July 2005

States´ gasoline oxygenate waiver rejected by EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is rejecting petitions from three states asking the federal government to waive the use of oxygenates in reformulated gasoline, the agency said June 2.

The Clean Air Act requires metropolitan areas with the worst ozone air pollution to use reformulated gasoline that contains 2 percent oxygen by weight. California, New York and Connecticut have asked the EPA to waive the oxygen requirement because their reformulated fuels would burn cleaner without them. Refiners can use either ethanol or methyl tertiary-butyl as an oxygenate, but all three states have banned MTBE because of water contamination concerns.

Waiving the requirement would reduce vehicle emissions only slightly in California and actually could increase carbon dioxide emissions. New York and Connecticut did not provide the necessary technical data for the EPA to determine what impact the waiver would have on emissions. To obtain a waiver, states must prove that the oxygen requirement prevents or interferes with their attainment of national smog or particulate matter standards


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