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GROUND LEVEL OZONE IMPROVES: OIL INDUSTRY QUESTIONS EXPENSIVE EMISSION CONTROLS

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Further investigation of data which strongly suggests that air quality in the Northeast is improving and the ozone pollution problem is not as bad as commonly believed was urged in a letter from the Eastern States Petroleum Advisory Group (ESPAG) to Timothy R.B. Keeney, Chairman of the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Committee of the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC). Keeney is also Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. His committee recommended that regionwide adoption of the "California car" program be pursued by the OTC.
 ESPAG believes it is imperative that a thorough technical study be completed before optional and costly emission controls such as the "California car" program are considered, said ESPAG spokesman Marc Meteyer.
 ESPAG completed a review comparing ozone exceedances for all ozone monitors on-line during both the 1988 and 1993 summers in the Northeast. The findings suggests that progress is being made in reducing ozone pollution.
 The 1988 data showed monitoring stations averaged 3.6 exceedances per station, as compared to only 0.5 for 1993. ESPAG examined "hot spells" in 1988 and 1993 (for July 1-14) which revealed 273 ozone exceedances for July 1-14, 1988 in major non-attainment areas, and only 38 for the period in 1993 in the same areas. The magnitude of the exceedance was also greater in 1988.
 "While not a definitive study of the available meteorological data, the temperature data suggests further investigation (is needed) to fully understand the downward trend in ozone exceedances including the 'hot spells'," Meteyer said.
 Individuals challenging the fact that ozone pollution is being reduced cannot use the cooler summer of 1993 to justify their position. In fact, the summer of 1993 had more "hot" days during a two week period in July than the same two week period in 1988 when the northeastern region saw its worst ozone exceedance problem.
 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently reported that air quality during the 10-year period 1983-1992 improved dramatically, including a 21% reduction in ground level ozone.
 Ground level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of sunlight. Meteorological conditions influence significantly the formation of ozone pollution.
 The OTC is a group of state government Air Administrators -- from Maine through Virginia, who work cooperatively to implement regionwide improvements in air quality.
 ESPAG -- formed in 1989 to provide technical assistance to the northeastern states in air quality matters, has emphasized that existing data does not yet fully reflect the reduction benefits of various mandated Clean Air Act program. Such measurers include: lower gasoline volatility (Reid Vapor Pressure), reformulated truck diesel fuel and State II gasoline {nozzles for improved vapor recovery. In addition, these improvements come without the benefit of additional mandated Clean Air Act programs including Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) reductions from petroleum product storage terminals, from power plants and from facilities not unlike petroleum refineries scheduled for 1995.
 -0- 1/11/94
 /CONTACT: Don Turk, 703-846-4025, for the Eastern States Petroleum- Advisory Group/


CO: Eastern States Petroleum-Advisory Group; Ozone Transportation
 Commission ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL ENV SU:


MP -- NY032 -- 0928 01/11/94 10:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 11, 1994
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