Pennsylvania DEP Suspends Enforcement of Summertime Gasoline Requirements for Pittsburgh Area

Sep 11, 2011, 12:59 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Action Will Prevent Supply Shortages

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Because extensive flooding has interrupted gasoline pipeline delivery of seasonal fuel to the western part of Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett acted quickly on Friday to request from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a temporary waiver of the low RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) gasoline requirement in the seven-county Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley region.

DEP Secretary Mike Krancer sent the letter on behalf of the Governor electronically from the PA Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Operations Center on Friday, where the Governor had assembled his Cabinet members upon his call of Level 1 emergency operations.

DEP received official word from EPA on Saturday night that it had granted the waiver.  Therefore, effective immediately, DEP suspends enforcement of state requirements for lower gasoline volatility in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties because of imminent supply shortages due to disruption of the Buckeye Pipeline. The suspension will extend for the remainder of the compliance period, until Sept. 15.  

Between June 1 and Sept. 15 each year, DEP requires gasoline retailers to sell a cleaner, less evaporable gasoline to reduce summertime level ozone pollution. The gasoline must meet a volatility limit of 7.8 pounds per square inch Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP).

"Enabling the sale of conventional gasoline in southwestern Pennsylvania will ensure residents and business have fuel, and it will have no negative effect on the environment," Krancer said.

The shortages and disruption of the RVP 7.8 gasoline supply are due to a severe flood event in the South-central region of the state, which has flooded the Buckeye pumping station in Swatara Township, Dauphin County. This situation was compounded by disruptions from the Buckeye/Laurel pipeline and some eastern Pennsylvania/New Jersey refinery outages from Hurricane Irene in late August and early September. The conditions have resulted in delays for the delivery of summertime gasoline to various Pennsylvania terminals in southwestern Pennsylvania. DEP's investigations indicate that some terminals may be out of fuel complying with state rules by Sunday, and that consumer demand may not be met with existing supplies of RVP 7.8 gasoline. However, supplies of conventional gasoline are available for immediate distribution to the region.

For more information, visit

Media contact:
Katy Gresh, DEP; 412-298-7538 (cell)

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection