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EPA proposes achievable cleaner fuels and cars standard

Based on extensive input from auto manufacturers, refiners, and states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks.

These cleaner fuels and cars standards are an important component of the administration’s national program for clean cars and trucks, which also include historic fuel efficiency standards that are saving new vehicle owners at the gas pump.

The proposal will slash emissions of a range of harmful pollutants, including reducing smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, establish a 70 percent tighter particulate matter standard, and reduce fuel vapor emissions to near zero. The proposal will also reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene, by up to 40 percent.

The proposal supports efforts by states to reduce harmful levels of smog and soot and eases their ability to attain and maintain science-based national ambient air quality standards to protect public health, while also providing flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.

Throughout the development of the proposal, EPA met with representatives from the automotive and oil and gas industry as well as environmental, consumer advocacy and public health organizations. Based on initial feedback from these groups and a thorough rulemaking process, EPA’s proposal is estimated to provide up to $7 in health benefits for $1 spent to meet the standards. The proposed sulfur standards will cost refineries less than $.01 per gallon of gasoline on average once the standards are fully in place. The proposed vehicle standards will have an average cost of about $130 per vehicle in 2025. The proposal also includes flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.

The proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent – down to 10 parts per million in 2017. Reducing sulfur in gasoline enables vehicle emission control technologies to perform more efficiently. This means that vehicles built prior to the proposed standards will run cleaner on the new low-sulfur gas, providing significant and immediate benefits by reducing emissions from every gas-powered vehicle on the road.

The proposal is designed to be implemented over the same timeframe as the next phase of EPA’s national program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks beginning in model year 2017. Together, the federal and California standards will maximize reductions in GHGs, air pollutants and air toxics from cars and light trucks while providing automakers regulatory certainty and streamlining compliance.

Once published in the Federal Register, the proposal will be available for public comment and EPA will hold public hearings to receive further public input.

Based on extensive input from auto manufacturers, refiners, and states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks.

These cleaner fuels and cars standards are an important component of the administration’s national program for clean cars and trucks, which also include historic fuel efficiency standards that are saving new vehicle owners at the gas pump.

The proposal will slash emissions of a range of harmful pollutants, including reducing smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, establish a 70 percent tighter particulate matter standard, and reduce fuel vapor emissions to near zero. The proposal will also reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene, by up to 40 percent.

The proposal supports efforts by states to reduce harmful levels of smog and soot and eases their ability to attain and maintain science-based national ambient air quality standards to protect public health, while also providing flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.

Throughout the development of the proposal, EPA met with representatives from the automotive and oil and gas industry as well as environmental, consumer advocacy and public health organizations. Based on initial feedback from these groups and a thorough rulemaking process, EPA’s proposal is estimated to provide up to $7 in health benefits for $1 spent to meet the standards. The proposed sulfur standards will cost refineries less than $.01 per gallon of gasoline on average once the standards are fully in place. The proposed vehicle standards will have an average cost of about $130 per vehicle in 2025. The proposal also includes flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.

The proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent – down to 10 parts per million in 2017. Reducing sulfur in gasoline enables vehicle emission control technologies to perform more efficiently. This means that vehicles built prior to the proposed standards will run cleaner on the new low-sulfur gas, providing significant and immediate benefits by reducing emissions from every gas-powered vehicle on the road.

The proposal is designed to be implemented over the same timeframe as the next phase of EPA’s national program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks beginning in model year 2017. Together, the federal and California standards will maximize reductions in GHGs, air pollutants and air toxics from cars and light trucks while providing automakers regulatory certainty and streamlining compliance.

Once published in the Federal Register, the proposal will be available for public comment and EPA will hold public hearings to receive further public input.