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EPA Approves Emergency Fuel Waiver for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

06/12/2019
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov )

WASHINGTON — In response to a request received today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler has issued an emergency fuel waiver for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, effective immediately.

Administrator Wheeler determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania as a result of damage to the Buckeye Laurel Pipeline that supplies low volatility gasoline to the area. The damage to the Buckeye Laurel Pipeline required EPA to issue a temporary waiver on May 29, 2019, set to expire on June 17, 2019.  Because necessary repairs continue to prevent the use of the Buckeye Laurel Pipeline, EPA has granted a second temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the affected areas until normal supply to the county can be restored.

EPA has waived the low Reid vapor pressure (RVP) requirement in the Pennsylvania State Implementation Plan for gasoline sold in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to minimize problems with the supply of gasoline. This waiver allows the sale of gasoline in Allegheny County that meets the 9.0 psi RVP standard applicable in other parts of Pennsylvania. EPA has also waived the prohibition on the blending of reformulated gasoline and blendstock for oxygenated blending with other gasoline, blendstock or oxygenate in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. These waivers are effective through midnight on July 1, 2019.

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

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, 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 fuel waivers may be granted, and requires that waivers be limited as much as possible in terms of their geographic scope and duration.

More information about fuel waivers: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/fuel-waivers