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EPA Approves Hurricane-Related Waiver for Georgia

Release Date: 09/23/2008
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, 202-564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(9/23/08) As a result of the disruption in the supply of fuel caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, EPA has exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain Georgia-specific requirements approved under the Clean Air Act for gasoline in 45 counties in and around Atlanta.

The waiver will allow for the importation, distribution and sale of gasoline that does not meet low-sulfur gasoline requirements contained in Georgia’s federally-approved state implementation plan. Also waived are certain testing, reporting and recordkeeping requirements applicable to new importers of gasoline to the Atlanta area under Georgia’s state plan. This waiver does not change the requirement that gasoline imported, sold or distributed in this area meet federal gasoline sulfur requirements.

The waiver is in effect in the following counties: 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 today and will continue through Oct. 12. Retail outlets and wholesalers that receive conventional gas under this waiver may continue selling or dispensing this fuel after Oct. 12 until their supplies are depleted.

The waivers were granted today by EPA in coordination with the Department of Energy at the request of Georgia. 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.

Over a dozen refineries were forced to shutdown or curtail operations due to these tropical storms, and the area’s refining capacity has yet to fully recover. Today’s waiver will allow greater flexibility for the fuel distribution system to support an adequate supply of gasoline.

As required by law, EPA evaluated the situation and determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest.

More information: epa.gov/compliance/civil/caa/fuelwaivers/