PHASE 2 REFORMULATED GASOLINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE FINAL MEETING SUMMARY FEBRUARY 1, 1995 Introduction The Phase 2 Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) Advisory Committee met on February 1, 1995, the third in a series of planned meetings. The Advisory Committee's Chairman, Mr. John Lagarias, began the meeting by giving a brief overview of the Performance, Transition, and Public Education Subcommittee's activities since this Advisory Committee's last meeting on October 18, 1994. The Performance Subcommittee has met on five occasions to date, and the Transition and Public Education Subcommittees have each met four times. The draft meeting summary from the October 18, 1994 Advisory Committee meeting was approved as final, as there were no comments received on the draft version. Presentation on Performance Subcommittee Efforts Mr. Dean Simeroth of the ARB discussed the Performance Subcommittee's compatibility and performance test program (Attachment 2). The following points were made: The Subcommittee's mission, objectives, and formation were reviewed. Phillips Chemical Company has been contracted to produce the test fuel, and Texaco to distribute the test fuel. Acknowledgement was given to Texaco for paying for part of the fuel costs, and to Shell Oil which is covering the cost for the bulk of the test fuels. Fuel shipments are scheduled to begin at the end of January, 1995. The Subcommittee has approved the test program protocols for the on- and off-road motor vehicle fleets; approved the test fuel specifications; assisted in the selection of the test fleets; and supported individual company test programs by General Motors, Ford, and Chevron. The on-road motor vehicle test program begins in February, 1995 and is scheduled to end by August, 1995. The subcommittee agreed that commonly available gasoline will be used as the control fuel, due to cost and logistical concerns. The on-road fleets will be made up of 1,035 test vehicles and 817 control vehicles, for a total of 1,852 vehicles participating in the program in northern, central, and southern California. [Update as of May 16-17 Subcommittee Meetings, the numbers are now approximately 800, 500 and 1300, respectively.] Mr. Paul Jacobs, ARB, Mobile Source Division, gave details of the compatibility and performance program; detailed the inspection program; and explained the procedures which will be followed, from the point of a driveability incident report to assessment by a Technical Review Panel, who will analyze confirmed fuel related failures. (Attachment 3). Ms. Analisa Bevan, ARB, Stationary Source Division, presented an overview of the off-road and non-vehicle gas powered engine test programs (13 different categories). The final report findings from Tecumseh's field and bench testing, which was completed in November, showed no performance or durability problems. Briggs and Stratton's preliminary field test findings also indicate no problems encountered with Phase 2 RFG. (Attachment 4). Dr. Gerald Barnes, General Motors, presented an overview of two separate bench test programs to be conducted by General Motors and by Ford (Attachment 5). General Motors will be looking at five fuels, and the impact on elastomers and plastic materials used in engines and the fuel delivery systems. General Motors will be reporting back to the Performance Subcommittee in May or June. Ford's test program will analyze the lubricity impact of the Phase 2 test fuels, as well as of conventional fuels, on metal-to-metal wear. Evaluation ranking and comparative analysis will be presented to the Performance Subcommittee for their review. Mr. Simeroth also reported that Chevron is doing an independent test program using a Phase 2 gasoline of their own, with their employee fleet being used as the test vehicles. The program was to begin in mid-January. Acknowledgement was also given to Powerine Oil which is helping to procure the specialty fuels for the General Motors and Ford tests. Presentation on Transition Subcommittee Efforts Ms. Susan Brown of the California Energy Commission presented an overview of the discussions of the Transition Subcommittee (Attachment 6). In summary: In November, 1994, and January 1995, the subcommittee addressed issues of supply, distribution, federal RFG implementation, the oxygenate outlook, the CEC/ARB Joint Survey, and regional issues. The subcommittee evaluated historical and anticipated California supply, demand, and reserve capacity. Preliminary CEC forecasts indicate that supplies of California RFG will be adequate for the start-up of the general public use in March, 1996 and that production capacity can meet maximum forecasted demand through the year 2000. In monitoring the Phase 1 (federal) RFG program, the following observations were made: Phase 1 gasoline for Southern California currently constitutes sixty percent of total state production; no mechanical breakdowns had been reported at refineries; storage has been adequate for segregated fuels situations; required record keeping for federal RFG is much more extensive than will be for Phase 2 (California) RFG (only at the refinery). MTBE appears to be the oxygenate of choice for most refiners. However, methanol prices remain somewhat volatile due to market uncertainties. The oxygenate situation will continue to be monitored. The CEC will also begin to track ETBE more closely because some refiners may consider it to also be an attractive option. Cooperation from refiners in completing the Joint CEC/ARB RFG survey forms will enable the CEC to make more accurate forecasts of expected production, maximum production, and import volumes. All data is aggregated so that no individual provider's data can be ascertained. Presentation on Public Education Subcommittee Efforts Mr. Ron Friesen of the ARB presented the Public Education Subcommittee's progress in developing an information outreach program (Attachments 7 and 8). A public relations contract for professional assistance is being pursued to develop an outreach strategy and to advise on how to proceed. Eight responses have been received for the 18-month, $100,000 contract. A committee has been formed to review the proposals, and hopes to select a contractor by early March. The outreach plan blueprint has been drafted for targeting key audiences, developing messages, and exploring appropriate media options (included in meeting handouts). After review by the public relations contractor, the outreach plan will be presented to the Advisory Committee for final review. The Subcommittee presented the first in a series of facts sheets, entitled "California RFG Fact Sheet 1," to be distributed to the general public. In laymen's terms, it provides background information on Phase 2 RFG issues. The draft for Fact Sheet 2 was also presented to the Advisory Committee and will provide information on the performance and compatibility test programs. In addition, a quarterly newsletter of Advisory Committee and Subcommittee activities, issues and decisions entitled, "California RFG Forum," has been developed, which is intended for specific audiences, such as this Advisory Committee and the Subcommittees, as well as the State Legislature. Issue No. 1, December, 1994, has been published, and a draft Issue No. 2, February, 1995 is ready for production. Ms. Janet Hathaway, Natural Resources Defense Council expressed the value of, and the need for, extensive public education. The need to avoid jargon and speak the language of the different interest groups is critical. The Subcommittee is looking for sources for disseminating information such as through the "free media" and editorial boards. Assistance from Committee members who can be available for media opportunities would be appreciated. Ms. Jan Speelman, Southern California Service Station Association (SCSSA), reported that a survey of the SCSSA membership found that service station operators have minimal knowledge regarding the reformulated gasoline issue. They need to be informed about supply, price, fuel impacts, and health effects. The more the gasoline station operators are informed, the more they can also inform the general public. This is one of the gaps the Public Education Subcommittee hopes to fill. Open Discussion and Comments Following the Presentations Mr. Al Mannato of the EPA indicated that he doesn't think the claims on the recent ABC Television show regarding health issues will continue. The EPA is fairly comfortable that there is no scientific basis for the alleged negative health effects being caused by MTBE, and does not believe there is anything to change the risk assessment of MTBE. However, the EPA will be looking for independent assessment before the end of this year. Mr. James Boyd, Executive Officer, indicated that, nevertheless, the ARB will remain attuned to the public concerns on this issue, and will be more pro-active in public education. After a question and some discussion, Mr. Boyd suggested that at future meetings, the Subcommittees might want to discuss "what if" scenarios and develop potential solutions. Although discussions regarding solutions would be limited by anti-trust regulations, it would assist in being alert to potential problems as the program progresses, although none are anticipated. Announcements Chairman Lagarias announced that the ARB electronic bulletin board is now operational, which has a section devoted specifically to Phase 2 RFG issues. Users can view and download Phase 2 RFG Committee and Subcommittee meeting agendas and summaries, as well as other information. This service is now on-line and can be accessed by calling: (916) 322-2826. At the next Board Meeting of the Air Resources Board, a status report of the Phase 2 RFG Advisory Committee and Subcommittees' activities will be presented. The meeting will be held on February 23 at the ARB Headquarters building in Sacramento. Future Subcommittee meetings are scheduled for March 14-15, and May 16-17, at the ARB Headquarters building in Sacramento. The next meeting date for the Advisory Committee is tentatively set for Wednesday, June 7, 1995, at which time early results of the performance test program will be discussed. Sacramento location to be announced.
CBG Program Advisory and Subcommittee Activities