An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Fuels Registration, Reporting, and Compliance Help

If reformulated gasoline is found downstream of the refinery to be off specification, what procedures are appropriate for handling this gasoline?


In a case where RFG is found to violate any downstream standard, a party may take remedial action for the violation by reclassifying the RFG as conventional gasoline (by "downgrading" the gasoline), and using the gasoline only outside any RFG covered area. The downgraded gasoline must be segregated from all RFG, and the product transfer documents must identify the gasoline as conventional gasoline. There is no requirement that such downgraded gasoline must be included in any downstream party's anti-dumping compliance calculations, however.

If RFG that is designated as VOC-controlled is found to violate a standard that applies only to VOC-controlled RFG, the RFG may be downgraded to non-VOC controlled RFG, and used outside the VOC control period.13 The VOC control period is May 1 through September 15 at facilities upstream of the retail level, and June 1 through September 15 at the retail level.

If RFG that is designated as VOC-controlled for VOC Control Region 1 is found to be off-spec for that Region, but to meet the standards applicable to VOC Control Region 2, the gasoline may be downgraded to VOC Control Region 2 RFG, and used only in that Region.

If the off-spec gasoline is found at a retail outlet or wholesale purchaser-consumer facility located in an RFG covered area, all sales of gasoline from the tank must be stopped, and the gasoline removed from the storage tank and transported to an area that is appropriate for the downgraded classification of the gasoline.

When RFG is downgraded, the party should document the circumstances that gave rise to the downgrading. The gasoline in question should be segregated from gasoline having the higher classification, the product transfer documents for the gasoline in question should be changed to the downgraded classification, and the gasoline must not be sold, dispensed, or transported in a manner that is inconsistent with the downgraded classification.


If during the VOC control period RFG is discovered that does not meet applicable VOC control standards, remedial action for the violation may consist of storing the gasoline in place until the end of the VOC control season on September 16. In such a case, the gasoline must be segregated from gasoline that meets the VOC control standards, documents associated with the gasoline must clearly state the gasoline is not VOC-controlled, and the gasoline must be sealed to prevent its accidental use in advance of September 16.

Blending With Additional RFG

Parties may blend additional RFG with RFG that is discovered to be off-spec a means of remedial action for the violation, subject to certain constraints,14 to bring the mixture within all applicable standards. In such a case, subsequent to blending the RFG must be sampled and tested to meet all applicable RFG downstream standards.

Blending With Oxygenate

Section 80.78(a)(6) prohibits the blending of any oxygenate with RFG, except that oxygenate may be blended with RFG that is designated as OPRG provided the RFG is used in an oxygenated fuels program area during the oxygenated fuels control period. As a result, any oxygenate may be blended with RFG provided the RFG is designated as OPRG and is used in an oxy fuels program as specified in § 80.78(a)(6). In addition, only in the case of remediation for RFG that violates a downstream standard and regardless of whether the RFG is designated as OPRG or not-OPRG or whether the RFG is used in an oxy fuels program, oxygenate may be blended with off-spec RFG. Whenever oxygenate blending is used as a remedial action, subsequent to blending the RFG must be sampled and tested to meet all applicable RFG downstream standards and requirements, including in the case of VOC-controlled RFG the RVP or VOC emissions reduction standards and the prohibition against mixing ethanol and other oxygenates, and the maximum oxygen content standards. Moreover, any mixture of oxygenates in the resulting blend must conform to an approved oxygenate blend. Allowable oxygenate mixtures are discussed in the Oxy Fuel Section of this document.

The party performing remedial oxygen blending does not need to be registered as an oxygenate blender.

 Each of the remedial actions discussed in this answer would be appropriate at all stages in the gasoline distribution system, including pipelines and terminals, and retail outlets and wholesale purchaser-consumer facilities. These remedial actions also would be appropriate for use by refiners and importers who discover that RFG is off-spec subsequent to the gasoline being shipped from the refinery or import facility.

On any occasion when a party takes remedial actions for an RFG violation, using any of the mechanisms discussed in this answer, the party should retain documents that reflect: the reason the party believed the gasoline to be in violation (e.g., test results); the actions taken to correct the violation; and any actions taken to prevent future violations.(11/10/97)

13 The standards that apply only to VOC-controlled RFG are: RVP under the simple model; VOC emissions performance under the Phase I complex model; and VOC emissions performance and a separate NOx emissions performance standard under the Phase II complex model.

14 The constraints on fungible mixing are discussed in the Transition Issues Section, Question 4, and preclude: the mixing of ethanol-based VOC-controlled RFG with non-ethanol-based VOC-controlled RFG during the period January 1 through September 15 of each year; the mixing of RFG designated as OPRG with RFG that is not designated as OPRG; and the mixing of simple model and complex model 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)