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Detroit Gas Station Ordered To Follow Michigan Clean Air Regulations After Court Battle

(CBS Detroit) -- A duty-free gas station in Detroit that sued Michigan to avoid following the state's gasoline vapor pressure regulations lost its challenge in court.

According to the Michigan Attorney General's Office, Ammex Inc. in Detroit, and other gasoline dispensing facilities in eight counties, are required to sell low vapor pressure gasoline during the summer because it is when the ozone pollution is at its worst and air pollution associated with gas refueling turns into ozone.

The regulations are in effect for Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties

Officials say the regulations were issued because the air in those counties did not meet the federal ambient air quality standards. They must meet the low vapor pressure requirement for summertime gasoline to maintain compliance with the federal Clean Air Act.

Ammex Inc. sued the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) in March 2018. However, officials say the U.S. Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit ruled last week that regardless of it being duty-free, the fuel laws apply to the facility because its refueling site is in Wayne County.

"Gas stations emit harmful air pollutants, including pollutants that can form ozone," said AG Dana Nessel. "Ammex is one of the largest gasoline stations in Detroit, and this case confirms that they must comply with Michigan's gasoline vapor pressure regulations. This is a win for the Clean Air Act and for all Michiganders."

"This ruling affirms the important role our motor fuel quality inspectors play in ensuring clean air, especially in those designated counties in southeast Michigan," said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. "I appreciate the court's ruling upholding the Ammex gas station's duty to comply with Michigan's Motor Fuel Quality Act and reduce harmful smog levels in Southeast Michigan."

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