EPA To Reduce Sulfur in Gasoline by 2017

By Kelsey Mays  on March 3, 2014

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The EPA will finalize a rule that should reduce sulfur in vehicles by two-thirds beginning in 2017. The Detroit News reports the move should ultimately decrease smog-causing gases by 80 percent because the bulk of smog-forming emissions are created during the first 60 seconds or so after you start your car; catalytic converters virtually eliminate the rest of it. Sulfur in fuel reduces the effectiveness of catalytic converters over time, and the EPA lowered the allowable amount in gasoline to 30 parts per million in 2000 — a 90 percent drop at the time. Today's rule will drop that further to 10 ppm on average in 2017, which aligns most of the U.S. with regulations in California, the European Union, Japan and South Korea.

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Automakers broadly support the move, which the EPA says will cost less than 1 cent per gallon of gasoline and around $72 per car. The agency expects the program's annual cost to total some $1.5 billion in 2030 but drive health benefits — quantified in terms like reduced respiratory sickness and fewer days missed from school or work — of $8 billion to $23 billion per year.

Our friends at the Detroit News have the whole story; click here to read it.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

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Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey