WASHINGTON, September 13, 2017 - As a result of the continuing impacts on refineries near the Gulf Coast and disruption to the fuel distribution system caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt exercised EPA’s emergency fuel waiver authority to help ensure an adequate supply of fuel throughout the country.
EPA waived requirements for reformulated gasoline through September 26 and low volatility conventional gasoline through Sept. 15 in 38 states and the District of Columbia. The waiver supersedes the waiver issued on Aug. 31.
It also waives requirements for low volatility gasoline in El Paso County, Texas, through Sept. 16 and to a number of counties in Eastern Texas through Sept. 26. An EPA release said Pruitt used waiver authority granted under the Clean Air Act in coordination with the Energy Secretary 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. Both departments say they are continuing to actively monitor the fuel supply situation as a result of the hurricanes 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 prohibit the sale of certain ethanol blends until after Sept. 15.
To mitigate any impacts on air quality, the Clean Air Act provides strict criteria for when fuel waivers may be granted, and requires that waivers be limited as much as possible in terms of their geographic scope and duration.
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