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EPA Approves Removal of Summertime Fuel Requirements for the Greensboro, NC Area

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 North Carolina, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the State’s request to remove counties in the Greensboro area from those that are subject to the certain federal clean gasoline requirements. This change removes Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, and Guilford 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 Greensboro area is 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 the Greensboro area during the summer time.

“This change is a direct result of collaboration between EPA and North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to improve air quality in the Greensboro area,” 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, counties in the Greensboro area 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. The Greensboro area has since 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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