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The current controversy surrounding reformulated gasoline is only a minor squall in what is becoming an increasingly stormy atmosphere hovering over southeastern Wisconsin.
Like the employee commute option rule, the new gas is a component of the massive body of law set forth by 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA). It's also incorporated into Wisconsin's 15 percent plan for reducing ground-level ozone in the state's southeastern severe non-attainment area: Milwaukee, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Racine, Waukesha and Washington counties.
CAAA requires ozone- or smog-forming air emissions to be reduced by 3 percent per year until either 2007 or the air quality standard is achieved.
The state plan consists of control measures to reduce emissions by 15 percent from 1990 levels - a cumulative 3 percent per year reduction. Accounting for economic growth, those reductions are projected to total around 68 tons per hot summer day in southeastern Wisconsin.
In an air emission accounting context, reformulated gas represents a 17-tons-per-day emission reduction. Reformulated gas also had been considered one of the …