The U.S. Energy Department is working with the Defense Department and National Guard to get emergency generators to gas stations that lost power in New York and New Jersey, creating long lines of customers. New Jersey imposed gas rations over the weekend and in New York, the military set up temporary gas stations to help dispense fuel.
The EPA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued a series of waivers in recent days aimed at providing relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
- In response to shortages of clear diesel fuel, the IRS will not impose a tax penalty when dyed diesel fuel is sold for use or used on the highway. This relief applies beginning Oct. 30 in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania and will remain in effect through Nov. 20, 2012. This penalty relief is available to any person that sells or uses dyed fuel for highway use. In the case of the operator of the vehicle in which the dyed fuel is used, the relief is available only if the operator or the person selling the fuel pays the tax of 24.4 cents per gallon that is normally applied to diesel fuel for on-road use. The IRS will not impose penalties for failure to make semimonthly deposits of this tax. IRS Publication 510, Excise Taxes, has information on the proper method for reporting and paying the tax.
- The EPA waived federal clean diesel fuel requirements in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York City last week so highway vehicles and off-road vehicles could use home heating oil for emergency response purposes.
- EPA last week issued a diesel sulfur waiver for the state of New Jersey. The waiver will allow limited use of diesel fuel higher than 15-ppm for both highway and non-highway uses to be used as the State of New Jersey determines. The waiver is effective immediately and will continue through Nov. 20, 2012.
- EPA in consultation with DOE 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. EPA waived 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.
- FMCSA also 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.
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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