EPA Updates CAA Requirements for Gas StationsJune 13, 2012
The EPA has determined that the systems used at gas station pumps to capture harmful gasoline vapors while refueling cars can be phased out. Modern vehicles are equipped to capture those emissions.
Since 1994, gas stations in areas that do not meet certain air quality standards have been required to use gasoline vapor recovery systems. The systems capture fumes that escape from gasoline tanks during refueling. However, as required by the Clean Air Act, automobile manufacturers began installing onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) technologies in 1998, making gas stations’ systems increasingly redundant. Since 2006, all new automobiles and light trucks (pickups, vans and SUVs) are equipped with ORVR systems.
Beginning later this year, states may begin the process of phasing out vapor recovery systems at the pump since approximately 70 percent of all vehicles on the road today are equipped with on-board systems that capture these vapors. The EPA estimates that the withdrawal of the rule, which is expected to affect approximately 31,000 gas stations nationwide, will save approximately $300 million in compliance costs over five years.
This final rule is part of the Obama Administration’s initiative to ensure that regulations protect public health and the environment without being unnecessarily burdensome to American businesses.
This post was authored by GLLF staff attorney Emily Kelchen.