Release 94-6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     CONTACT: Jerry Martin
June 22, 1994                                                                                                   Allan Hirsch
                                                                                                                         (916) 322-2990

ARB Forms Advisory Group for Change to Cleaner-Burning Reformulated Gas

        SACRAMENTO - California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Jacqueline E. Schafer today announced formation of an advisory committee, comprised of many groups that use or produce gasoline ranging from refiners and car makers to truckers, to assure a smooth and orderly transition to cleaner grades of reformulated gasoline required by 1996.

        Governor Pete Wilson directed the formation of the advisory group in order to monitor the implementation of the reformulated gasoline regulations, to anticipate any potential performance problems and to develop contingencies to avoid repetition of the state's experience with introducing diesel fuel last fall.

        The committee is expected to meet quarterly to review the efforts toward introduction of the new fuel and to offer expertise where it is needed. That will include reviewing quality testing to assure that the fuel is compatible with different types of engines. The committee's effort also will help assure that the new gasoline grades are distributed downstream to suppliers and retail outlets in time to avoid shortages that can cause price fluctuations.

        The advisory group will establish three subcommittees. One will track price, supply and demand issues. A second will focus on testing to assure the quality of reformulated gasoline to avoid potential engine problems. A third subcommittee will focus on increasing public awareness about the costs, health benefits and other advantages of the fuel, known as Phase 2 gasoline.

        ARB's Phase 2 reformulated gasoline rules, which set eight critical specifications for gasoline to produce the world's lowest polluting blend, were adopted in 1991 and are scheduled to be introduced in California beginning March 1996. Those changes include lower levels of sulfur, aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, and olefins, as well as a requirement for the use of the oxygenates. In addition, the new gasoline rules set a lower standard for vapor pressure and limits on the temperature where 50 and 90 percent of the fuel evaporate.

        The new fuel will have an immediate benefit on air quality by cutting smog-forming emissions from all gasoline-powered engines by up to 12 percent, or 3000 tons a day, and by lowering the emissions of four highly toxic compounds, such as benzene and 1,3 butadiene, by about 30 percent.

        The greatest benefit of the cleaner gasoline will be in cutting emissions from the estimated 20 million cars and trucks that were produced before the ARB's Low Emission Vehicle Standards took effect with the 1994 model year.

        "Currently, 17 refiners are investing about $5 billion and creating as many as 20,000 high skill jobs to produce this cleaner grade of gasoline," said Jacqueline E. Schafer, ARB chairwoman. "That represents a substantial business investment for refiners. Considering the widespread health benefits of cleaner gasoline, it is a substantial in public health, as well.

        "This advisory committee will be a big help to us because we will gain the expertise of all the groups who refine, distribute, sell or use gasoline so that we can safeguard those investments and insure an orderly transition from the gasoline of today to the cleaner fuel of tomorrow."

        The list of those invited to participate in the advisory group is attached.

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Agricultural Representatives

After-Market Parts Manufacturers

Automobile and Fleet Associations

Business Associations

Engine Manufacturers Associations

Environmental Groups

Gasoline Marketers

Gasoline Producers

Manufacturing - General

Motor Vehicle Manufacturers

Petroleum Equipment Manufacturers

Service Station Dealers

Trucking Industry

Vapor Recovery Manufacturers

Government Agencies - State

Government Agencies/Representatives - Local