Oxygenates, MTBE, Ethanol, and Other Information

This page last reviewed October 30, 2013

Overview

Current Regulations

  • Federal Wintertime Oxygenates Program:

          The Federal Clean Air Act Amendments (FCAAA) of 1990 requires the Federal Wintertime Oxygenates Program.  Section 211(m) of FCAAA requires states to implement an oxygenated gasoline program in those areas designated nonattainment for the Federal carbon monoxide (CO) standards, which began in the winter of 1992. These requirements are in effect during the portion of the year in which a nonattainment area is subject to high ambient  concentrations of CO, with a regulatory control period of no less than four months (usually November, December, January, and February). 

         Currently, there are two areas in California subject to wintertime oxygenate requirements: Greater Los Angeles Area and Imperial County. 

  • National Wintertime Oxygenates Areas Map (PDF-20k)
  • California Wintertime Oxygenates Program

         To comply with the requirements of the Federal Wintertime Oxygenates Program, the California Wintertime Oxygenates Program was implemented in 1992

California Request for Oxygenates Waiver

  • October 20, 2005: U.S EPA granted the ARB's second request to extend the waiver to the California Phase 3 gasoline RVP requirements in California's State Implementation Plan, from October 25, 2005 to October 31, 2005, concerning the availability of California gasoline to meet Federal RVP requirement as a result of Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast. (PDF-365k)

  • September 27, 2005: U.S EPA granted the ARB's request to extend the waiver to the California Phase 3 gasoline RVP requirements in California's State Implementation Plan, from October 4, 2005 to October 24, 2005, concerning the availability of California gasoline to meet Federal RVP requirement as a result of Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast. (PDF-364k)

  • September 13, 2005: U.S EPA granted the ARB's request to waive the California Phase 3 gasoline RVP requirements in California's State Implementation Plan, which is effect immediately until 11:59 p.m. on October 3, 2005, concerning the availability of California gasoline to meet Federal RVP requirement as a result of Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast. U.S EPA will continue to monitor the situation and issue a second waiver if appropriate. (PDF-397k)

  • June 2, 2005: U.S. EPA upholds the federal Reformulated Gasoline Oxygen Requirement in California, New York, and Connecticut:

  • February 2, 2004: California continues to request a Waiver from the Federal Reformulated Gasoline Oxygen Mandate:
    1. Letter from the California EPA Secretary Tamminen to the U.S. EPA Administrator Leavitt (PDF-111k)
    2. Demonstration that the U.S EPA must grant California a waiver from the Federal Reformulated Gasoline Oxygen mandated on remand from the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. (PDF-149k)
    3. Technical support documents related to a Waiver's impact on:
      1. Particulate Matter Emissions (PDF-107k)
      2. Off-road Equipment Evaporative Emissions (PDF-69k).
      3. Permeation Emissions from Portable Fuel Containers (PDF-38k).
      4. Commingling Emissions (PDF-3927k).
  • January 29, 2004, letter from the Governor Schwarzenegger to the U.S. EPA Administrator Leavitt urging U.S. EPA to grant California Oxygenates. Press Release: (PDF-21k)
  • August 6, 2003 Governor Davis urges U.S. EPA to grant waiver to keep gasoline clean, affordable and plentiful (PDF-10k).

  • July 17, 2003 the 9th Circuit Court's decision in Davis v. U.S. EPA, vacating U.S. EPA's denial of California's oxygen waiver request, and remanding the matter to U.S. EPA with instructions to give full consideration of the effects of a waiver on both the ozone and particulate matter NAAQS (PDF-117k)

  • Governor Davis' Sues U.S EPA over Decision of Denial  the California's Waiver Request - August 13, 2001 Press Release (PDF-119k)
  • Governor Davis' Statement on U.S. EPA Decision - June 12, 2001 Press Release (PDF-80k) 
  • U.S. EPA Issued Decision on California Waiver Request - June 12, 2001 Press Release (PDF-161k) 

          Support Documents:

  • Governor Davis' Letter to President George W. Bush - May 22, 2001  Press Release (PDF-146k
  • Letter from U.S. EPA confirming receipt of complete application for a waiver from the Federal Year-Round Oxygen Mandate - February 14, 2000 (PDF - 75k)
  • Governor Davis' Letter to U.S. EPA - December 15, 1999 (PDF-152k)
  • Governor Davis' Letter to U.S. EPA - April 12, 1999 (PDF-580k
  • Additional Material Supporting California's Request for a Waiver of the Federal RFG Year-Round Oxygen Mandate 

MTBE Related Activities

  • Governor's Executive Order D-52-02 on MTBE Postponement (PDF-120k) - Issued March, 2002
    • ARB comments to Cal/EPA regarding the above University of California Health & Environmental Assessment of MTBE (November, 1998)
      • ARB's Cover Memo (PDF-22k)
      • Attachment 1 - Background and Comments on "Executive Summary & Recommendations" and "Summary," Sections 1 and 2 (PDF-26k) 
    • Cal/EPA Public Hearings on UC Report on MTBE (February, 1999)
  • Cal/EPA and ARB Briefing Paper - Revised September 3, 1998 (PDF-89k)

Ethanol Related Activities

Other Information

 

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