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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Federal EPA Orders No-Spill, Low Emission Gas Cans for Ohio

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Pricey California-style gasoline cans that are designed to reduce smog are coming to the Midwest by federal edict, The Daily Bellwether has learned.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed regulation Friday that will require the use of no-spill containers in Ohio to cut down on air-pollution from drips and fumes. These gizmos have funnel spouts, dust covers, and thumb buttons for precise pouring. They empty without shaking the last drip free, and are made from a type of plastic that resists permeation.

The new regulation is one of the tradeoffs the state suggested to get out from under E-check, the automobile exhaust inspections that were eliminated in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas last year. EPA's notice of the change appeared in the Federal Register (Vol. 1, No. 234, Pp. 70699-70702) and said the rule is "approvable because they contain more stringent requirements that Ohio's existing rules and they are enforceable."

Portable gas cans are used to fill lawnmowers, yard tractors, boats, chainsaws, weed whackers and other home tools and equipment. Consumer Reports magazine says the best models cost between $14 to $21 to hold 2 .5 gallons of gas. Clean Air Counts, an environmental group in Illinois, says that gas-can emissions add about 22.4 tons of volation organic compounds to the air around Chicago each day. ''The California Air Reseources Board estimated that 87 tons of smog forming hydrocarbons were released in their state every day from gas cans, which is equivalent to the emissions of 1 million average cars. by using newer gas cans wich features such as shut off valves, harmful gasolines fumes can be reduced by 75 percent," Clean Air Counts says on its Website.

The EPA's regulation follows the same reasoning. ''This new rule, containing the standards for portable fuel containers (PFCs) was added as an additional control strategy to lower future VOC emissions throughout Ohio. Portable fuel containers are used to transport and store fuel (gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel) from a retail distribution point to a point of use and eventually dispense fueld into equipment (e.g., a lawnmover). These containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes with nominal capacities ranging from 1 to over 6 gallons. This rule is based up the rule by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which is the leader in portable fuel container technology. This rule is enforceable, and based upon California test data, portable fuel containers meeting these test limits will achieve a 75 percent emission reduction. This rule is therefore approvable."

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