EPA, FMCSA Issue Waivers for Reformulated Gas, Non-Road ULSD and Hours of Service

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in consultation with the U.S. Department of Energy has issued a waiver for reformulated gasoline (RFG) in 16 states and the District of Columbia to prevent disruptions of the supply of RFG in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

Effective immediately, EPA is waiving RFG requirements in designated RFG areas in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

The waiver allows for the sale of conventional gasoline in designated RFG areas and continues through Nov. 20, 2012. Any conventional gas remaining in the tanks of retailers or wholesale purchaser consumers within the designated RFG areas may be sold or used until depleted. All other parties in the affected states must meet RFG requirements no later than Dec. 20, 2012.

Yesterday, the EPA also issued a limited ultra-low sulfur diesel waiver for New Jersey that allows parties to sell, distribute and use non-road diesel fuel that exceeds the 15 ppm sulfur standard for use in 2010 or older generators or generators that have not been retrofitted with diesel particulate filter technology. That waiver continues through Nov. 13.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also has declared a regional state of emergency on the East Coast that lasts through Nov. 12.

Under the declaration, interstate motor carriers hauling direct emergency relief are waived from hours-of-service requirements. The declaration of emergency provides relief for commercial motor vehicles operations while providing emergency materials and services to customers in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. Drivers must carry a copy of the emergency declaration, according to the agency.

The exemption applies only to those operations providing direct assistance to the emergency relief effort. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not destined for the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier operation dispatches such driver or vehicle to another location to begin operations in furtherance of commerce.

Photo Credit: Ira Wexler/NATSO

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