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HOUSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will no longer require that gas stations use vapor recovery units, which attach to gasoline pump nozzles and prevent fuel vapor from escaping into the atmosphere. This will allow individual states to decide whether they will require the systems, according to a Houston Public Radio report.
Each nozzle attachment costs approximately $5,000. However, nearly all cars and trucks built after 2006 have equipment within the gas tank that captures the vapor fumes. The EPA estimates that 70 percent of vehicles on the road now include such onboard technology.
"They've simply created better technology to deal with the problem. And that technology is now in your vehicle as opposed to having to be in the gas pump," said Alan Clark, director of transportation and air quality planning at the Houston-Galveston Area Council. "I think the best thing is the gas pump handles themselves will be lighter and probably easier for people to pick up and to use."
At least one state will take its time considering a change to the requirement. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's Guy Hoffman stated that the agency will review the proposal before deciding whether it's a good idea to remove the vapor recovery units.
"If you just start turning these things off, then you may increase the emissions inside the area," said Hoffman. "So you may cause more pollution if you don't do it properly."