WASHINGTON – As Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain federal clean gasoline requirements for Louisiana. This waiver will allow greater flexibility for the fuel distribution system to support an adequate supply, according to an EPA release.
This waiver was granted by EPA in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE), at the request of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson 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 Louisiana until normal supply to the region can be restored.
The waiver applies to 7.8 psi low Reid vapor pressure (RVP) requirements for the State of Louisiana. The waiver is effective for 10 days and allows the sale of 9.0 psi conventional gasoline in the following fourteen Louisiana parishes: Ascension, E. Baton Rouge, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Point Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. Mary, and W. Baton Rouge. EPA is continuing to actively monitor the fuel supply situation as a result of Hurricane Isaac, and is ready to act expeditiously if extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist in other areas in Louisiana with a 7.8 psi RVP fuel requirement. As required by law, EPA and DOE evaluated the situation and determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest. To mitigate any impacts on air quality, the Clean Air Act provides strict criteria for when fuels waivers may be granted, and requires that waivers be limited as much as possible in terms of their geographic scope and duration, the release stated. In 2011, the EPA issued two waivers and issued none in 2009 and 2010.