Into Thin Air
A federal court has struck another blow to EPA’s clean-air efforts, ordering the EPA to change a rule that would have expanded a program to require the use of reformulated gasoline, which burns more cleanly than conventional gasoline. The rule, issued in September 1998, would have allowed up to 80 municipalities not in violation of clean air standards to voluntarily join a federal program that mandates the use of reformulated gas. The court order stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, which claimed that the EPA exceeded its authority with the rule. The 1990 Clean Air Act requires reformulated gasoline to be sold in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for ozone, but the EPA aimed to make reformulated gas available to additional communities that wanted it. The agency has not yet decided whether to appeal the decision.