In 1987 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to control gasoline vapors from motor vehicles by requiring (1) refiners to lower the volatility of gasoline sold during the summer when most high ozone levels occur and (2) motor vehicle manufacturers to install vapor recovery equipment (onboard controls) on motor vehicles. The General Accounting Office (GAO) was requested to determine whether EPA (1) could lower gasoline volatility immediately and (2) has adequately addressed concerns regarding the safety of onboard controls and the feasiblity of vapor recovery equipment on service station pumps (Stage II controls). The results of GAO's study, in brief, are as follows: In March 1989 EPA acted to lower gasoline volatility immediately by issuing regulations that required Phase I volatility reductions beginning in the summer of 1989. EPA has not yet, however, taken action on its Phase II volatility reductions. In the meantime, the President's Clean Air Act amendments propose further volatility reductions which, if implemented, will cap summertime gasoline volatility at the 9.0 lbs/sq in. level used to certify current evaporative emission control systems. EPA plans no further work on onboard controls (which may increase risk of vehicle fires and which have an uncertain lead time for incorporation onto vehicles) in view of the President's proposal to require Stage II controls in nonattainment areas. GAO concludes that Stage II controls are, in the near term, a practical and feasible option for controlling refueling emissions.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1989-10

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 40 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00497308
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-90-21
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1990 12:00AM