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Fuels Registration, Reporting, and Compliance Help

Are the liability and defense provisions of this rule structured similarly to those adopted by EPA in its prior motor vehicle fuel programs?

Yes. The RFG liability and defense provisions are closely modeled after other motor vehicle fuel programs, such as unleaded gasoline, volatility, and diesel sulfur. The final rule establishes liability for a number of prohibited activities that may occur downstream of the refinery or importer. When such a violation is found, the following parties are presumed liable: the operator of the facility at which the violating gasoline is found, and each upstream party, other than carriers, that supplied any of the gasoline found to be in violation. In general, carriers are liable if they cause a violation at a downstream facility. In the case of a facility operating under the brand name of a refiner or importer, that refiner or importer also is presumed liable regardless of whether the refiner supplied any of the gasoline found in violation.

A party presumed liable may establish an affirmative defense by showing: (1) that they did not cause the violation; (2) that product transfer documents indicate the gasoline in question met all relevant requirements; and (3) that they conducted a sufficient quality assurance program. Additional elements must be shown by refiners or importers for violations at branded facilities. These liability and defense provisions are specified at 40 C.F.R. § 80.79.(7/1/94)

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)