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Southern states get gasoline break from EPA

Fuel measures eased because of good air quality.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   May 16, 2014 at 10:09 AM  |  Updated May 16, 2014 at 10:10 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency said it waived gasoline requirements for parts of North Carolina and Florida because of good air quality standards.

EPA said it was responding to requests from state authorities to remove counties from certain gasoline requirements for the summer. EPA said it was taking the action because states or counties have demonstrated they're in compliance with ozone quality standards.

The so-called winter blend of gasoline is cheaper to manufacture than the summer blend because of processes needed to decrease emissions that contribute to heightened ozone and smog levels. Summer blends give drivers better gas mileage, though it's expensive to produce.

Heather McTeer Toney, a regional administration for the EPA, said the waiver is a direct result of collaborative efforts to improve air quality in the respective districts.

"This action is especially important during hurricane season when greater adaptability is needed for the fuel distribution system to support an adequate supply," she said in a statement Thursday.

The EPA's action related to six counties in Florida and seven counties in North Carolina.

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