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Showcase: 60 Minutes - MTBE

Expert Testimony - MTBE on 60 Minutes - Peter Garrett, Ph.D.



In 1986 Peter Garrett presented a groundbreaking paper “MTBE as a groundwater contaminant” at a national conference on groundwater issues related to petroleum. His paper discussed all aspects, including the history of use of methyl-tert-butyl ether as an octane enhancer in gasoline, chemical properties of MTBE, identification by laboratory analysis of groundwater, remediation of contaminated groundwater, and a detailed description of a case of MTBE contamination of groundwater in Maine.

Status/Results: Though the issue of MTBE as a groundwater contaminant was ignored by the EPA and gasoline industry for almost 10 years, it resurfaced in the late 1990s, when Dr. Garrett was invited to appear on “60 minutes”. Since then MTBE has been banned as a gasoline additive in many states.

 

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