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Fuels Registration, Reporting, and Compliance Help

Are independent labs required to report to EPA, the refiner, or both? What are the reporting requirements for independent labs in the case an independent lab's analysis shows gasoline does not meet relevant RFG standards?

Under § 80.65(f)(3)(iii) refiners and importers are required to have their independent labs report directly to EPA on a quarterly basis. There is no requirement that independent labs must report to the refiner or importer for whom they are conducting sampling and testing. Nevertheless, EPA expects that independent labs normally will report the results of their analyses to the refiner or importer, so these parties will know if their analyses results are corroborated, and if not corroborated, so these parties may arrange for secondary independent lab analyses and take corrective actions if necessary.

A refiner or importer may not release RFG from the refinery or import facility until the refiner or importer has test results which demonstrate the RFG meets all applicable standards. 16 As a result, in the case of a refiner or importer using the 100% independent lab analysis option - where the refiner or importer relies only on the independent lab's analyses - the refiner or importer would have to receive the independent lab's test results before the RFG in question could be released from the refinery or import facility. A refiner or importer using the 100% independent lab analysis option also would need the independent lab's test results so the refiner or importer could file its quarterly reports to EPA, and averaging reports to EPA in the case of standards that are being met on average.

In the case of an analysis by an independent lab that shows an RFG batch does not meet applicable RFG standards, under either the 10% or the 100% independent analysis options, EPA believes the independent lab should immediately notify the refiner or importer so that party may take corrective actions. Such a situation would exist, for example, if a sample is found by the independent lab to contain in excess of 1.300 volume percent benzene (or a lesser benzene content if there has been a benzene ratchet); or if a sample is found to contain in excess of 1.000 volume percent benzene if the refiner or importer is meeting the benzene standard on a per-gallon basis.

The independent lab's non-compliant analysis result would be reported to EPA as part of the normal quarterly report to EPA, and there currently is no requirement that independent labs must report such instances to EPA prior to the quarterly report. Nevertheless, EPA intends to monitor this aspect of the independent sampling and testing program, and may modify the reporting requirements in this regard in the future if it appears necessary in order to ensure appropriate correction of violations.(7/1/94)

16 Under the simple model, refiners and importers may release RFG after having test results only for oxygen and benzene, and RVP in the case of VOC-controlled RFG .

This question and answer was posted at Consolidated List of Reformulated Gasoline and Anti-Dumping Questions and Answers: July 1, 1994 through November 10, 1997 (PDF)(333 pp, 18.17 MB, EPA420-R-03-009, July 2003, About PDF)