Extension of the Reformulated Gasoline Program to the Phoenix, Arizona Moderate Ozone Non-attainment Area
EPA is issuing a final rule today to revise the reformulated gasoline (RFG) regulations to include the Phoenix, Arizona moderate ozone nonattainment area in the federal RFG Program. Today's action requires that retail stations sell federal RFG Phase I in the Phoenix area within 30 days of the effective date of the final rule.
CAA requires EPA to establish standards for RFG to be used in specified ozone nonattainment areas. The Act also provides that ozone nonattainment areas classified as marginal, moderate, serious or severe, may be included in the RFG program upon application of the Governor of the state in which the area is located. EPA is required to establish an implementation date for the area to be included in the program within a year of the governor's request.
Phoenix, Arizona is currently classified as a moderate ozone nonattainment area. The Phoenix area continues to exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and faces the possibility of being "bumped up" to a serious classification. In order to address these concerns and identify the best possible options for addressing the area's air quality problems, the State convened a task force which included the State Department of Environmental Quality as well as both industry and environmental representatives. The Task Force identified several options and ultimately decided to support the use of Federal RFG Phase I gasoline.
On January 17, 1997, EPA received a letter from Governor Symington of Arizona officially requesting that the Phoenix area be included in the federal RFG Phase I program. The Governor requested that EPA require that refiners provide RFG by June 1997. On February 18, 1997, EPA issued a Direct Final Rule and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to set an effective date for the Phoenix ozone nonattainment area to be a covered area in the federal reformulated gasoline (RFG).