EPA waives summer RVP requirements amid coronavirus, low gasoline demand

Author: Alex Snodgrass

2020/03/30

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to protect the supply of gasoline in the US amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and waive the summer blending requirements.

The EPA said it will allow winter-grade gasoline, which has higher Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), to be used longer than typically allowed.

"Due to the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, gasoline storage capacity is limited and more time is needed to transition the distribution system in order to come into compliance for the summer driving season," the EPA said.

It also said that it will temporarily limit the summer low volatility requirements and blending requirements for gasoline.

The EPA also plants to extend the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance date for small refineries as to ensure additional flexibility.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), oil refiners and gasoline distributors are required to blend increasing volumes of biofuels like ethanol into the fuels they sell, or purchase those credits.

Due to the low availability of storage, many refiners would be unable to store summer gasoline blends in their tanks, resulting in a shortage of summer gasoline.

The EPA waived the requirements through 20 May.

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