EPA approves emergency fuel waivers for Tennessee

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 9, 2017 at 9:00 AM

WASHINGTON – As a result of the continuing impacts on Gulf Coast-area refineries and disruption to the fuel distribution system caused by Hurricane Harvey and the effects of large-scale evacuations in response to Hurricane Irma, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt exercised Thursday EPA’s emergency fuel waiver authority to help ensure an adequate supply of fuel in Tennessee and throughout the country. 

The EPA waived requirements for reformulated gasoline through Sept. 26 and low-volatility conventional gasoline through Sept. 15 in Tennessee, 37 other states and the District of Columbia. Thursday’s waiver supersedes a waiver issued Aug. 31.

Thursday’s waiver also waives requirements for low-volatility gasoline in El Paso County, Texas through Sept. 16 and to a number of counties in eastern Texas through Sept. 26.

The waiver authority was exercised under the Clean Air Act and granted by Pruitt in coordination with U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

As required by law, the EPA and the Department of Energy evaluated the situation and determined granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest. The EPA and DOE continue to actively monitor the fuel supply situation as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and said they will act expeditiously if extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist in other areas.

The sale of gasoline that contains up to 15 percent ethanol must continue to comply with federal rules, which are designed to minimize the potential for E15 used in vehicles that are not designed to use the fuel.

To mitigate any impacts on air quality, the Clean Air Act provides strict criteria for when fuels waivers may be granted, and requires waivers be limited as much as possible in terms of their geographic scope and duration.

For more information, visit epa.gov/enforcement/fuel-waivers.

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