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Environment

Cleaner Fuel Proposed By EPA

by Jeff Johnson
April 8, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 14

Sulfur content in vehicle fuel would be reduced by more than 60% under a proposal EPA announced on March 29. The sulfur reduction in gasoline would be phased in between 2017 and 2025 and would cost refineries just 1 cent per gal, according to EPA. The lower sulfur content will allow emission-control catalyst technologies to work more efficiently, enabling automakers to meet new tailpipe emissions reduction standards also proposed by EPA, according to an agency fact sheet. EPA stressed the sulfur reduction is a key part of an integrated system to lower overall vehicle pollution, including particulates, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. It will also align national vehicle standards with those of California. The agency estimates that the proposed tailpipe standards, including the sulfur reductions, when fully implemented will annually prevent 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children and up to 2,400 premature deaths. Automakers support the sulfur requirement, but the oil industry says the regulations are unnecessary and will raise gasoline prices by 9 cents per gal.

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