Release 96-6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       CONTACT: Daven Oswalt
March 29, 1996                                                                                  (916) 327-6247
                                                                                                           Allan Hirsch/Jerry Martin                                                                                                            (916) 322-2990

ARB Grants ARCO Emergency Diesel Variance

SACRAMENTO--The California Air Resources Board ARB) today granted ARCO Petroleum Company a 10-day emergency variance from certain state diesel-fuel specifications to enable the company to produce diesel fuel while it makes unscheduled refinery repairs.

        The variance, which will be in effect from March 31 to April 9, requires ARCO to pay a mitigation fee of six cents for each gallon of diesel fuel that does not meet ARB specifications. ARCO also must make continuous efforts during the 10-day variance period to supply its customers with diesel fuel meeting all ARB specifications that the company is able to purchase at market prices.

        The Los Angeles-based refiner normally produces about 30,000 barrels (or 1,260,000 gallons) per day of ARB-complying diesel and expects to have repairs made to its Carson refinery within eight to ten days.

        ARCO requested an emergency variance after a heat exchanger in the refinery's hydrogen unit began to leak on March 28. The variance could allow ARCO to produce a maximum of 300,000 gallons of non-complying diesel fuel. But ARCO has indicated that it will attempt to produce approximately 60,000 gallons of ARB-complying diesel during the variance period. Purchases of diesel from other refiners will also help minimize the amount of non-complying fuel that ARCO produces.

        Revenues from the mitigation fee will be placed in an escrow account that is used to fund clean air projects.

        The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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