EPA Readies Standard for Cleaner Gasoline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a new standard to decrease gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60% – a reduction to 10 ppm – by 2017. The proposal also seeks an 80% reduction in volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, a 70% tighter particulate matter standard, and the reduction of fuel vapor emissions to ‘near zero.’

Cars and trucks that were built prior to when the proposed standards become effective (if they become effective) will be able to run on the new low-sulfur gasoline and, in turn, make more effective use of vehicle emission control technologies, the EPA says. New technologies will need to be integrated into model-year 2017 vehicles, which the government estimates will cost about $130 per vehicle in 2025.

Notably, the proposed EPA standards will work in concert with California regulations, resulting in a ‘harmonized nationwide vehicle emissions program that enables automakers to sell the same vehicles in all 50 states’ while ‘providing automakers regulatory certainty and streamlining compliance.’

The Obama administration says that once the new sulfur standards are fully in place, compliance will cost refineries less than a penny per gallon of gasoline, on average.

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