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EPA Approves Removal of Summertime Fuel Requirements for Six Counties in Florida

Release Date: 05/15/2014
Contact Information: Dawn Harris Young, EPA, (404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main), harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

ATLANTA - In response to a request from the state of Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the State’s request to remove six counties in Florida from those that are subject to the certain federal clean gasoline requirements. This change removes Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties from those that have to comply with 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) fuel requirements for the summer time.

EPA has taken this action due to the state demonstrating that the counties are in compliance with the ozone air quality standards and removal of this requirement will not interfere with the area’s ability to remain in compliance with these standards. This action will allow greater flexibility for fuel distribution in Florida during the summer time.

“This change is a direct result of collaboration between EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to improve air quality in Florida,” said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. “This action is especially important during hurricane season when greater adaptability is needed for the fuel distribution system to support an adequate supply.”

Since the early 1990’s, the six counties in the Florida were subject to lower volatility fuel requirements (also known as “Reid Vapor Pressure” or “RVP”) to help the area come into, and maintain compliance with the ozone standards. These areas have attained the ozone standards.

Ground level or "bad" ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.

More information: http://epa.gov/otaq/fuels/gasolinefuels/volatility/regulations.htm

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