At the request of Gov. Nathan Deal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has temporarily waived environmental requirements for gasoline sold in Georgia to avoid a potential shortage after Hurricane Isaac caused supply disruptions.
The EPA granted the waiver through Sept. 15, which will give Gulf Coast fuel refineries time to resume normal production. Several refineries were shut down because of power outages and flooding.
“This responsible action by the EPA will help protect Georgia residents and businesses from price spikes and panic caused by a shortage,” Deal said. “I commend Georgia Environmental Protection Division Director Jud Turner for his leadership on this issue, and the director and I will continue to work with the EPA in the event of an ongoing shortage.”
“Waiving these requirements will help ensure all residents and emergency response teams have access to gasoline when they pull up to the pump,” said Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “We commend the EPA’s decision to prevent gasoline shortages throughout the Southeast, and the state of Georgia continues to stand by in support of the recovery efforts from Hurricane Isaac.”
Members of the Georgia Petroleum Council predicted shortages of the cleaner burning, low volatility gasoline would occur within a week without relief from the requirements.
Federal regulations require all Georgia counties to use low volatility fuel in the summertime, and they require an even more stringent standard in a 45-county region centered around Atlanta.
Georgia will continue to monitor gasoline supplies and request an extension if it is determined the petroleum industry needs additional time to recover.