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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the issuance of the final rule to relax the federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard for gasoline sold in the Atlanta area.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the final rule for 13 Atlanta counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale. This action reflects the importance EPA places on working with state and local governments to provide them the certainty needed to achieve environmental goals and enhance economic growth.

“The final waiver, which will save Georgians money at the gas pump, reflects the importance of working with state and local governments to provide them the certainty needed to achieve environmental goals and enhance economic growth,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

“Due to improvements in air quality, EPA has approved Georgia’s request to revise the more stringent federal RVP requirements on the type of summertime fuel sold in the Atlanta area,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker“This action will help residents save money at the gas pump and is a great example of the environmental progress that can be achieved through federal, state and local partnerships.”

“The elimination of the low RVP requirement is expected to result in savings for consumers in the 13-county metro Atlanta area,” said Richard Dunn, Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. “Providing two types of gasoline in the state created logistical problems for the distribution of gasoline, particularly in severe weather events, and increased the cost in the Atlanta area during the summer months.”

This action will allow for identical gasoline to be sold throughout the entire state of Georgia during the summertime – a win for both producers and consumers. Areas with air quality problems have stricter limits on the RVP content of gasoline that can be sold in summertime. This can burden consumers, retailers and suppliers, who must account for different supply chains and spend more at the pump. When an area demonstrates sufficient progress in improving air quality, EPA can relax these restrictions and put the area on an equal footing with its neighbors while improving air quality.

In response to an Aug. 15, 2018 request from the state of Georgia, this final action amends EPA’s regulations to relax the federal RVP standard from 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9.0 psi for gasoline sold during the summer fuel season starting June 1, 2020.

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