Air Pollution:

EPA's Efforts To Reduce and End the Use of Lead in Gasoline

RCED-86-80FS: Published: Mar 12, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to substantially reduce and possibly end the use of lead in gasoline and the extent to which EPA considered the impact on agricultural machinery using low-lead gasoline.

GAO found that: (1) in March 1985, EPA issued final rules to reduce the allowable amount of lead in gasoline to 0.10 grams per leaded gallon, concluding from the results of three motor vehicle studies that engines designed to operate with leaded gasoline needed between 0.04 and 0.07 grams of lead per gallon to prevent damage; and (2) EPA relied on data that the Army and Postal Service generated when they switched large fleets of vehicles from leaded to unleaded gasoline with no significant problems. In response to congressional concerns and those of the Department of Agriculture and the farm community about the impacts that the low-lead standard and the possible ban of leaded gasoline might have on farm equipment, EPA agreed to study farm equipment engines and to reevaluate the standards; and (4) by January 1987, EPA expects to determine whether its low-lead standards need to be changed to prevent adverse effects on farm machinery and what the final action should be on its proposal to ban lead.

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