US EPA is rushing through new gasoline-emission rules – group

07 May 2013 22:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday said that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rushing through the process to establish stricter standards on automobile emissions and sulphur content in gasoline.

The API said it is urging the EPA to allow enough time for public comment following the proposed Tier 3 regulation's publication in the Federal Register, as required by Clean Air Act procedures.

On 29 March, the EPA issued a proposed rule that would set new vehicle emissions standards and lower sulphur content in gasoline starting in 2017.

In the 8 April edition of the Federal Register, the agency announced it will hold two public hearings in April and that the public comment period will end on 13 June, noting that the proposed Tier 3 rule will be separately published in the Federal Register.

“Our concern is what the EPA did was issue a pre-publication version and then start the public comment deadline before the rule made it into the Federal Register,” said Patrick Kelly, API’s senior policy advisor for downstream and industry operations.

“What they’re doing is rushing the process in order to shorten the time for the industry to be able to provide meaningful comment,” Kelly said during a conference call regarding the API’s concerns in a letter to the EPA.

The API is requesting that the EPA schedule a public hearing 30 days after the proposed Tier 3 rule has been published in the Federal Register and that the agency allows a 90-day public comment period following the publication.

“Respecting the statutory rulemaking process in this case is particularly important because the proposal is hard to justify and potentially very harmful,” Kelly said.

“The massive refinery investment it will require would drive up the cost of making gasoline and weaken the nation’s energy security without providing much if any environmental benefit,” he added.

The API is one of several organisations that have concerns and criticism about the proposed rule.

By: Tracy Dang
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