EPA Finalizes Rule to Remove Allegheny County Summer Gas Requirement
PHILADELPHIA (June 28, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has signed a final rule that would remove requirements for Allegheny County to reduce gasoline volatility during summer months.
“This rule demonstrates EPA’s commitment to working with Pennsylvania and local partners for cleaner, healthier air for Allegheny County residents,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “We moved as expeditiously as federal regulations allow to finalize this rule, which puts Allegheny County back on equal footing with neighboring areas.”
In the 1990s, both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) adopted separate rules to control motor gasoline volatility during summer months in the 7-county Pittsburgh area and Allegheny County. These summer gas rules were federally approved as part of a state implementation plan (SIP) to help the area meet the health-based federal ozone standard and ensure that air quality will continue to be protective.
Since 2014, EPA has worked closely with both PADEP and ACHD to help them revise Pennsylvania’s SIP to remove summer gas requirements. PADEP revised its summer gasoline rule in April 2018 and requested removal of the rule from the SIP in May 2018. EPA finalized a removal action in December 2018.
ACHD chose to wait until after PADEP’s rule change was finalized, submitting their SIP revision almost a year later than the state. On April 12, 2019, EPA signed a proposed rule to approve removing Allegheny County’s summer gasoline requirement from the SIP.
The EPA’s proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on April 26, 2019, and the agency received six comments during a 30-day public comment period, which ended May 28, 2019. The final rule will become effective when it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks.
Allegheny County currently has a federally approved waiver from the summer gas requirement due to a supply disruption resulting from a pipeline rupture.
Read the fuel waiver here: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/fuel-waivers