EPA Approves Temporary Fuel Waivers to Assist States Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson determined that, as a result of effects of Hurricane Sandy, extreme and unusual supply circumstances exist, which may result in a temporary shortage of gasoline compliant with federal regulations. The federal waiver will help ensure an adequate supply of fuels in the impacted states.

The waiver allows the sale and distribution of conventional gasoline in a number of Eastern states that are required to use reformulated gasoline, and allows a number of additional states to mix reformulated gasoline and conventional gasoline to remove potential barriers to the supply of gasoline to the region. 

EPA has exercised its authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive certain federal clean gasoline requirements for gasoline sold and distributed in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, District of Columbia, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The waiver was granted by EPA in coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE).

Fuel Waivers

EPA, working with the Department of Energy, responds quickly to address fuel supply disruptions caused by, for example, refinery or pipeline infrastructure damage as the result of a hurricane or other natural disaster, by issuing emergency waivers of certain fuel standards in affected areas. When issued, these temporary waivers are necessary to help ensure that an adequate supply of fuel is available, particularly for emergency vehicle needs.  There were no waivers issued in 2009 and 2010.

2012 Fuels Waivers

Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia

On October 31, due to pipeline disruptions distributing fuel to the northeast, EPA waived requirements for the use of Reformulated Gasoline in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and the District of Columbia. In addition, also waived were additional requirements prohibiting "blending" of certain types of gasoline, applicable in each of these states, as well as in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina, to facilitate distribution of fuel to areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, through November 20, 2012. Multi-State Fuel Waiver (PDF)

New Jersey

On October 31, 2012, EPA waived requirements for use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, and to instead allow the use of high sulfur heating oil, in certain generators and pumps used for emergency purposes in New Jersey through November 13, 2012