US EPA waives RVP gasoline requirements in Louisiana due to Isaac

28 August 2012 21:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an emergency waiver of the 7.8 Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) gasoline requirements for all regulated parties for 14 Louisiana parishes as a result of a possible supply disruption caused by Hurricane Isaac, the EPA said on Tuesday.

The EPA said it took the action in order to minimise or prevent disruption of gasoline supply in southern Louisiana as a result of evacuations due to Hurricane Isaac.

The waiver will last through 6 September, and said that regulated parties should continue to distribute and sell the 7.8 RVP standard, but under emergency conditions, gasoline with 9.0 RVP may be sold.                        

The regulations require gasoline to have a maximum RVP of 7.8 lbs per square inch during the “high ozone” season of 1 June through 15 September. These are the maximum standards for all regulated parties, including retailers and wholesale purchaser-consumers.

Furthermore, the waiver was granted as several refineries were planning to, or in the process of, shutting down in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac, and the supply of 7.8 RVP gasoline is already constrained following evacuation-related activities in the region.

“[G]iven the refinery shutdowns and the rate of consumption called for by the evacuation, there is not a sufficient supply of 7.8 RVP gasoline available for distribution to the designated parishes to ensure retail outlets in these areas can maintain an adequate supply of compliant gasoline to facilitate a safe and orderly evacuation,” the waiver said.

Retailers and wholesale purchaser-consumers may continue selling gasoline not meeting the applicable RVP standard until supplies are depleted after 6 September.

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By: Anna Matherne

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