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ARCO WILL TAKE INDEPENDENT STAND FOR STRICTER AIR QUALITY REGULATIONS

ARCO WILL TAKE INDEPENDENT STAND FOR STRICTER AIR QUALITY REGULATIONS
 LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- ARCO (NYSE: ARC) favors adoption of more stringent air quality standards than those currently being considered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), ARCO Products Co. President George H. Babikian said today. ARCO Products Co. is the refining and marketing arm of ARCO.
 Babikian will present ARCO's position to the CARB board in Los Angeles this afternoon.
 As CARB prepares to hear testimony to define new California gasoline specifications to take effect in 1996, ARCO is reaffirming its support of CARB's original proposal of Oct. 4, 1991. ARCO believes the Oct. 4 proposal balances the pressing need for air quality improvements and cost efficiencies. A second CARB proposal issued on Nov. 18, 1991, modifies and weakens those earlier specifications, Babikian said.
 ARCO previously had announced that it could manufacture an environmentally superior gasoline using its experimental EC-X formula. Independent tests indicate that an EC-X gasoline would reduce emissions to levels no greater than those generated by the methanol fuel M85.
 Babikian said the most recent proposal CARB is considering reflects concerns that strict regulations would be too costly. Babikian took issue with the view that -- of the air quality benefits proposed on Oct. 4 -- some 90 percent could be achieved at only 70 percent of the proposed cost if specifications were relaxed for aromatics, olefins and other gasoline components.
 "That calculation might be true for the elimination of most of the hydrocarbon emissions, but not for ozone, the true culprit of smog," said Babikian. "In our estimation, an investment of 70 percent would only result in a 70-percent reduction of ozone."
 Babikian also refuted the argument that the costs for the stricter gasoline requirements would create more economic hardship in California. "If clean air standards aren't met by reformulated gasoline, then the financial burden would be borne by stationary sources, including many small businesses that would have to submit to stricter regulations. This ultimately would be much more detrimental to the state's economy," said Babikian.
 Babikian further noted that the latest CARB proposal probably would not meet the expected federal standards for gasoline in the year 2000. "Why not go all the way now, so we don't have to implement restrictions more costly to the consumer later?" he said.
 "ARCO is the number-one marketer of gasoline in California, and we can meet the stricter requirements by 1996, provided we get the construction permits and the same standards are required of everyone," said Babikian.
 As announced by ARCO earlier, if CARB approves a gasoline standard that's similar to EC-X and the Oct. 4 proposal, California drivers ultimately would be able to reduce vehicular emissions in the state by an average of 3.8 million pounds per day. That would be the equivalent of taking 8 million vehicles off California's roads each day and achieving reductions of 28 percent in hydrocarbon tailpipe emissions, 36 percent in evaporative emissions, and 26 percent in nitrogen oxide emissions -- the three main ingredients of smog.
 -0- 11/21/91
 /CONTACT: Annie Reutinger, 213-486-3181; or Albert Greenstein, 213-486-3384, both of ARCO/
 (ARC) CO: ARCO ST: California IN: OIL SU: AL -- LA020 -- 5869 11/21/91 12:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 21, 1991
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