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NC DENR: Triangle, Triad motorists saved about $18M in gas costs this summer

Posted October 1, 2014 12:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2014 6:35 p.m. EDT

— Drivers and businesses in the Triangle and Triad saw an average savings of about 7 cents per gallon at the gas pumps this summer, as a result of a rule change by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

DENR said Wednesday that relaxing the rule resulted in a cost savings of more than $18 million in the two metro areas from June 1 to Sept. 15.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations have required gasoline in the two regions to be formulated differently to reduce ground-level ozone.

Costs associated with the change were passed on to retailers, resulting in higher gas prices during the summer months.

DENR, however, earlier this year, used air quality data to convince the EPA that the change had an insignificant impact on air quality.

The EPA permanently dropped the regulation in May – a move that resulted in the lower gas prices.

The savings to gasoline service stations in the counties affected by the relaxation of the fuel requirement is substantial, says Sheila Holman, director of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality.

“The EPA approval to change the summertime gasoline standard in the Triangle and Triad saves consumers and businesses money while having no impact on air quality,” Holman said.