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Regulatory Alert

Breaking News:
FMCSA Expands Nationwide COVID-19 HOS Waiver to Fuel Marketers
EPA Issues RVP Fuel Waivers for Louisiana and Mississippi
August 31, 2021

Moments ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended its COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency and expanded it to include commercial fuel deliveries, effective September 1 through November 30, 2021. Click here to read the notice. Yesterday, EMA, along with NACS, NATSO and SIGMA sent a letter to the FMCSA urging it to incorporate fuel marketers into the nationwide COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. Given the impact Hurricane Ida has had on the Southeast, coupled with the current nationwide truck driver shortage, the updated FMCSA emergency declaration will provide much needed hours of service (HOS) flexibility.

Meanwhile, EPA issued a temporary Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for Mississippi and Louisiana due to supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Ida. Under the temporary waiver, regulated parties may produce, sell and distribute winter gasoline in Louisiana and Mississippi with a Reid vapor pressure of no more than 11.5 psi after the addition of ethanol. The waiver is effective immediately and will continue through September 15, 2021. This waiver applies only to the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. Other state or local requirements or restrictions related to this matter may need to be addressed by the appropriate authorities in those states. The EPA recognizes that this is an evolving situation that is causing rapid changes to supply dynamics with off-shore production halted and refinery operations shut down. The EPA will continue to monitor the adequacy of gasoline supplies and should conditions warrant, may modify or extend the RVP waiver at a later date. EMA has been working closely with the EPA and other federal agencies to ensure that the regulatory waivers needed to maintain the fuel supply distribution network are granted. The EPA will continue to monitor the adequacy of gasoline supplies and, should conditions warrant, may modify or extend this waiver at a later date. A copy of the RVP waiver may be seen here.

Hurricane Ida forced the temporary closure of at least six refineries in the New Orleans area Sunday, while three other refineries in the area appeared to be operating at reduced capacity, an oil industry consulting firm said. Nearly 75% of the state's refining capacity was still offline as of Monday as refiners began assessing damage to plants and surrounding infrastructure. Meanwhile, Colonial pipeline reopened Lines 1 and 2 running from Houston to Greensboro, North Carolina and are now operating at normal capacity. Lines 3 and 4 running from Greensboro to Linden, NJ remained open during the hurricane.


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