May 11, 2021
In response to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan issued a second emergency fuel waiver to help alleviate fuel shortages in states whose supply of gasoline has been impacted by the pipeline shutdown.
The waiver legally makes it harder for gasoline dealers to hike prices, as they have to justify the hike to the federal government.
This second emergency fuel waiver expands on a waiver that EPA issued this morning for the District of Columbia and areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The second waiver waives the requirements for low volatility conventional gasoline and Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) for the District of Columbia and areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and also includes Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Specific Counties of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This waiver begins May 11, 2021 and ends May 31, 2021.
The Clean Air Act allows EPA Administrator Michael Regan, in consultation with the Department of Energy (DOE), to waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages. As a result of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, Administrator Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and 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.
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 is in ongoing communication with state partners throughout the Colonial Pipeline service area and is prepared to offer additional flexibility as needed to address fuel shortages that occur and alleviate the impact of the shutdown.
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: www.epa.gov/enforcement/fuel-waivers.