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Rule allowing sale of 85-octane gasoline in limbo

PIERRE (AP) -- The fate of a proposed rule allowing the sale of 85-octane gasoline in western South Dakota is in limbo.

A legislative committee on Tuesday was unable to decide whether to approve or block the rule proposed by the South Dakota Public Safety Department. The panel deferred further debate on the rule until its next meeting in September.

After discovering that state law forbids the sale of the low-octane fuel, state officials passed emergency rules making 85-octane gasoline legal in South Dakota to prevent a fuel shortage. Officials then proposed a permanent rule to allow the sale of 85-octane gasoline in western South Dakota, where it has been sold for decades.

The proposed rule also would require warning labels on pumps selling 85-octane gasoline. A higher octane level improves engine performance.