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June 2006

Clean-burning gas benefits increase with flexibility

On May 5, an EPA final action took effect that provides United States oil refiners more flexibility while maintaining the significant clean air benefits of the reformulated gasoline (RFG) program. As required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, EPA is removing the RFG two-percent oxygen content requirement that reduces production burdens while continuing to protect the environment.

RFG is made up of many components to ensure low vehicle emissions. Although oxygenates can be used to produce RFG, other gasoline components can be used to ensure that RFG continues to meet its clean air requirements.

RFG is required by the Clean Air Act in large metropolitan areas with the greatest ozone pollution, but other areas may choose to use RFG to take advantage of its clean air benefits.

Seventy-five million Americans across 17 states and the District of Columbia breathe cleaner air as a result of the program. EPA estimates that RFG reduces emissions of ozone-forming pollutants by 105,000 tons per year, the equivalent of eliminating the ozone pollution from 16 million cars.

RFG also reduces toxic pollutants by about 24,000 tons per year, the equivalent of eliminating the toxic emissions from over 13 million vehicles.

For additional information, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/rfg_regs.htm.


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