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Corbett Approves Changes to Summer Fuel Standards, Still Needs Nod from EPA

Gov. Corbett this week signed into law Senate Bill 1037, which would end more stringent gasoline regulations during summer months. Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) introduced the legislation in an effort to save customers in the region from having to pay more for the more expensive “summer gas,” which is now only required in southwest Pennsylvania and a few counties in Maine. Gasoline prices in the seven-county region last summer ranged as much as 18.87 cents more per gallon because of the EPA mandate.

While the legislature was successful in its efforts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the final say on implementation of the new law.

Environmental and health organizations have been critical of the law stating that ending the summer blend program would be “entirely irrational” and would go against efforts to cleaner air thereby harming area residents.

A DEP spokesman has said that “with the proper corresponding tradeoffs the Department feels that it could work.”

The tradeoffs could mean lowering RVP value at other areas in the state to compensate. In 2011 the EPA granted a temporary waiver from low RVP requirements in southwestern PA due to issues with gasoline supply disruptions.