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Gasoline and Vapors

EPA Low Sulfur Gasoline Information
New standards have been developed to reduce the sulfur content of gasoline by up to 90 percent and therefore reduce harmful air pollution.

Clean Gasoline Program for Southwest Pennsylvania
Beginning in 1997, seven counties in the Pittsburgh – Beaver Valley area were provided with gasoline with lower evaporability in the summer to reduce ozone pollution from highway vehicles. In 2014, the General Assembly passed the act of May 14, 2014, also known as Act 50 (P.L. 674, No. 50), amending the PA Air Pollution Control Act that in turn required the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to adopt regulations to repeal the low volatility fuel provisions upon approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These regulations were published as final on April 7, 2018. EPA approved the regulations and the removal of the low volatility fuel provisions as a revision to the State Implementation Plan on December 20, 2018. The repeal of the low volatility fuel provisions in the Pittsburgh – Beaver Valley area was effective on January 22, 2019.

On April 7, 2018, the EQB finalized regulations that effectively repeals those requirements once EPA approves a demonstration by the Department that the rule repeal would not affect the continued attainment or maintenance of a National Ambient Air Quality Standard or any other applicable requirement of the Clean Air Act. On May 2, 2018, the Department submitted to EPA a plan revision that provides to EPA the demonstration required by the Clean Air Act and requests that the EPA remove the seven county summertime gasoline rule from the plan. On April 21, 2018, the Department announced that during the pendency of EPA review and approval of the plan revision to repeal the program, it is suspending enforcement of the gasoline volatility requirements in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 126, Subchapter C (relating to gasoline volatility requirements) for the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area effective May 1, 2018, through September 15, 2018. Similarly, the Allegheny County Health Department has suspended enforcement of their summertime low RVP fuel requirements as they prepare a similar plan revision as DEP’s for submittal to EPA in 2018.

California Air Resources Board, Vapor Recovery
The Board evaluates new and modified vapor recovery systems that "recycle" gasoline vapors generated while fueling vehicles.

Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems
A system designed to capture gasoline vapors that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere as vehicles are refueled.

Suspension of Enforcement

Systems are required for about 1,600 gasoline dispensing facilities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington and Westmoreland Counties. Due to the diminishing emission reduction benefits of Stage II controls, the Department has issued two notices of the Suspension of Enforcement of the Stage II Vapor Recovery Requirements, one on August 18, 2012, and one on November 12, 2016. Another Suspension of enforcement for a Stage I provision, §129.61a, was issued on August 20, 2022.

Other Information