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AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE ISSUES STATEMENT ON BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S CANISTER POLICY

 AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE ISSUES STATEMENT
 ON BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S CANISTER POLICY
 WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Petroleum Institute issued the following statement in response to the Bush administration's announcement that it will not require automakers to install canisters to capture refueling vapors:
 This is an extremely distressing and wrongheaded decision that defies economics, facts, environmental protection and the stated intention of Congress. It can only make things worse for the economically strained U.S. petroleum industry, which has lost more than 400,000 jobs over the last 10 years -- vastly more than has the auto industry.
 The proposed onboard canisters represent -- without question -- the most effective technology for capturing vapors generated during the refueling of motor vehicles. William Reilly, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called canisters the "most important modification to motor vehicles this agency can require to achieve a genuine air quality improvement."
 We intend to vigorously pursue this issue in the courts because the law regarding this matter is absolutely clear. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act required EPA to issue a rule by last Nov. 15 mandating the installation of refueling canisters on new cars. In failing to issue that rule, EPA has chosen to ignore the will of Congress. The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed suit Feb. 19 seeking to require that EPA carry out its duty. Similar suits have been filed by others.
 The auto industry has inaccurately contended that the refueling canisters would be unsafe. But the industry did not make such a contention during recent EPA and California rulemakings on proposals to enhance the capability of somewhat similar evaporative emission control canisters which have been installed on all autos since the early 1970s.
 There is no technical or empirical basis for concluding that either the current canister system or the refueling canister system required by the Clean Air Act pose an unreasonable risk to motorists. It is worth noting that a leading Japanese automaker (Toyota) has stated in comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that "if certain safety risks appear concretely, our experienced engineers can then modify the design to eliminate the problem." Furthermore, the Clean Air Act does not require refueling canisters to be installed until the fourth model year after the model year in which the standards are promulgated, thus providing a four-year lead time for the resolution of any safety concerns.
 We have consistently urged that EPA follow a recommendation of the General Accounting Office to promulgate the standards and then cooperate with the NHTSA to develop tests and demonstration procedures to address safety concerns that have been raised.
 -0- 3/13/92
 /NOTE: Suits against EPA, similar to that filed by API, have been brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Auto Safety, and by two gasoline marketing organizations, the East Coast Oil Corporation of Richmond, Va., and Sheetz Incorporated of Pennsylvania. The suits were filed in the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, where they have been consolidated into one suit with that of API. A hearing has been scheduled for March 30 on a preliminary injunction which would require EPA to promulgate, by Aug. 1, 1992, a rule on installation of onboard refueling canisters./
 /CONTACT: Gus Ensz of the American Petroleum Institute, 202-682-8126/ CO: American Petroleum Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU: LEG


SB -- DC021 -- 7920 03/13/92 16:03 EST
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Date:Mar 13, 1992
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