EPA has temporarily waived some clean gasoline requirements for fuel distributed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. The request for federal help come from the governors of the states most affected by delays in production and delivery of Gulf coast refineries.
The waiver applies to the use of so-called low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) “summertime” gasoline for the remainder of the “high ozone” period, which ends on September 15. Because of continuing refinery shutdowns caused by the severe storm, and slower than expected restarts of other Gulf-area refineries, EPA said there would not be an adequate supply of summertime gasoline. The waiver allows the use of available supplies of higher RVP “wintertime” gasoline prior to the end of the high ozone period, in order to prevent a gasoline supply shortfall in these states.
States bordering the Gulf area are projected to have sufficient supplies of compliant summertime fuel through the end of the high ozone period in two weeks, and no shortages are expected to develop. However, EPA will continue to monitor fuel supplies in these areas, and will act “expeditiously” if needed to prevent a shortfall, EPA said in a statement.