United States       Office of Transportation                       EPA420-F-05-030
         ProteCti°"  and Air Quality                            December 2005
                EPA Issues a Direct Final Rule to
                Modify Certain Provisions of the
                Reformulated and Conventional
                Gasoline Regulations Including
                Provisions for Butane Blenders and
                Attest Engagements
               The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a direct final
               rule on several modifications to the reformulated gasoline (RFG) and
               conventional gasoline regulations. These modifications correct technical
               errors, clarify certain provisions, and codify certain guidance previously
               issued by the Agency. This rule also makes two minor technical
               corrections to the Tier 2 gasoline sulfur rule.
               Through the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, Congress required
               EPA to publish rules requiring that gasoline sold in certain areas be refor-
               mulated to reduce vehicle emissions of toxic and ozone-forming com-
               pounds. This is known as reformulated gasoline, or RFG. Congress also
               directed EPA to establish rules for non-RFG, or conventional, gasoline.
               EPA published rules for the certification and enforcement of RFG and
               provisions for conventional gasoline on February 16, 1994.

On July 11, 1997, EPA proposed a number of modifications to the regula-
tions relating to emissions standards, emissions models, compliance-re-
lated requirements and enforcement provisions. In final rules published
on December 31, 1997, and December 28, 2001, EPA took final action on
several of the proposed modifications. This direct final rule takes action
on many of the remaining proposed modifications.
Summary of Modifications
This Direct Final Rule makes the following modifications:

  • Correction of typographical errors and minor non-substantive revi-
    sions, including technical corrections to provisions relating to the
    use of the Complex Model (a model used to predict the emissions
    performance of gasoline).

  • Change in the effective dates for changes  in the RFG standards due
    to a survey failure to allow regulated parties more time to turnover
    their gasoline supply to comply with the new standard.

  • Correction of an oversight in the regulations to require oxygenate
    blenders to assign batch numbers to finished batches of RFG. This
    requirement comports with the current requirement for oxygenate
    blenders to submit batch reports.

  • Non-substantive modification of certain provisions relating to the
    use of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending
    (RBOB) to make these provisions clearer.

  • Clarification that oxygen and benzene credit transfers may be either
    intra-company or inter-company (intra are exchanges among the
    same company, inter are exchanges between different companies).

  • Clarification of the compliance survey requirements relating to how
    the average of a series of one-week surveys should be computed.

  • Modification of the compliance survey requirements to clarify that
    the precision requirements attach to an  individual survey where the
    parameters being evaluated are ozone-related, and attach to the sur-
    vey series for other parameters.

Minor modifications to certain product transfer documentation pro-
visions for purposes of clarification, and the elimination of require-
ments deemed unnecessary based on experience with the program.

Addition of provisions which provide for an exemption of the RFG
requirements for gasoline used for aviation and racing purposes,
including procedures and requirements for obtaining an exemption.
These exemptions are currently allowed pursuant to guidance issued
by EPA. See "Reformulated             Anti-Dumping Questions
and Answers,        17,

Deletion of requirements relating to the use of renewable fuels.
These requirements were deemed invalid by the Court of Appeals
for the DC Circuit. (American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, 52 F.3rd
1113 [D.C. Cir.  1995])

Addition of provisions which provide an alternative, more flexible
approach to fulfilling the sampling and testing requirements for par-
ties who blend butane into reformulated and conventional gasoline,
based on test results from the butane supplier. This approach was
proposed in the  1997 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for
conventional gasoline and it is currently allowed for conventional
gasoline pursuant to guidance issued by EPA. "See
            Anti-dumping Questions    Answers, October 3,
1994" (EPA420-F-94-009). Comment on extending this approach to
butane blending into RFG was requested in the 1997 NPRM.

Addition of provisions which provide flexibility for gasoline import-
ers to treat imported gasoline as a blendstock (called "GTAB") in
order to conduct remedial blending of "off-spec" imported gasoline.
This flexibility was proposed in the 1997 NPRM and is currently
allowed pursuant to guidance issued by EPA. "See
            Anti-Dumping Questions    Answers, November 12,

Addition of provisions which provide flexibility for parties who
import gasoline  by truck by allowing these parties to comply with
an alternative method for fulfilling the sampling and testing require-
ments for importers under the RFG regulations. This flexibility is
currently allowed pursuant to guidance issued by EPA. "See Re-
                       Anti-Dumping Questions    Answers,
August 29, 1994" (EPA420-F-94-006); Letter from Steven A. Her-

    man, EPA, to Gregory M. Scott, Society of Independent Gasoline
    Marketers of America, January 2, 1998; Letter from Charles N.
    Freed, EPA, to Kevin J. Kyle, Pal Energy Corporation, April 23,

    Change in the date for submission of attest engagement reports for
    conventional gasoline from May 30 to May 31 to conform to the
    date that attest engagement reports  are due for RFG.

    Codification of more efficient procedures for conducting attest
    engagements and phase-out of existing procedures. EPA approved
    the use of these procedures by letter from EPA to the American
    Institute of Certified Public Accountants (March 15, 1996).

    Addition of procedures for conducting attest engagements relat-
    ing to the new requirements for GTAB, truck  imports, and butane
    blending (discussed above), and for blending  previously certified
    gasoline (requirements codified by  prior rulemaking).
Effect on industry
The changes made to the RFG and conventional gasoline regulations
in this direct final rule will make regulatory requirements clearer and
will provide industry with greater flexibility in complying with these
Health and Environmental Benefits
The emissions benefits achieved from the RFG and conventional gaso-
line programs will not be reduced as a result of this direct final rule.
Public Participation Opportunities
Most of the modifications in this rule were previously proposed on July
11, 1997. We received comments from interested parties at that time,
which we have addressed in the preamble to this rule. Although we be-
lieve we have adequately addressed these comments, given the length
of time since the proposal was published, we believe it is appropriate
to publish this action as a direct final rule to allow interested parties
further opportunity to comment. In the "Proposed Rules" section of the

Federal Register publication, we will be publishing a separate docu-
ment that will serve as the proposal to adopt the provisions in the direct
final rule if adverse comments are filed.

You may access the rule and related documents on EPA's Office of
Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) Web site at:

    www. epa. gov/otaq/rfg_regs. htm

All of the "questions and answers" guidance documents are available at:

    www. epa. gov/otaq/rfg_qa. htm

For More Information
For more information on this rule, please contact Marilyn Bennett at:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Office of Transportation and Air Quality (6406J)
    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20460
    (202) 343-9624
    E-mail:  bennett.marilyn@epa.gov