EPA to Cut Two-Thirds of Sulfur in Gasoline Starting in 2017
March 4, 2014 5:40 PM
The goal is to help automakers meet new emissions standards, increase vehicle performance and improve public health
Gasoline is about to get a whole lot cleaner as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks to reduce the amount of sulfur in fuel with a new regulation.
According to the
, it's finalizing new rules that will cut the amount of sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds starting in 2017. The goal is to help automakers meet new emissions standards, increase vehicle performance and improve public health.
A vehicle's catalytic converter primarily controls emissions, but over time, sulfur in fuel can disable auto technologies that work to eliminate emissions.
Sulfur took a massive hit in 2000 when the EPA required the amount be lowered from an average of 300 ppm (parts per million) to 30 ppm. When these new rules are finalized, that number will drop further to 10ppm nationwide by 2017.
The EPA estimates an 80 percent reduction in emissions for cars and trucks from today’s fleet average, and a 60 percent reduction for heavy-duty vehicles.
[SOURCE: Automobile Magazine]
"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."
Automakers like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- a trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and others -- have welcomed the rules because it lowers the cost of technologies needed to improve fuel economy and meet emissions standards. The auto industry will spend about $200 billion to double the efficiency of the fleet by 2025 to 54.5 MPG.
The program is estimated to cost less than a penny per gallon of gasoline, and about $72 per vehicle. The annual cost of the overall program in 2030 is estimated to be about $1.5 billion.
Putting these new rules in place would also improve public health. According to the EPA, the rules will annually prevent up to 30,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children; 2,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits; 2,000 premature deaths, and 1.4 million lost school days and work days.
Total health-related benefits in 2030 are estimated to be between $8 billion and $23 billion annually.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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