Environment Agency report on MTBE in groundwater
The Environment Agency, in partnership with the Institute of Petroleum, has produced a new report on the extent of groundwater contamination with the petrol component methyl-tertiary-butyl- ether (MTBE). The report, A review of current MTBE usage and occurence in groundwater of England and Wales, is the result of an intensive review of known MTBE pollution data and brings together information from the Agency, water companies, oil companies and fuel retailers.
Recently, however, MTBE has come to be seen as one of the most significant pollution threats facing the US. Although it may benefit air quality, poor management of stored fuel and leaks from underground tanks have brought major groundwater pollution problems. As such, US regulatory authorities are now seeking to remove the mandate for MTBE in fuels.
The situation in Europe and the UK is less clear. The new report, which follows the 1996 report Threat to potable groundwater supplies from the fuel additive MTBE, highlights:
A full copy of the report is available from HMSO, priced £30. Tel: 0870 600 5522.