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March 03, 2014
EPA Finalizes Emissions Rules for Cars
    by Robert Kropp

The Agency's final standard will reduce the sulfur content of gasoline beginning in 2017, as well as lead to significant reductions in pollutants such as ozone, particulate matter, and air toxics.


Continuing the Obama administration's resolve to address environmental issues through regulatory action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has finalized rules governing emissions from cars and trucks.

The new standards, which govern both vehicle emissions and the sulfur content in gasoline, “will significantly reduce harmful pollution and prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive,” EPA stated. The emissions standards will reduce levels of multiple air pollutants starting in 2017.

Vehicles rely on their catalytic converters to reduce emissions, but those units can be damaged by high sulfur content in gasoline. So EPA has also established standards for reducing sulfur in gasoline through the refining process, which will reduce sulfur content in gasoline from current levels of 30 parts per million (ppm) average to ten ppm.

EPA's actions are estimated to reduce fuel costs over the life of a vehicle by more than $8,000 by 2025. By 2030, health-related benefits of the actions could total as much as $19 billion annually. The standards will help prevent as many as 610 premature deaths by 2018.

"These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our pocketbooks," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "By working with the auto industry, health groups, and other stakeholders, we're continuing to build on the Obama Administration's broader clean fuels and vehicles efforts that cut carbon pollution, clean the air we breathe, and save families money at the pump."

The Agency also stated that the standards provide adequate time for gasoline refiners to meet the new sulfur content reductions.

 

 
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