EPA Eases Fuel Regulation at Gas Pumps, Relief in Sight for NKY Motorists
April 4, 2018
COVINGTON, Ky. — The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday approved Kentucky’s revision to the State Implementation Plan to eliminate reformulated gasoline (RFG) requirements for Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties in Northern Kentucky.
Northern Kentucky business leaders from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber), Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association (KPMA), and state and local officials led by State Representative Diane St. Onge (63rd District) and Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore celebrated this significant environmental and economic milestone today at a press conference in Devou Park.
“This decision means consumers no longer have to pay for higher-priced RFG at the pump year-round while it continues the region’s commitment to meeting environmental standards,” said Rep. St. Onge. “The adoption of a less-expensive yet effective environmental plan is the result of a collaborative endeavor our team led to reduce regulatory burdens while protecting the communities in which we live and work.”
“Our work will move our region forward by reducing the cost of gasoline while not negatively impacting our environment,” said Judge Moore. “I discovered that we could win this battle while testifying before Congress on air quality in May of 2015. Years of hard work and determination by these groups and individuals will allow Northern Kentucky convenience stores, service stations, truck stops, and marinas to be more economically competitive with surrounding regions.”
According to Brian Clark, KPMA Executive Director, this change is possible due to improvements in gasoline, cleaner operating cars and other environmental advancements. “We are proud of everything our industry is doing to not only protect air quality but lessen our environmental impact as well,” he said.
“It also took the cooperation of our regional delegation and state regulatory officials to bring this to fruition,” added Clark. “We appreciate the Kentucky Division for Air Quality’s openness to modernizing the plan and understanding that we share the common goal of protecting the environment while not unnecessarily burdening the economy. The change received widespread support and virtually no opposition, which is a credit to the quality of the new plan and the support of our officials.”
“It is now clear that RFG is no longer needed for Northern Kentucky to achieve our environmental goals. Consumers will save at the pump without compromising the quality of our environment,” said Brent Cooper, NKY Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. “The savings ahead for Northern Kentucky businesses and their employees and families, is going to be profound. Since the requirement will end by the end of June, we’ve decided July 1st will be the beginning of our ‘RFG Independence Day’ celebration!”
The EPA approval is the culmination of years of leadership and collaboration by multiple organizations and public officials in Northern Kentucky.
Rhonda Whitaker, NKY Chamber Board Chair said, “Without the dedication of our NKY Chamber board and Chamber volunteers like Steve Harper and Phil Schworer, local officials like Judge Executive Gary Moore, State Representative Diane St. Onge, leadership by the KPMA, and the support of various NKY mayors and Judges Executive that wrote letters and publicly spoke out, this wouldn’t have happened. I would like to thank everyone involved for making this happen for the benefit of our economy. This is a great day for Northern Kentucky!”
Northern Kentucky has been required to use reformulated gasoline (RFG) since 1995 after the Commonwealth voluntarily opted into the federal RFG program to meet Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements.
Last year, the Kentucky Division for Air Quality evaluated the potential impact of removing RFG in the area. The agency found that removal of the requirements would not interfere with the attainment or maintenance of the national ambient air quality standards for ozone. The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) submitted a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision to remove the RFG requirements from the Northern Kentucky area and demonstrated to EPA that this revision will not interfere with the attainment and reasonable further progress of any current NAAQS.
EEC Secretary Charles Snavely said, “Work by the Division of Air Quality demonstrated that there is no significant benefit to keep reformulated gasoline in Northern Kentucky. So, it made sense to petition the EPA to replace it with conventional gasoline.”
The effective date of the opt-out is expected to be on or around July 1, 2018, which is 90 days from Monday’s published approval (April 2) of the SIP by the EPA in the Federal Register. The approval notice is available at www.federalregister.gov.
Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association (KPMA) is a statewide, nonprofit trade association founded in 1926 to promote the interest and goodwill of everyone engaged in the marketing and distribution of petroleum products in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Our marketer members own or supply over 3,000 retail fueling facilities (convenience stores, service stations, truckstops, cardlocks and marinas) in Kentucky. The association keeps its members up to date on petroleum-related news and information, pertinent developments in state and national government, and issues and trends that affect petroleum marketing and the industry. Additional information about the KPMA is available at www.kmpa.org.
The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Inc., founded in 1969, is the leading business organization in Northern Kentucky. It is a Five-Star Accredited Chamber with nearly 1,500 member companies representing approximately 175,000 employees. The Chamber focuses its efforts on education, workforce development, international trade, leadership development, and government relations at the federal, state and local level. Rhonda Whitaker, District Manager of Government and Community Relations for Duke Energy, is the Chair of the Board and Brent Cooper is the President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Additional information on the Chamber is available at www.nkychamber.com.