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Clean Air Act Fuels Settlement Information

EPA enforces the motor vehicle fuels provisions of Title II of the Clean Air Act ("the Act"), section 211, and regulations at 40 C.F.R. Parts 79 and 80. These provisions include certain requirements and prohibitions regarding the quality of motor vehicle fuels, and are designed to greatly reduce harmful emissions from all motor vehicles, including passenger cars, light trucks and heavy duty trucks. The provisions relating to fuels include the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS 1 and RFS 2), gasoline sulfur, benzene, mobile source air toxics, ultra low sulfur diesel, reformulated gasoline and anti-dumping requirements.

The gasoline and diesel fuel requirements and prohibitions apply to all parties in the distribution system, including refiners, renewable fuel producers, importers, distributors, carriers, oxygenate blenders, retailers and wholesale purchaser-consumers (fleet operators having their own fueling facilities). EPA enforces these provisions with environmental audits and inspections (including testing of fuels), and through various recordkeeping and reporting requirements. EPA may seek civil penalties or injunctive relief (including remediation of the violations and projects to offset illegal emissions) for violations of the Act or regulations, and may bring cases in federal district court or through an administrative process. Enforcement actions include cases against all the types of regulated parties as listed above.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires transportation fuel sold in the U.S. must contain a minimum volume of renewable fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of petroleum fuels. Renewable fuel producers and importers generate renewable identification number (RINs) for each gallon of renewable fuel. Refiners and importers must acquire RINs to show compliance with the standard. EPA investigates and pursues enforcement actions against anyone generating, transferring and using invalid RINs. Case information related to the Renewable Fuels Standard program and can be found on a separate page. See Civil Enforcement of the Renewable Fuel Standard Program.

Violators are subject to a potential civil penalty of up to $47,357 per day of violation, and the economic benefit or savings resulting from the violation. Civil penalties are updated for inflation and can be found at 40 CFR § 19.4.

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