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Administrator Wheeler Signs Final Baton Rouge RVP Waiver in Louisiana

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NEW ORLEANS — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule to relax the federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard in Baton Rouge. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the final waiver with Congressman Garret Graves (LA-06) for five Louisiana parishes: East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, and Iberville.  

“Thanks to improvements in local air quality, EPA is approving Louisiana’s request to relax federal requirements on the type of fuel sold in the Baton Rouge area,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The final waiver, which will save Louisianans money at the gas pump, reflects the importance of working with state and local governments to provide them the certainty needed to achieve environmental goals and enhance economic growth.”

"Capital Region drivers have been paying higher prices at the pump without any evidence of positive improvement to the environment since these rules went into effect — that’s why we have been pushing to get them lifted," said Congressman Garret Graves. "Government regulations need to actually advance a goal, not just impose costs and bureaucracy for fun."

This action will allow for identical gasoline to be sold throughout the entire state of Louisiana during the summertime – a win for both producers and consumers. The RVP waiver was finalized after the Baton Rouge area was deemed “in attainment” for the 2008 and 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.

Areas with air quality problems have stricter limits on the RVP content of gasoline that can be sold in summertime. This can burden consumers, retailers, and suppliers, who have to account for different supply chains and spend more at the pump. But when an area demonstrates sufficient progress in improving air quality, EPA can relax these restrictions and put the area on an equal footing with its neighbors.

In response to an April 2017 request from the State of Louisiana, this final action amends EPA’s regulations to relax the federal RVP standard from 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9.0 psi for gasoline sold during the summer ozone season.

Starting in June 2019, gasoline sold in the Baton Rouge Area will no longer be subject to separate standards, creating greater certainty across the state for businesses and Louisianans.

Learn more about the Baton Rouge RVP waiver:

Wheeler standing standing next to Congressman.Administrator Wheeler signs the final RVP waiver alongside Congressman Garret Graves.