Client project details

60 Minutes (Expert Testimony on MTBE)

The Project

In 1986 Peter Garrett presented a groundbreaking paper “MTBE as a groundwater contaminant” at a national conference on groundwater issues related to petroleum.

Dr. Garrett’s 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 concern of MTBE as a groundwater contaminant was often ignored by the both EPA and gasoline industry for almost 10 years, it resurfaced as a major issue 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. New Hampshire recently received nearly $136 million dollars in a court settlement with the major oil companies to remediate MTBE contamination in groundwater.

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Though the concern of MTBE as a groundwater contaminant was often ignored by the both EPA and gasoline industry for almost 10 years, it resurfaced as a major issue in the late 1990s, when Dr. Garrett was invited to appear on “60 minutes”.

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P.O. Box 1578
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Meredith, NH 03253
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“Data and research provide the underpinning for sound local water management decision-making that advances the well-being of the nation’s citizens, economy, and environment.”

- National Ground Water Association