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COURT ORDERS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TO HAVE CARS EQUIPPED WITH VAPOR CONTROL DEVICES

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal appeals court here today ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require all cars sold in the United States to be equipped with vapor recovery devices, according to the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. The devices will trap harmful gasoline vapors normally released at service stations when cars refuel.
 "Gasoline vapor is a prime contributor to urban smog, and also contains benzene, a known human carcinogen," said Howard Fox of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, attorney for the two groups (Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Auto Safety) that brought the suit. "The court's decision is an important step forward in the protection of the public health."
 In 1977 Congress directed EPA to look into the feasibility of requiring autos to be equipped with the devices. Ten years later, in 1987, EPA issued a proposed regulation requiring such devices. The 1987 proposal expressly found that the devices were both safe and effective.
 EPA never finalized the 1987 proposal, however, and in 1990 Congress gave EPA one year to issue the regulations. The agency missed this deadline, and in spring of 1992, on the eve of the Michigan primary, President Bush announced that the regulations never would be issued, because onboard devices are allegedly unsafe.
 "Far from causing safety problems, onboard devices would actually improve vehicle safety by decreasing vapor pressure inside cars and by reducing the release of flammable gasoline vapor at service stations," said Fox. "The Center for Auto Safety -- one of my clients in this suit -- has an impeccable track record of defending vehicle safety, and would not have brought this lawsuit if there were any legitimate doubts about the safety of onboard devices."
 -0- 1/22/93
 /CONTACT: Howard Fox of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, 202-667-4500/


CO: Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund; U.S. Environmental Protection Fund
 Natural Resources Defense Council; Center for Auto Safety ST: District of Columbia, California IN: AUT SU:


TM-SG -- SF004 -- 7960 01/22/93 13:57 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 22, 1993
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