Release 98-50
August 21, 1998 
CONTACT:  Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990
Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730
ARB Settles Fuel Violation Case with Equilon Enterprises

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced a settlement in which Equilon Enterprises of Los Angeles will provide approximately $100,000 worth of diesel fuel for an ARB sponsored research project.

        ARB Chairman John Dunlap said, "California's long-standing reputation for having the nation's cleanest-burning fuels depends on a commitment from industry to adhere to ARBs stringent standards."  Dunlap added, "This unique settlement will produce substantial benefits and is vital to our efforts to improve California's air quality." 

        As part of the settlement, Equilon will deliver 16,000 gallons each of three types of commercially available diesel fuels.  These include: diesel meeting ARB standards, diesel meeting less-stringent U.S. EPA standards, and diesel fuel allowed specifically for use in locomotives. The 48,000 gallons of fuel will be delivered to the Southwest Research Laboratory in San Antonio, Texas for research to help reduce emissions and suspected carcinogens related to diesel.

        The settlement stems from ARB investigations of Texaco's Los Angeles refinery that took place between March 13, 1996 and June 1, 1998.  ARB investigators found that Texaco produced, offered for sale and/or sold five batches of gasoline that exceeded ARB's aromatic hydrocarbon and oxygen limits.  In addition, ARB staff found that there were errors in reporting distillation temperatures for California gasoline. Equilon Enterprises acquired the refinery earlier this year.

        ARBs cleaner-burning gasoline regulations, which became effective in Spring 1996, contain specifications for eight gasoline properties.  Cleaner-burning gasoline reduces smog-forming emissions from motor vehicles by 15 percent and is essential for attainment of the state's air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide.  In addition, cleaner-burning gasoline reduces the potential cancer risk associated with exposure to toxic air contaminants from motor vehicles by approximately 40 percent.

        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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