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Georgia Department of Agriculture

Notice of Intent to Consider the Adoption of Amendments to the Rules relating to standards for petroleum products, specifically Rules 40-20-1-.01 and 40-20-1-.12

Monday, March 28, 2011

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:

Notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing on June 1, 2011, at 10 a.m. in Room 201 of the Agriculture Building, 19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334. Such hearing will be for the purpose of considering the adoption of amendments to the Rules of the Department relating to the Petroleum Products promulgated pursuant Part 1 Petroleum Products Act of 1927, as amended, O.C.G.A. § 10-1-155.

SYNOPSIS, MAIN FEATURES AND DIFFERENCES:

It is proposed to update Rule 40-20-1-.01 to conform to current standard specifications of ASTM International, current regulations of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and current industry practice.

The proposed amendments and the reasons for the change are summarized as follows:
The gasoline sulfur specifications in Rule 40-20-1-0.01(a)(1) are revised to 95 parts per million, which is the current downstream gasoline sulfur specifications in EPA regulations found at 40 CFR 80.210. Since January 2006, EPA has mandated that all gasoline at retail locations shall have a maximum of 95 ppm sulfur.

The lead specifications in Rule 40-20-1-.01(a)(4) and the minimum octane ratings for leaded gasoline in Rule 40-20-2-.01(a)(7)(i) are deleted as they are no longer necessary due to the fact that there is no leaded gasoline available for general consumption. The addition of lead in automobile gasoline has not been permitted in the United States (except certain racing and aviation applications) since January 1996. The rule has been renumbered to reflect the proposed deletion.

The minimum temperature specification for 50 percent distillation of non-oxygenated Class D-4 gasoline in Rule 40-20-1-.01(a)(5)(i) is changed to 77° C/170° F to conform to the specifications in current version of ASTM D4814 standard. Be noted that gasoline known from the origin to retail that will not be blended with ethanol may meet a minimum 50% evaporated distillation temperature of 66(150˚ F) for volatility class D-4 only. Gasoline meeting these limits is not suitable for blending with ethanol.

Rule 40-20-2-1-.01(a)(5)(iii) is corrected for a typographical error in the word "Driveability."
Rule 40-20-2-.01(b)(2) is amended to require that denatured ethanol used for gasoline blending must meet the most recent version of specifications specified in ASTM D4806 standard. ASTM D4086 defines the parameters of denatured fuel ethanol to be used for blending, as well as the standard product workmanship and sampling handling technique.
A reference to reformulated gasoline ("RFG") in Rule 40-20-2-.01(b)(5) is removed. EPA regulations no longer require a minimum oxygen content for RFG and the remainder renumbered to reflect this deletion.

The kinematic viscosity specifications for Fuel Oils in Rule 40-20-2-.01(d)(1)(iv), (d)(2)(iv), (d)(3)(ii), and (d)(4)(ii) are changed to comply with the specifications in the most recent version of ASTM D396, the Standard Specifications for Fuel Oils. The less restrictive maximum viscosity has two benefits. First, it can increase the ability to blend biodiesel into fuels oils because biodiesel has a slightly higher viscosity than diesel fuel oils. Second, it makes the refining process more efficient with less heavier hydrocarbons.

It is further proposed to update Rule 40-20-1-.12, relating to the advertised price for petroleum products, to establish specific methods that stations are to use when advertising double tiered pricing. Currently, the Rule allows the Department to write and publish guidelines relating to the implementation of marketing policies or procedures regarding the advertising of petroleum products. The proposed rule change would delete this provision and add a new Rule 40-20-1-.12(c)-(d) to address advertising regulations and restrictions.

The Department is proposing to add Rule 40-20-1-.12(c) relating to double tiered pricing. For the purpose of this proposed regulation, the term “double tiered pricing” means offering the same petroleum product at two different prices with the lower price based on a qualifier, i.e. cash-credit, oil company card, bank card, club card, membership card or some similar event. It is also proposed that the advertising of prices on a highway, street or curb sign is not required, however, if advertised, the higher price must be posted. Additionally, the lower price may also be posted as long as the higher price is on the top or to the left of the lower price depending on the configuration of the sign. Furthermore, it is proposed that advertising for the lower price shall prominently display the qualifier in letters that are legible, easily readable and are not deceptive. Proposed Rule 40-20-1-.12(d) would require the Commissioner or his agent to approve any double tiered pricing and those double tiered pricing advertising designs on highway, street, or curb signs that do not have prior approval will be in violation of this regulation.

Interested persons may call to request a copy of the proposed rules or may submit written request to:

Mr. Rich Lewis,
Director, Fuels & Measures Division
Georgia Department of Agriculture
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Room 321
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone Number: 404-656-3605
FAX Number: 404-656-9380

Please submit written comments to the above address or fax. Written comments must be received no later than the close of business (4:30 p.m. EDT) on May 27, 2011. All comments will be considered on June 1, 2011. You may download a copy of the proposed rules from the section to the right.

This notice is given in compliance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. §50-13-4.

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