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The National Marine Manufacturers Association Partners With OPEI on the ‘Look Before You Pump’ Ethanol Education Campaign

June 10, 2014

OPEI’s campaign continues to warn users of boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, small engine and outdoor power equipment to use correct fuel


Alexandria, Va., June 10, 2014—Protecting your boat, outdoor power equipment, snow mobile, motorcycle and small engine equipment just got easier – thanks to a new partnership that reminds consumers to avoid using greater than 10 percent ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment or other non-road product, such as boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles, with the exception of “flex-fuel” engine products.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association, the leading association for the North American recreational boating industry, will distribute ‘Look Before You Pump’ messaging and materials to its membership and other stakeholders. Created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, the ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign helps consumers protect their boat, other non-road vehicles, and outdoor power and small engine equipment investments.

Known by its emblematic prominent, red warning hand symbol indicating ‘OK’ for 10 percent ethanol and ‘No’ for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85), the ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign is spreading nationwide as ethanol blended fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol are made available in the marketplace for ‘flex-fuel’ automobiles. The campaign was launched in October 2013.

Major retail outlets including Lowe’s, Walmart and True Value, as well as independent dealers, began using the ‘Look Before You Pump’ message in their stores and in spring preview circulars and catalogs over the last few months. Additionally, Scripps Networks Interactive’s DIY Network is supporting the program through social media promotion, custom research and in-show messaging. 


“The level of support for ‘Look Before You Pump’ has been growing steadily,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “Retailers, dealers, manufacturers—and now major industry organizations such as the NMMA—have stepped up to help caution American consumers and business owners to be more mindful of the changing fuels marketplace and selecting the right fuel for the right product.”


According to Thom Dammrich, President of NMMA, “We want to ensure that our manufacturers have the tools to inform their customers about the dangers of ethanol-blended fuel greater than 10 percent so that everyone can stay safe and have fun on the water. The ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign is a smart, simple way to help others understand how and why ethanol can be a problem in boat engines and we thank OPEI for welcoming NMMA as we work together on this important consumer education effort.”

OPEI and NMMA urge consumers to read their equipment operating manual before filling engines with gasoline to ensure they use the right fuel. For more information, visit and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.

A summer 2013 OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything greater than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snow mobiles, generators and other engine products.

Subsequent research in April 2014 through Scripps’ Under One Roof panel survey,* shows that just over 72 percent are not aware that new fuels are available for certain automobiles on the market that are illegal for use in outdoor power equipment and all other non-automobile engine equipment. Just over 28 percent of respondents to the survey said they select the same gasoline for their outdoor power equipment as they do for their car or truck. Just over 12 percent said they select fuel by price, while more than 43 percent select fuel as stated in their owner’s manual.

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers of consumer and commercial outdoor power equipment.  The OPEI Education Foundation is the creative force behind OPEI is a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of
GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual industry tradeshow. For more information, visit

About NMMA

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in North America. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. Learn more at

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