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Environmental Assessment

Research Strategy for Oxygenates in Water (Workshop Review Draft)

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This draft document was the subject of a workshop held in Washington, DC on October 7, 1997. Because of public interest in the subject of oxygenates in water, this workshop draft version is being made available while it undergoes revisions. It is anticipated that an external review draft of the Research Strategy will be released around January 1998, at which time the public will be invited to comment on the draft document. Oxygenates, including methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ethanol, and other ethers and alcohols, are chemicals added to fuels primarily for the purpose of improving fuel combustion and reducing emissions such as carbon monoxide and other pollutants. Although contamination of ground water, surface water, and drinking water by MTBE has been reported, the nature and extent of any threat to human health or the environment have been difficult to assess because of limitations in the scientific data base. The Research Strategy provides background information and identifies key research and information needs for each of the following topics as they relate specifically to oxygenates in water: occurrence, source characterization, materials compatibility, transport, transformation, contaminant removal, exposure, aquatic toxicity, and health effects. The document is intended to serve as a general guide for planning research and analyses that will support risk assessment efforts and risk management decisions.

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