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Gas additive may raise cleanup costs of spills.

A chemical added to gas may lead to increased costs to clean up spills from underground storage tanks, according to Liberty Mutual.

The additive, methyl tertiary-butyl ether or MTBE, is one of a group of chemicals commonly known as "oxygenates" because they raise the oxygen content of gasoline.

While the chemical helps gasoline burn cleaner and has grown more popular since Congress passed the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, it dissolves easily in water so when gas is spilled, it spreads faster than gas without the additive, said William McElroy, vice president, environmental, for Liberty Mutual.

"Our principal concern is if it spreads faster, it will be more difficult to clean up," McElroy said during an interview at the recent Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.'s conference in Philadelphia. That will lead to an increased severity of claims stemming from underground gasoline storage tanks, which could, in turn, lead to an increase in premiums for policies to cover the tanks, McElroy said.
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Title Annotation:Property/Casualty
Author:Green, Meg
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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