Texas

 

Current Gasoline Regulations:
El Paso has a winter (Oct. - March) oxygenated gasoline (min. 2.7 wt%) program with a winter max. 11.5 psi RVP standard (see 30 TAC 114, Subchapter D) and a summer max. 7.0 psi RVP gasoline standard (see 30 TAC 115, Subchapter C, Division 5). In a meeting on 1/30/08, TCEQ decided to retain the winter oxygenated gasoline program for El Paso as a CO emissions control strategy.

Federal RFG is required in Houston-Galveston-Brazoria and Dallas-Fort Worth, summer and winter.

Summer federal Phase II RVP standards require max. 7.8 psi RVP gasoline in the Beaumont-Port Arthur ozone nonattainment area.

On June 30, 1999, TNRCC approved a summer low RVP gasoline regulation for 95 eastern and central counties (about 33% of the state's population and gas stations). The RVP requirement is a 7.8 psi max. beginning in 2000. See 30 TAC 114, Subchapter H.

On April 5, 2000, TNRCC adopted regulations to limit the increase in the use of MTBE in summer gasoline conforming to the new low RVP requirements in central and eastern Texas. This is based on a comparison of future summer average levels relative to a refinery's 1998 summer average level of MTBE in gasoline produced for these 95 counties. In addition, TNRCC clarified that three counties are no longer considered part of the central/eastern affected area.

EPA waived the federal RFG requirement temporarily in Houston - Galveston - Brazoria, effective 9/21/05 through 10/20/05 to allow the use of conventional gasoline because of supply disruptions expected as a result of Hurricane Rita; see letters dated 9/21/05, 9/22/05, and 9/27/05. EPA also waived the federal RFG requirement temporarily in Dallas-Fort Worth, effective 9/22/05 through 10/20/05; see letters dated 9/22/05 and 9/27/05.

In a letter dated 8/31/08, EPA issued a waiver through 11:59 PM on 9/10/08 of the 7.8 psi RVP and RFG requirements for parts of eastern and coastal Texas to address the fuel supply emergency from Hurricane Gustav. The Agency also temporarily waived the requirement that ethanol/conventional 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 addition, the Agency waived the RFG requirements in Dallas and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria and allows 11.5 psi RVP gasoline in these two areas through 9/30/08. EPA waived the 11.5 psi RVP standard for conventional gasoline in eastern counties through 11:59 PM on October 1 in a letter dated 9/17/08. 

In a letter dated 8/25/17, to address a fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Harvey, EPA waived regulations for RFG in Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, 7.8 psi RVP for gasoline in three counties, and Texas Low Emission Diesel in 29 counties, all through September 15.  In a letter dated 8/26/17, EPA extended the RFG waiver to include Dallas-Fort Worth, the 7.8 psi RVP waiver to include all 95 counties in Eastern TX, and the TxLED waiver to 110 counties.  In a letter dated 8/30/17, EPA allowed 11.5 psi RVP gasoline to be sold throughout the state through September 15. In a multi-state letter dated 9/7/17, EPA extended the RFG waiver through September 26.  In a letter dated 9/13/17, EPA extended the RFG and low RVP gasoline waivers through October 1.  

Current Diesel Regulations:
On April 19, 2000, TNRCC approved a low emissions diesel fuel rule for nine counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area beginning May 1, 2002. This establishes a common specification for highway and off-road mobile diesel. It extends the federal 500 ppm sulfur cap for highway diesel to off-road mobile uses. It also includes a min 48 cetane number and max. 10 vol% aromatics content (or approved designated alternative limit).

On December 6, 2000, TNRCC approved extending the Dallas-Fort Worth low emission diesel (LED) fuel rule 1) statewide for highway vehicles and 2) to eastern/central Texas for non-road uses by May 1, 2002. In addition, the diesel sulfur cap will drop to 15 ppm by June 1, 2006 for highway and non-road uses in eastern/central Texas; if a new federal standard is at least as stringent, then TNRCC may consider the repeal of the state sulfur requirements for diesel fuel.

Signed by the Governor on 6/15/01, HB 2912, among other provisions, limits TNRCC's authority to regulate motor fuels. It delays the effective date of the LED program at least until 2/1/05 and prohibits the establishment of new vehicle fuel control measures more stringent than EPA's between 9/1/00 and 1/1/04 unless authorized by the legislature.

On September 26, 2001, TNRCC approved changes to the TX LED program. First, the implementation date was delayed by three years (from May 1, 2002 to April 1, 2005). Second, the covered area was reduced from statewide to three ozone nonattainment areas (Houston-Galveston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Beaumont-Port Arthur) and 90 additional eastern/central counties (about 80% of the diesel in TX). Third, it permits negotiations on development and approval of alternative fuel-based NOx emission reduction plans in lieu of TX LED. See 30 TAC 114, Subchapter H.

On March 9, 2005, TCEQ approved changes to the TxLED rules. The TxLED compliance dates were October 1, 2005 for producers and importers, November 15, 2005 for bulk plant distribution facilities, and January 1, 2006 for retail fuel dispensing outlets and wholesale bulk purchaser/consumers. The TxLED sulfur regulations were deleted because of new federal diesel sulfur standards.

TCEQ delayed the start date of the Texas Low Emissions Diesel program by 30 days (to begin on November 1, 2005 for producers and importers) because of supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Rita.

On May 23, 2007, TCEQ approved requiring marine distillate fuels DMX and DMA (both commonly known as Marine Gas Oil) to be Texas LED compliant in the Houston - Galveston - Brazoria area beginning 10/1/07 for producers and importers, 11/15/07 for bulk plant distributors, and 1/1/08 for retail outlets.

In a letter dated 9/15/08, EPA waived the Low Emission Diesel requirements in Texas through 11:59 PM on September 30. This did not authorize the use of undyed highway diesel fuel nor dyed non-road diesel fuel meeting the 500 ppm sulfur standard; ULSD must be used in highway vehicles if TxLED is not available. 

In a letter dated 8/25/17, to address a fuel supply emergency caused by Hurricane Harvey, EPA waived regulations for RFG in Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, 7.8 psi RVP to gasoline in three counties, and Texas Low Emission Diesel in 29 counties, all through September 15.  In a letter dated 8/26/17, EPA extended the RFG waiver to include Dallas-Fort Worth, the 7.8 psi RVP waiver to include all 95 counties in Eastern TX, and the TxLED waiver to 110 counties. In a letter dated 8/29/17, EPA waived regulations to allow the use of red dyed 15 ppm sulfur NRLM diesel in diesel-powered highway vehicles in some TX counties (those mentioned in footnote 6 of the EPA August 26 waiver for Texas). This will be effective through September 15.  However, this waiver only applies to EPA regulations; EPA has no authority to waive IRS regulations. In a letter dated 9/13/17, EPA extended the TxLED waiver through October 1.     

Legislature: Introduced in March 2001, HB 2819 would ban MTBE in gasoline after 9/1/05 and HB 2820 would ban MTBE after 9/1/03. HB 3431, introduced in March 2001, would ban MTBE in attainment areas.

SB 1192, introduced in February 2009, would require 2 vol% biodiesel beginning 12 months after in-state annualized production reaches 80 million gallons, 5 vol% (200 million gallons), 10 vol% (400 million gallons), and 20 vol% (800 million gallons) if diesel fuel motor vehicle warranties will not be voided or withdrawn. Renewable diesel (nonester or derived from nonpetroleum sources) may be used to meet not more than 25% of the biodiesel requirement. Gasoline would be required to contain at least 2 vol% cellulosic ethanol beginning 12 months after in-state cellulosic production reaches 240 million gallons, 5 vol% (600 million gallons), and 10 vol% (1.2 billion gallons). 

Last updated September 2017