S Dakota, Minnesota governors ask Trump to direct EPA to reduce toxic aromatics in gasoline

Source: By Green Car Congress • Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2019

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Chair of the Governor’s Biofuels Coalition, and Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem senta joint letter to President Trump requesting that he direct the EPA to enforce Section 202 of the Clean Air Act that requires the reduction and elimination of toxic carcinogenic aromatics from gasoline.

Section 202 was included in the landmark Clean Air Act amendments passed by Congress in 1990, directing the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce dangerous chemical additives in gasoline. This amendment has yet to be enforced, despite the development of a variety of cost-effective substitutes including high-octane biofuels.

The primary benefits of eliminating gasoline aromatics are reducing pollution and increasing health outcomes. Aromatics are the primary source of carcinogenic air toxins such as benzene, as well as fine and ultrafine particulates, which have been shown to be major contributors to asthma and other respiratory, cardiovascular, and brain diseases, as well as many cancers.

This is an especially persistent risk for Americans living near congested roadways and those who use cars to commute, for whom these particulates are unavoidable.

The governors said that “[n]ow, there is an available replacement, and it’s time for the Trump Administration to follow the law and give Americans less toxic gasoline and the benefit of sustained, lower gasoline prices by replacing aromatics with biofuels.”

One practical and cost-effective way to reduce aromatics is to use 30 percent ethanol blends to reduce particulate matter and black carbon emissions by 45 percent, and hydrocarbon pollution by more than 20 percent.

—Governors’ letter to the president