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EPA Approves Emergency Fuel Waiver for Virginia and Georgia

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WASHINGTON (September 12, 2018) — Today, in preparation for Hurricane Florence, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler approved emergency fuel waiver requests made this afternoon on behalf of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

Acting Administrator Wheeler quickly determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist in portions of Virginia and Georgia as a result of the approaching hurricane. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations compound these extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances. EPA has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the affected areas until normal supply to the region can be restored. 

EPA has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in designated areas in Virginia and Georgia to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. This waiver will continue through September 15, 2018, which is the end of the summer fuel season. EPA has also waived the requirement to use reformulated gasoline in the southern part of Virginia and the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline, blendstock or oxygenate in Virginia and Georgia. These waivers are effective through September 30, 2018.

The Clean Air Act allows EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, in consultation with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry, to waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages that could occur because of a hurricane.

As required by law, EPA and 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 resulting from Hurricane Florence, and will act expeditiously if extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist in other areas.

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.

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