WASHINGTON, Dc. (EPA Press Release) – As a result of the continuing impacts on Gulf Coast-area refineries and disruption to the fuel distribution system caused by Hurricane Harvey and the effects of large-scale evacuations in response to Hurricane Irma, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt today exercised EPA’s emergency fuel waiver authority to help ensure an adequate supply of fuel throughout the country.
EPA has waived requirements for reformulated gasoline through September 26 and low volatility conventional gasoline through September 15 in the following states and the District of Columbia: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and the District of Columbia. Today’s waiver supersedes the waiver issued on August 31.
Today’s waiver also waives requirements for low volatility gasoline in El Paso County, Texas through September 16 and to a number of counties in Eastern Texas through September 26.
The waiver authority was exercised under the Clean Air Act and was granted by EPA Administrator Pruitt, in coordination with the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
As required by law, EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) evaluated the situation and determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest. EPA and DOE are continuing to actively monitor the fuel supply situation as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and will act expeditiously if extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist in other areas.
The sale of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) must continue to comply with federal rules, which are designed to minimize the potential for E15 being used in vehicles that are not designed to use this fuel.
To mitigate any impacts on air quality, the Clean Air Act provides strict criteria for when fuels waivers may be granted, and requires that waivers be limited as much as possible in terms of their geographic scope and duration.