Georgia

Current Regulations: GA had a summer low RVP (max. 7.0 psi) program for Atlanta area (45 counties) gasoline.

The GA Board of Natural Resources approved changes to the low sulfur gasoline standards for the Atlanta area on Jan. 29, 2003. Beginning April 1, 2003, an additional 20 (for a total of 45) counties are included in the sulfur and summer low RVP program. In addition, there was a quarterly average requirement of 90 ppm sulfur with a 200 ppm sulfur cap for producers/importers. Effective June 1, 2003, the retail cap was 230 ppm sulfur. Effective June 1, 2004, the summer sulfur cap was 80 ppm for producers/importers with a retail summer sulfur cap of 95 ppm. In a letter dated March 28, 2003, EPA announced it will exercise enforcement discretion for these changes during April 2003. In a letter dated April 24, 2003, EPA extended this enforcement discretion through September 15, 2003.

On May 28, 2003, the GA Board of Natural Resources approved additional changes. Effective September 16, 2003, Atlanta's gasoline sulfur standards were a 30 ppm annual average with a 150 ppm cap for producers/importers. The retail cap was 175 ppm sulfur beginning on January 1, 2004.

In a letter dated September 17, 2004, EPA announced enforcement discretion from the low sulfur gasoline regulations in GA until midnight on September 24 because Hurricane Ivan disrupted supplies.

In letters dated 9/1/05, 9/9/05 and 9/27/05, EPA waived GA's low sulfur gasoline regulations for the Atlanta area, effective through 10/25/05, because of fuel supply disruptions resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Signed by the governor on 4/29/09, SB 30 requires supplies of automobile gasoline under marketing agreements to distributors and dealers to be unblended and suitable for blending with fuel alcohol.

See Georgia's Rules for Air Quality Control, 391-3-1-0.41-.02(2)(bbb) Gasoline Marketing.  These were repealed by the Department of Natural Resources Board on 3/25/14, and the repeal was effective on 5/5/14.  EPA approved removing the GA Gasoline Marketing Rule from the GA SIP at 80 FR 52627 (9/1/15).  The 13-county Atlanta area is subject to summer max. 7.8 psi RVP gasoline.     

Effective January 1, 2006, these gasoline sulfur standards for Atlanta were (largely, but not completely) superseded by national, federal gasoline sulfur regulations.

In a letter dated 9/5/08, EPA issued a waiver of the low RVP and gasoline sulfur averaging requirements in Atlanta through 9/15/08 to address a fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Gustav. The Agency also temporarily waived the requirement that ethanol/gasoline blends must have 9-10 vol% ethanol to qualify for the one psi RVP allowance. EPA waived the summer RVP gasoline requirements throughout the state in a letter dated 9/11/08. In a letter dated 9/23/08, the Agency waived the special gasoline sulfur averaging requirements in the Atlanta area through 11:59 PM on 10/12/08.

In a letter dated 9/4/12, EPA waived the requirements for low RVP gasoline through Sept. 15 as a result of Hurricane Isaac and allowed 11.5 psi RVP gasoline if supplies of low RVP gasoline are not available.

The GA Department of Agriculture, Fuel and Measures Division, verifies motor fuel quality. See Rule 40-20-1-.01.

As one of the consequences of its bump up to severe ozone nonattainment classification, federal RFG was to be required in Atlanta (13 counties), summer and winter, effective January 1, 2005. On September 24, 2004, a U.S. Federal District Judge in Atlanta issued a Temporary Restraining Order on implementation of the federal RFG requirement in Atlanta. On October 6, a hearing was held. In an order signed on October 12, this judge denied a request by the state of Georgia for a preliminary injunction against EPA, which would have allowed the switch to federal RFG in Atlanta to proceed. The Temporary Restraining Order was lifted as of October 7, 2004. In an order dated October 20, 2004, this judge granted the State of Georgia's Motion for Stay and Injunction Pending Appeal, and EPA is now enjoined from taking any action to implement the federal RFG program in the Atlanta area; see the order of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in the case of State of Georgia v. Michael Leavitt, Docket 1: 04-CV-2778-CC. EPA determined that Atlanta attained the 1-hour ozone NAAQS and, therefore, other control strategies are not applicable as long as Atlanta continues to attain the 1-hour ozone NAAQS (70 FR 34358; 6/14/05). EPA confirmed that Atlanta will maintain the 1-hour ozone NAAQS with Georgia gasolineand clarified that the Agency is not waiving the requirement to use RFG in Atlanta (70 FR 34660; 6/15/05). EPA issued a proposal on federal RFG in Atlanta (71 FR 36042; 6/23/06).  EPA decided that Atlanta is not required to use RFG (79 FR 14410; 3/14/14).

SB 30 was signed by the Governor on 4/29/09 (Act 57). "Regardless of other products offered, any supplier which, pursuant to a marketing agreement, supplies gasoline from a terminal in this state to a gasoline distributor shall offer to supply such party with gasoline that has not been blended with, but is suitable for blending with, fuel alcohol. No supplier shall prevent or inhibit a gasoline distributor in this state from being a blender or from qualifying for any federal or state tax credit due to blenders. If a supplier supplies gasoline to a gasoline distributor pursuant to this Code section which is then blended, the gasoline distributor shall indemnify and hold harmless such supplier against any losses or damages arising out of claims, costs, judgments, and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, or suits relating to or arising out of such blending." This would apply to all marketing agreements "that are granted, renewed, or amended to extend the lease period on or after July 1, 2009." This was an amendment to Article 9 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The GA Department of Agriculture has proposed changes to Rule 40-20-1-.01 to comply with this legislation and a Federal Trade Commission rule for Automobile Fuel Ratings, Certifications and Posting on biodiesel marketing.

In a letter dated 9/14/16, EPA waived 7.8 psi RVP requirement for the Atlanta area temporarily, expiring at the end of 9/15/16.  Under this temporary waiver, maximum 9.0 psi RVP gasoline (10.0 psi RVP if the gasoline contains 9-10% ethanol) may be sold. 

In a letter dated August 29, 2017, to address a fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Harvey, EPA waived regulations for 7.8 psi RVP gasoline in the Atlanta area through September 15. In a multi-state letter dated August 30, 2017, EPA allowed 11.5 psi RVP gasoline to be sold throughout the state through September 15. This was affirmed in another multi-state waiver dated 8/31/17. 

Proposed State Actions: In a letter dated August 16, 2004, Georgia petitioned EPA to waive the federal RFG requirement for the Atlanta area. In a letter dated September 30, 2004, EPA replied that it did not have the discretion or legal authority to grant this waiver.

Legislature: HB 983, introduced in January 2006, would ban more than 0.5 vol% MTBE in gasoline. HB 983 (Committee Substitute) would ban MTBE, ETBE and other ethers in gasoline by 1/1/08 and this was passed by the House on 2/21/06.

Introduced in February 2008, HB 1146 would require at least 2 vol% biodiesel with exceptions for motors located in an electrical generating plant regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and railroad locomotives. 

SB 115, introduced in February 2017, would ban ethanol in gasoline, effective 1/1/18.  

Last updated August 2017