In a move sure to please urban-area gas station owners, the EPA has issued a waiver to its 1994 rule requiring gas pump vapor recovery systems. The devices were required in mostly urban areas to reduce smog-causing vapors from being released into the air during the refueling of vehicles.

With more than 70 percent of vehicles on the road already having a vapor recovery device, the EPA says the pump system is redundant. The agency says waiving the requirement will save the nation's gas station owners an estimated $91 million a year.

Since 2006, all new vehicles have been required to have onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) capabilities. While a vehicle is being refueled, the ORVR captures hazardous fumes that can worsen smog and impact public health.

The EPA website doesn't say specifically when this waiver goes into effect, just that it's "later this year."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...and maybe, with the money they save, they'll lower prices! (lol)
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      So seventy percent on the road have vapor recovery, and it has been required since 2006. So does that mean that seventy percent of the car on the road are from 2006 or later, or were there cars that had the system prior to 2006 when it wasn't a requirement?
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        "as required by the Clean Air Act, automobile manufacturers began installing onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) technologies in 1998" It sounds like a soft-rollout of the technology over 8 years.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      States up,at Senastian's article... :) Trolling again.... Senastian's saying: 'hey everybody look! It's emmanuel Goldstein! He's right there! Now let's have our daily 5 minutes of hate! Just click a lot because my clicks are down, and my job sorta depends on it!' Oldthink unbellyfeel Ingsoc! Again I ask, how do all of you feel about a person who is intentionally trying to piss you off?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Stares up....that is....typing and drinking coffee....sigh.... Happy Friday Everyone! :D
      george costanza
      • 2 Years Ago
      in any event I will continue to avoid gas stations as much as humanly possible since EPA is a totally inept powerless corporate groveling non entity....it is about as impotent as UN with regards to actually cracking down on 'rogue' nations when US does whatever the f*(k it damn well pleases etc. in this state EPA has no manpower and neither does our state DEC to control fracking. but gov with dollar signs in eyes wants to go ahead with no fall back when sh!t inevitably hits the fan. it is like MMS 'overseeing' BP oil disaster when every single employee previously worked for big oil whom they were suppposed to be objectively 'overseeing'. EPA is about as useful as Obama's new financial watchdog team of about 55 or so investigators after JP Morgan using taxpayer money just screwed the pooch again with other peoples' money prob. so they can get bailed out again by YOU.
      mrbell321
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't know how the vapor recovery systems actually work, but it makes alot more sense to me to put it on the pump for several reasons: 1) The pump doesn't have to lug it's own weight around. Added weight to the car=lower fuel economy 2) Not all cars can/will be upgraded in the near future. Pumps can be. 3) Simple physics: if you remove liquid from a closed container, low pressure is formed inside the container; if liquid is added to a closed container, high pressure is formed. This simple system can be used to draw the vapor from the filling vehicle tank to the emptying underground tank. Simple, no extra moving parts, cheap.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mrbell321
        Cars already have to have a vapor recovery system for gas tank fumes. The system works to recover gas that evaporates in your gas tank as it sits out in the sun. The gas vapor condenses back into gasoline and is returned into the tank. Adding positive venting into the existing vapor recovery system while filling the tank isn't a huge addition. And the added benefit is that you get to keep your own gas vapor, and when it condenses it goes back into your own gas tank. All new cars have this. No old cars will ever be upgraded. The roughly 30% of cars without this system will keep going down each year. The average car is 20 years old now, meaning that in about 5 years that 30% will drop down to somewhere in the single digits, which is acceptable compared to the cost savings. The money not used on these pumps can then be better spent elsewhere to continue to address the larger problem of smog producing gases.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          PR, so why not keep the system in place for another decade? This change will actually increase the amount of vapor emitted and increase smog, at least for another decade until as you claim all the old cars disappear. How many more will die of respiratory disease as a result? Is the government-factored cost of human life worth the estimated savings?
      Majerus
      • 2 Years Ago
      EPA what a joke
        Mark Schaffer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Majerus
        So says something calling itself "Majerus"...Surely an authority on environmental pollution. More likely though is that "Majerus" is another uninformed, ignorant citizen.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mark Schaffer
          @ Mark Schaffer " Majerus" could be his name, as in Rick Majerus ?
          Mark Schaffer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mark Schaffer
          @ Marco Polo...I don't know. Ask it a question about basketball but, by the great spaghetti monster, don't ask it about science!
      • 2 Years Ago
      The emissions of toxic vapors such as benzene will be increased to motorists who do not own newer cars equipped with ORVR canisters. This is environmental Justice issue; also those who do own new cars will also be exposed to such toxic vapors when they refuel in close proximity to a vehicle which is not equipped with ORVR Cannisters. In addition, the option to enhance existing Stage II systems and use overlapping techniques of ORVR, Stage II and vapor processors is proven and commercially robust. However, the companies who have pioneered this approach are "outsiders" and therefore their input has been neglected by EPA for more than 8 years. Shameful example of politics trumping science, engineering, and logic. Very disappointed in this scenario.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well, they are free to upgrade their car, or even better, get something that doesn't need gasoline if they feel strongly enough about it. Our parents and grandparents grew up huffing gas fumes at the pump and they survived. They even had lead in the gasoline, MTBE, and god knows what else as additives, and they lived. Am i saying it's an OK, peachy keen, puppy dogs & ice cream kinda move from the EPA? no. I'm just saying that it's not that big of a deal.
          Mark Schaffer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Hi DaveMart, Go easy on EZEE. It has huffed those fumes and is now brain damaged.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          They lived right up to the time they died, huh? Here is the science: 'Fine atmospheric particles — smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair — were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood.' http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/science/earth/scientists-find-new-dangers-in-tiny-but-pervasive-particles-in-air-pollution.html?_r=3 Health is a sufficient cause in itself to go electric. Reducing the controls on carcinogens release at the pump is perfectly ludicrous, and made in blatent disregard of the health of the public. In my view those who have authorised this are guilty of reckless endangerment.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @EZEE: Are you on drugs? This is a blog to discuss green cars, not to share what you apparently regard as witticisms, or whatever they are. I have no idea what you are talking about, but if you are implying some criticism of the effects of petrol vapours, I suggest you contact the American Medical society, as they are obviously ill informed.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @mark :D
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          And if we don't breath this stuff we will NEVER DIE! I am effing immortal and ESS. Word to the wise EVERYONE EFFING READ THIS, IT'S IMPORTANT YES I AM YELLING). A lesbian Life partner of a relative drives a Chevy avalanche (no stereotype there) and filled her tank with the extra 'click' from the gas pump. The extra click got gas on the filter canister and rusted it, causing it to disintegrate into the gas tank. The charcoal and what not fouled the entire system, and it was very costly to fix. Don't do the extra click with new cars! As a side note, yes, I have been invited to the lesbian parties on occasion, and although they have their moments, there has never been a bra and panties pillow fight when I have been around (they must save that for special occasions as the movies cannot be wrong).
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          You've got me in tears, EZEE. Thank you so much for being here. DaveMart: if the majority of cars have this system, and old cars who don't will be naturally phased out.. and gas stations will continue to have the equipment installed ( but poorly maintained, as always ) for many years.. then the amount of people who will be exposed is going to be small. And rising gas prices are also going to encourage those people to trade the ol' beater in anyway. It is a bit weird to remove an environmental safeguard.. but if the cars are doing the job, then right on.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @davemart I actually WAS mbeing witty. It's an old joke. 'by doing XXX, you reduce your chances of dying.' 'oh? To less than 100%?' The point being, we will all surely one day die. Hence, nothing we can do will reduce our chances of dying. And the lesbian story is totally true. Tough crowd... Let me try one more....: Two women are sitting quietly.... Buh-dum-tssss
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          The point of regulations, 2wheeled, is to protect the average consumer from people like you who would allow in place potentially hazardous business practices and place the burden of safety on consumers. Its not feasible to mandate or suggest all people with cars before the year 2006 get a new one or stop driving, so the regulation should stay in place. Factor in the public health concerns of increased smog due (old cars vapors will now escape) and we have a problem here.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      With the latest information on traffic air pollution being around 2-3 times as deadly as previously thought, some redundancy would seem to be no bad thing, and reducing standards with 'only' 30% of vehicles consequently not capturing vapour unforgivable.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well looks like we can look forward to that addictive gas smell at the gas station...especially on those hot summers. Must be great on the workers' health.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 2 Years Ago
      "However, as required by the Clean Air Act, automobile manufacturers began installing onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) technologies in 1998" According to the article in green car congress, some cars started getting them in 1998. That doesnt mean that all cars from then on had it installed. and we are keeping cars longer now. I drive mine into the ground. I had a 95 ford escort that i kept until it had 300K miles on it. original engine. started falling apart so i got rid of it. Now i drive a 96 tercel to work. they most likely dont have the system installed. I wonder where they got the 70% figure from?
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't have any cars newer than 1996... and in Ohio, I doubt there is a high percentage of 2006 and newer cars. I like them because I don't have to smell the gas when I fill up a few times a year. How would this save money if they have already put them in? Do they go bad or get used up?
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        If you have cars that are all 16+ years old, the vapor recovery system is the least of your emissions worries. Your cars were all built to emissions standards well below modern standards. The amount of smog your cars produce compared to a new car is waaaayyyy higher than the evaporative emissions you experience while filling up.
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