Fuel Quality Standards are Necessary to Reduce Pollution
September 30, 2021
WASHINGTON (Sept. 30, 2021) – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced administrative settlements today with Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (Chevron) and American Refining Group, Inc. (ARG) that resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s fuel quality standards that are designed to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles. Pursuant to the settlements, Chevron and ARG will pay civil penalties of $647,988 and $220,000, respectively.
“These settlements demonstrate the EPA’s commitment to ensuring compliance with the Clean Air Act’s fuel quality standards,” said Air Enforcement Division Acting Director Evan Belser. “Fuel refiners and importers must meet these important standards to protect our air quality.”
The EPA discovered Chevron’s alleged violations during a 2016 compliance evaluation of Chevron’s refineries and from information that Chevron self-disclosed to the agency. The fuel quality violations in this case include Chevron’s failure to comply with the gasoline volatility standard, the gasoline per-gallon sulfur standard, and the gasoline benzene credit reporting requirements. Violations of the gasoline volatility standard resulted in additional emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a precursor to the formation of ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts, including temporary breathing difficulty for people with asthma, respiratory illness, and aggravation of existing heart disease. Violations of the gasoline sulfur standard reduce the efficiency of emission control systems in vehicles and engines.
The EPA discovered ARG’s alleged violation from information that ARG self-disclosed to the agency. The fuel quality violation in this case includes ARG’s failure to comply with the maximum average gasoline benzene standard. Violations of the maximum average gasoline benzene standard resulted in additional emissions of benzene. Benzene is a toxic air pollutant and known carcinogen that causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts, including cancer.
The settlements with Chevron and ARG, which were reviewed and ratified by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, are available here on EPA’s CAA Fuels Settlement Information webpage - https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/clean-air-act-fuels-settlement-information.
Members of the public can help protect our environment by identifying and reporting environmental violations. Learn more here: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/report-environmental-violation-general-information