Jump to main content.

Fuel Oxygenates (Other Than MTBE) And USTs


Though their use is decreasing, fuel oxygenates are used as a fuel additive and octane enhancer in reformulated gasoline, oxygenated fuel, and premium grades of unleaded gasoline. Water-quality criteria for fuel oxygenates to protect aquatic life have not been established. Available data indicates the presence of MTBE in drinking water. However, limited or no data are available for any other fuel oxygenate.

The major source of ground water contamination with fuel oxygenates is releases from USTs. In addition to USTs, there are many other potential sources of fuel oxygenate contamination, such as gasoline spills to ground and surface waters, recreational water craft releasing unburned fuel to surface waters, and urban and industrial runoff and wastewater discharges. The public can assist in helping to prevent fuel oxygenate contamination by following safe fuel handling practices.

EPA is continuing to study both the potential health effects and the occurrence of fuel oxygenates, and some oxygenates are included on a list of contaminants (Contaminant Candidate List) for which EPA is considering setting drinking water standards.


Oxygenate Topics

Specific Fuel Oxygenates

These pages contain information on specific fuel oxygenates, including their characteristics and chemical properties.

Back to Fuel Oxygenates And USTs

Top of page

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.