Release 02-27      

May 21, 2002


Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990

Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
Equilon Enterprises Pays $55,000 for Air Quality Violations

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has reached a settlement with Equilon Enterprises. Equilon disclosed to ARB that it had sold gasoline that did not meet legally established Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standards. RVP is a measurement of how quickly gasoline evaporates.

“The RVP standards for refining gasoline are a way to assure that minimal fumes are released from gasoline used in California,” explained Executive Officer, Michael Kenny, of the ARB. “The controls protect the health and economy of the state while establishing a level playing field for refiners.”

After routine internal auditing Equilon determined that its software used to monitor RVP values was inaccurate and reported that to ARB. State law allows for the reduction of penalties if the company at fault reports the problem once it is uncovered.

The RVP characteristic of gasoline is controlled through variations of its refining. As the RVP decreases, fewer vapors are released. An increase in RVP means greater gasoline evaporation, which contributes to ozone formation. Ozone is a major contributor to smog, causing lung illnesses, premature death, and crop loss. To combat this California has established requirements that optimize RVP qualities with other refining concerns.

The $55,000 Equilon has paid will go to California's Air Pollution Control Fund, which is used to mitigate various sources of pollution throughout the state. The state uses this fund to educate the public and provide programs to minimize the output of smog forming emissions from various sources. Through incentive and buyback programs, the APCF reduces the number of pollution sources.

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.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at

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