EPA proposes tougher fuels and cars standards
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed reducing smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides by 80%, establish a 70% tighter particulate matter standard, and reduce fuel vapor emissions to near zero.
The EPA proposal will also reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene, by up to 40%. The proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60% – down to 10 ppm in 2017.
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.
The American Petroleum Institute says the standards will cost $10 billion in upfront capital expenditures and an additional $2.4 billion in annual compliance costs. The standards will ultimately raise the price of producing gasoline by nine cents a gallon, the institute says, which would likely be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices at the pump.
"The costs are significant and could easily impact the competitiveness of U.S. refineries," said Bob Greco, a director at API.
The EPA's clean-air chief, Gina McCarthy, who has been nominated to head the agency, has said a tighter sulfur standard would affect the price of gasoline by only a penny a gallon. The EPA wasn't immediately available for comment.
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.