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ARCO FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST AIR RESOURCES BOARD FOR FAILING TO ENFORCE CLEAN DIESEL REGULATIONS

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- ARCO today filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board (CARB), challenging the agency's failure to enforce its own clean diesel fuel regulations. The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks to end what ARCO calls CARB's capricious relaxation of those regulations at the expense of cleaner air.
 By allowing overproduction of higher-polluting diesel for the last three months, CARB has completely undermined the original intent of the clean diesel regulations, the lawsuit claimed. The end result is that CARB's ultimate goal -- cleaning up the air -- is compromised.
 The CARB clean diesel regulations -- which were established in November 1988 and took effect Oct. 1, 1993 -- call for major reductions in diesel fuel's sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons content to eliminate the formation of soot-like particles and reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, precursors of urban smog.
 New federal EPA diesel requirements also took effect last October, but state standards were intended to be tougher. After large capital investments at its Los Angeles refinery, ARCO was one of only two California refiners to meet both state and federal clean fuel deadlines.
 Other California refiners supplied the diesel fuel market with higher-polluting fuel under a variety of statutory exemptions with strict volume limits or specially issued variances typically requiring cents-per-gallon fees and other pollution-mitigating actions.
 ARCO's suit alleges that CARB improperly allowed one "exempt" refiner, Tosco Refining Co. of Avon, Calif., to exceed its volume restrictions for the higher-polluting diesel by more than 300 percent during the last three months of 1993.
 "If CARB approved the overproduction, they failed to do so in public proceedings as required by law," said Jay D. Kowal, vice president of ARCO Products Co. ARCO Products Co. is the refining and marketing division of ARCO.
 "If they did not approve the excessive production, then they apparently failed to take any corrective action, as they should have done when they became aware of Tosco's action at least a month ago.
 "In fact, CARB currently is planning to review an application by Tosco for still more overproduction of higher-polluting diesel," said Kowal.
 Tosco is seeking permission to continue refining these high volumes -- despite the fact that fully complying "clean" diesel production is being curtailed, Kowal said.
 "CARB seems to have lost the focus of its environmental mission. Its primary charter is to clean up the air. With CARB's apparent failure to follow through on its own clean diesel regulations, the people of California now are getting more higher-polluting diesel fuel than necessary," said Kowal.
 -0- 1/6/94
 /CONTACT: Annie Reutinger of ARCO, 213-486-3181/


CO: ARCO; California Air Resources Board ST: California IN: OIL ENV SU:

JB-JL -- LA027 -- 9908 01/06/94 16:46 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 6, 1994
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