Designing underground fuel tanks that dont leak rather than replacing MTBE with alternative fuel additives could be a better way to prevent groundwater contamination, according to new research that will appear in the Jan. 1 issue of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society.
The study, which involved more than 850 leaking underground fuel tanks in the Los Angeles area, suggests that expanded use of MTBE alternatives may pose as much of an environmental threat as their predecessor. The solution, the researchers say, is to stop the leaks before they start by designing better storage tanks.
Bans on the use of MTBE are scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1 in California, Connecticut and New York. Seventeen other states, as well as Chicago, Ill., and Reno, Nev., are considering restrictions or bans on MTBE, citing concerns that it can leak from gasoline storage tanks and contaminate drinking water supplies.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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