As Hurricane Gustav moves closer to landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast, EPA has exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain federal clean fuel requirements for 16 parishes in the state of Louisiana until Sept. 8, 2008. This waiver will allow greater flexibility for the fuel distribution system to be used to aid in the evacuation and subsequent return of affected residents.
This waiver was granted by EPA in coordination with the Department of Energy, at the request of the State of Louisiana.
Given the projected path, severity of the storm, and the evacuation of major areas of the state, 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 area during and in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
The waiver applies to the 7.8 RVP (Reid vapor pressure) gasoline volatility requirements that apply in 16 parishes in Louisiana. Gasoline volatility standards are imposed during summer months to help control emissions from motor vehicles; temporary suspension of such standards will allow for the sale of available supplies of conventional gasoline that have higher volatility limits. As required by law, EPA and DOE 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.
The 16 Louisiana parishes receiving waivers: 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.