 20, 2016

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 20, 2016
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has issued an Executive Order in an effort to better understand the human health risks and effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol containing gasoline and the effect of increasing ethanol blends on emissions.

The Executive Order follows federal mandates, which have resulted in increased domestic production and use of ethanol in gasoline. Governor LePage recently signed the Order saying it is essential to understand the environmental and human health effects of ethanol emissions.

“It’s important that with the increased use of ethanol mixed gasoline that we understand the environmental and health risks associated with it. This Executive Order will help identify data so we can make better informed decisions regarding the use of ethanol,” said Governor LePage. “The Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will work with the Department of Environmental Protection, to undertake a review of scientific evidence regarding the human health effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol containing gasoline and the effect of increasing ethanol blends on emissions.”

The Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is further directed to provide the Governor with a report regarding its findings by January 1, 2017.

Additionally, all State agencies now have a purchasing preference for gasoline blended with five percent or less of ethanol, when that fuel is of a comparable cost to gasoline blended with a higher ethanol concentration.

The Executive Order language is as follows and may be found on the Office of the Governor website http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/official_documents/index.shtml :

AN ORDER REGARDING THE USE OF ETHANOL IN GASOLINE

WHEREAS, federal mandates have resulted in increased domestic production and use of ethanol in gasoline; and

WHEREAS, vehicle emissions are a significant contributor to pollutants affecting Maine’s air quality; and

WHEREAS, it is essential to understand the environmental and human health effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol containing gasoline;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby direct all State agencies to implement a purchasing preference for gasoline blended with five percent or less of ethanol, when that fuel is of a comparable cost to gasoline blended with a higher concentration of ethanol.

Further, I do hereby direct the Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention within the Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Protect, to undertake a review of scientific literature regarding the human health effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol containing gasoline and the effect of increasing ethanol blends on emissions. The Office of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is further directed to provide the Governor with a report regarding its findings by January 1, 2017.

The effective date of this Executive Order is June 16, 2016.