The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to approve higher concentrations of ethanol for newer vehicles, raising the maximum blend of the corn-based fuel with gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent.

According to people with knowledge of the announcement, the EPA is expected to say as soon as Wednesday that cars manufactured since 2007 are able to handle the higher ethanol content. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision.

The ethanol industry has maintained that there is sufficient evidence to show that a 15 percent ethanol blend in motor fuel will not harm engine performance. But the auto industry, small engine manufacturers and environmental groups have argued against an increase.

(Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)