US EPA Clean Air Act Fuel Settlement Information

EPA enforces the motor vehicle fuels provisions of Title II of the Clean Air Act ("the Act"), section 211, and regulations at 40 C.F.R. Parts 79 and 80. These provisions include certain requirements and prohibitions regarding the quality of motor vehicle fuels, and are designed to greatly reduce harmful emissions from all motor vehicles, including passenger cars, light trucks and heavy duty trucks.

The gasoline and diesel fuel requirements and prohibitions apply to all parties in the distribution system, including refiners, importers, distributors, carriers, oxygenate blenders, retailers and wholesale purchaser-consumers (fleet operators having their own fueling facilities). EPA enforces these provisions with environmental audits and inspections (including testing of fuels), and through various recordkeeping and reporting requirements. EPA may seek civil penalties or injunctive relief (including remediation of the violations and projects to offset illegal emissions) for violations of the Act or regulations, and may bring cases in federal district court or through an administrative process. Enforcement actions include cases against all the types of regulated parties as listed above. Violators are subject to a potential civil penalty of up to $27,500 per day of violation, and the economic benefit or savings resulting from the violation.

Gasoline Requirements
The provisions relating to gasoline include reformulated gasoline (RFG) requirements for the most severe ozone nonattainment areas in the United States, and various other provisions relating to RFG and to conventional gasoline that reduce emissions of nitrous oxides (NOx), air toxics and volatile organic compounds (VOC) (in the case of conventional gasoline the VOC reduction requirement is expressed as a gasoline "volatility" standard). A requirement to greatly reduce the sulfur content of both RFG and conventional gasoline, which will enable the use of newly-developed emission control technology, becomes effective in 2004. This new vehicle emission control technology will greatly reduce NOx, and will also reduce other harmful pollutants. EPA also enforces various other provisions of the Clean Air Act and the regulations, such as the requirements relating to fuel additives such as gasoline detergents

Diesel Requirements
The provisions relating to diesel fuel are primarily aimed at the reduction of sulfur content, currently a 500 part per million (ppm) cap. Stringent new diesel sulfur requirements (15 ppm sulfur cap) take effect in 2006. This low sulfur diesel fuel will enable the use of newly-developed emission control technology to greatly reduce harmful emissions of NOx and particulate matter from diesel-powered vehicles.

The enforcement provisions relating to the gasoline and diesel fuel sulfur requirements are similar to those of the RFG regulations and the conventional gasoline volatility requirements.

Clean Air Act Fuels Settlements

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