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EPA Approves Hurricane-Related Fuel Waiver for Nine Southeast States

Release Date: 09/11/2008
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 or 703-593-1008 (Press Only) / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(9/11/08) Due to the continuing effects of storms in the Gulf and the pending landfall of Hurricane Ike, EPA is exercising its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain federal gasoline requirements in nine southeastern states.

Today’s action will waive certain Clean Air Act requirements for gasoline sold or distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas to allow the early use of “winter fuel” throughout this region.

The waiver will be in effect starting immediately and will allow greater flexibility and additional supply for fuel distribution systems in these states.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson determined that extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist, which are likely to result in a shortage of gasoline compliant with federal regulations. The federal waiver will help ensure an adequate supply of gasoline in the affected areas.

For all nine states, gasoline distributors may sell or distribute fuel that exceeds “summer requirements” for volatility. These standards are imposed during summer months to help control emissions from motor vehicles. Also waived were requirements for “reformulated gasoline” required in portions of Texas.

The waiver allows each state to sell or distribute gasoline with volatility as great as 11.5 pounds per square inch (psi). State-specific details are described below. Temporary suspension of these standards will allow for the sale of available supplies of conventional gasoline that have higher volatility limits.

As required by law, EPA carefully examined all aspects of the fuel supply situation in the requested areas and determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest. EPA granted the waiver in coordination with the Department of Energy.

State-Specific Summaries:

Florida. The waiver is effective in the following counties in which the 7.8 psi volatility requirement applies: Broward, Dade, Duvall, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Pinellas. The waiver is effective in all other counties where 9.0 psi volatility gasoline is required in Florida through Sept. 15.

Louisiana. The waiver is effective in the following 16 parishes in which the 7.8 psi volatility requirement applies: Ascension, Beauregard, Calcasieu, E. Baton Rouge, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Point Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. Mary, and W. Baton Rouge. The waiver is effective in all other parishes where 9.0 psi volatility gasoline is required in Louisiana through Sept. 15.

Mississippi. The waiver is effective in all counties where the 9.0 psi volatility requirement applies through Sept.15.

North Carolina. The waiver is effective in the following North Carolina counties where the 7.8 psi volatility requirement applies: Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburgh and Wake, and in those parts of Davie and Granville counties where the 7.8 psi volatility requirement applies. The waiver is effective in all other counties where 9.0 psi volatility gasoline is required in North Carolina through Sept. 15.

South Carolina. The waiver is effective in all counties where 9.0 psi RVP gasoline is required in South Carolina through Sept. 15.

Tennessee. The waiver is effective in the following Tennessee counties in which the 7.8 psi volatility requirement applies: Davidson, Rutherford, Shelby, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson. The waiver is effective in all other counties where 9.0 psi volatility gasoline is required in Tennessee through Sept. 15.

Alabama. The waiver is effective in the Jefferson and Shelby counties, which is where the 7.0 psi volatility requirement applies. The waiver is effective in all other counties where 9.0 psi volatility gasoline is required in Alabama through Sept. 15.

Georgia. The waiver is effective in the following 45 Atlanta-area counties in which the 7.0 psi volatility and sulfur averaging requirements apply: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Upson and Walton. The waiver is effective in all other counties where 9.0 psi volatility gasoline is required in Georgia through Sept. 15. Gasoline sold or distributed in the Atlanta area must continue to meet federal low-sulfur requirements.

Texas. The waiver is effective in all Texas counties in which the 7.8 psi and 9.0 volatility requirements apply. The waiver is also effective in those Houston-area and Dallas-area counties where the reformulated gasoline requirements apply. The waiver allows the distribution and sale of 11.5 psi volatility in all these areas through Sept. 30.

More details on the fuel waiver:
http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/caa/fuelwaivers/