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EPA to approve use of E15 in 2001-06 model vehicles
The EPA has decided to approve the use of the fuel for 2001 to 2006 model years, a person briefed on the matter said late Thursday.

The decision is a victory for the ethanol industry and corn farmers, who have been pushing to increase the percentage of ethanol. The decision may help convince retailers to carry the fuel when the EPA finalizes new labels.

In October, the EPA approved the use of E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, for use in vehicles built in the 2007 model year and newer. Most gasoline has 10 percent ethanol, known as E10.

The EPA rejected the use of the higher blend for vehicles older than the 2001 model year, but had delayed a decision on approving use for 2001-06 model year vehicles.

Automakers have expressed concerns about using a higher percentage of the corrosive ethanol blend, and last week a trade association representing foreign automakers asked Congress to review the matter.

"There is very strong evidence that higher level ethanol blends can cause significant environmental, emissions, engine durability, operational and potentially safety problems in many gasoline engines," wrote Mike Stanton, president and CEO of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.

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