EPA waives environmental rule to ease fuel shortage in 12 states

U.S. environmental regulators have issued emergency fuel waivers to help alleviate shortages in reformulated gasoline in 12 states and the District of Columbia. The supply of fuel has become constrained five days after a cyberattack shuttered the country’s biggest pipeline.

While earlier, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had said, the fuel vapor rule waiver would continue through May 18, for fuel sold in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and that it could potentially take other steps along with the Department of Energy (DOE).

It issued a second waiver to also include other states, such as Delaware, Alabama, Georgia, along with specific counties of Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, both the Carolinas, and Tennessee, and extended its duration through May 31.

“As required by law, EPA and DOE evaluated the situation and determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest,” said the EPA while adding that it was prepared to offer “additional flexibility” as and when needed to address any fuel shortages. The development comes in the wake of a ransomeware attack on Colonial Pipeline which shut down a major artery to ship fuel along the eastern United States; the company has issued a statement saying it expects to get the pipeline back in service by the end of this week.

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