Gasoline – Fuel Efficiency

EPA Proposes New Tier 3 Emissions Standards That Would Start in 2017

March 29, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new Tier 3 tailpipe and fuel standards that are designed to reduce emissions and the sulfur content in gasoline. The proposed standards would go into effect in 2017 if approved as-is.

The proposed Tier 3 standards are designed to be in line with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) Low Emission Vehicle III program, which would allow automakers to sell the same vehicles in all 50 states, EPA stated.

In terms of costs, EPA estimates that it would add $130 to the cost of each vehicle in the year 2025 and about 1 cent to the average cost of a gallon of gasoline once the standards are completely in place. For total costs, EPA estimates the program will cost $3.4 billion but will provide between $8 billion and $23 billion in health benefits.

According to the EPA, the proposed standards will reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides by 80%, establish a 70% tighter particulate matter standard, reduce fuel vapor emissions to close to zero, and reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene by up to 40%.

The automakers from the Association of Global Automakers and from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers both came out in support of these new standards.

“We have been anxiously awaiting this rulemaking because it is good for the environment and will help harmonize the federal and California programs for both vehicles and fuels,” said Michael J. Stanton, president and CEO of Global Automakers.

“Automakers have already reduced vehicle emissions by 99%, and we’re working to go further while also delivering high quality, affordable vehicles to our customers,” stated the Alliance. “Our goal is a rule that harmonizes with California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV III) program finalized in 2012. Eliminating differing timelines, regulatory procedures and test methods at the federal and state levels will help reduce emissions and avoid extra costs to consumers.”

You can view the proposed Tier 3 standards from the EPA here.

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