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PHASE II REFORMULATED GASOLINE BEGINS IN JANUARY

Release Date: 12/03/99
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 1999

PHASE II REFORMULATED GASOLINE BEGINS IN JANUARY


The second phase of the federal Reformulated Gasoline Program (RFG) officially begins in January 2000. The program is required by the Clean Air Act in cities with the worst smog pollution. Reformulated gasoline is blended to burn cleaner and reduce smog-forming and toxic pollutants. Phase II RFG is already available in many of these areas. About 75 million people are breathing cleaner air because of this cleaner-burning gasoline. RFG is used in 17 states (Calif., Conn., Del., Ill., Ind., Ky., Mass., Md., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., Texas, Va., Wis.) and the District of Columbia. About 30 percent of all U.S. gasoline is reformulated. Several areas have joined the program voluntarily to help improve their air quality. Phase II RFG will achieve even greater reductions in air pollution than the first phase, which was introduced in January 1995. Compared to conventional gasoline, Phase I RFG reduces smog-forming pollutants by 64,000 tons per year, the equivalent of taking over 10 million vehicles off the road. Phase II RFG will reduce smog pollutants by an additional 41,000 tons per year, for a combined equivalent of taking 16 million vehicles off the road. RFG also substantially reduces emissions of toxic air pollutants such as benzene, a known human carcinogen. A new brochure, "Phase II Reformulated Gasoline: The Next Major Step Toward Cleaner Air," and a fact sheet explain the program in detail. Additional information is available at:http://www.epa.gov/oms/rfg.htm.

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