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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Fuels Regulatory Streamlining Rule took effect on January 1 and will be impacting fuel stations as we move into the summer months. The rule provides three key elements to accomplish its goals of reducing compliance burdens, maintaining fuel quality, and lowering fuel costs for consumers:
This rule does not change the stringency of the existing fuel quality standards, nor does it create any new fuel quality standards. It also does not alter any provisions of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program or remove statutory requirements specified under the Clean Air Act.
Before the rule was amended, fuel sold during the summer months was regulated by the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) levels in the gasoline. Various regions of the United States were subject to different limitations. Fuels were blended to achieve the proper VOC levels and then further tested to meet compliance requirements. Now, fuel distribution is much easier.
The Reid vapor pressure (RVP) is a standard measure of the volatility of gasoline and other petroleum products. The new regulation uses a measure of RVP to standardize requirements across the United States. Higher RVP means the fuel forms more vapor. Warmer temperatures also increase vaporization.
Under the regulation, the RVP requirements are lower during the summer (June 1 to September 15) to reduce evaporative emissions from gasoline and lessen the damaging effects of CO2 emissions. The “summer standard” is set at an RVP per-gallon cap of 7.4 psi. Making this change will simplify compliance requirements and minimize restrictions on commingling RFG and CG to increase the efficiency of gasoline distribution.
If reality plays out as forecasted by the EPA, fuel station owners should see lower prices due to easier distribution and fewer compliance hurdles. Already, OPIS sees an increase in fuel shipments to the East Coast. In the first ten weeks of 2021, gasoline imports to the region averaged 452,000 b/d compared to about 441,000 during the same period in 2020.
Regardless of the season or the political environment, you can make sound inventory purchasing decisions with innovative software solutions. Fuel margins are razor-thin, making pricing decisions critical for profitability. Instantly view rack pricing reports to compare costs and achieve the best deals for your customers. Depending on the level of performance you need, software solutions will automatically email pricing reports, download data into MS Excel, analyze pricing strategies, evaluate volume trends, and integrate with your accounting platform.
WEnd Consulting will help you optimize technology to improve customer satisfaction and grow your bottom line. Our team of industry experts will guide you through software review and support your staff through integration. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business achieve success.