Air Pollution

EPA's Efforts to Control Gasoline Vapors From Motor Vehicles Gao ID: RCED-90-21 October 6, 1989

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to control motor vehicle emissions of gasoline vapors, focusing on whether EPA: (1) could lower gasoline volatility immediately; and (2) adequately addressed concerns regarding the safety of onboard emissions controls and the feasibility of vapor recovery equipment for service station pumps.

GAO found that: (1) in 1987, EPA proposed a two-stage reduction in gasoline volatility, with reductions to occur in 1989 and 1992; (2) EPA required lower volatility beginning in the summer of 1989, which should result in a 3-percent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions; (3) proposed legislation would require EPA to reduce the volatility standard to the planned level by 1992; (4) EPA still needs to determine whether it should further reduce the standard, whether refiners can meet the standard by 1992, and how it will treat ethanol fuels under the standard; (5) seven states adopted the more stringent standard beginning in 1989; (6) EPA believes that onboard controls will not degrade passenger safety, but federal transportation safety agencies disagree, contending that onboard systems would increase the complexity of fuel systems and the likelihood of vehicle fires and engine problems; and (7) while EPA believes that motor vehicle manufacturers could incorporate onboard controls within 2 years, the industry believes that it needs 4 years.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Team: Phone:

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.