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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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The occurrence of the fuel oxygenate methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in the environment resulted in the need to summarize and evaluate the available information relevant to this issue in New Jersey. A report entitled “MTBE in New Jersey’s Environment” was written in 2001 to provide background information on environmental fate and transport, health effects, and regulatory actions of USEPA and the states regarding MTBE. New Jersey regulatory standards, permit limits, monitoring requirements, and data on occurrence in New Jersey’s air and water are discussed in the report.

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is a synthetic chemical that has been historically added to gasoline as a fuel oxygenate, increasing the efficiency of the combustion of the fuel. Previously, the federal Clean Air Act required the addition of certain levels of oxygenate to gasoline in order to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide. The oxygenate mandate was subsequently removed by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. The USEPA predicts that in response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, essentially all U.S. refiners are expected to eliminate the use of MTBE in gasoline in 2006 or 2007. In addition, in 2005 the New Jersey legislature passed legislation that prohibits the sale of gasoline that contains more than 0.5% MTBE in the State effective on January 1, 2009. Even though the oxygenate mandate has been removed, it appears that MTBE is being replaced by ethanol in gasoline sold in New Jersey in order to meet both fuel octane and Reformulated Gasoline standards. Reformulated Gasoline is required in New Jersey to address emissions of air pollutants that form low level ozone pollution and to reduce emission levels of air toxics.

For more information regarding this topic, please contact Gloria Post .

Division of Science and Research
Dr. Gary A. Buchanan, Director

Phone: (609) 984-6070
Fax: (609) 292-7340