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EPA issues fuel waiver for four states impacted by bp Whiting Refinery shutdown

As part of the Federal Government’s response to a fire and shutdown at the bp Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan issued an emergency fuel waiver to help alleviate fuel shortages in four states the supply of gasoline of which has been impacted by the refinery shutdown.

EPA has waived the federal regulations and federally enforceable State Implementation Plan requirements for fuel volatility on gasoline sold in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to facilitate the supply of fuel in these areas. This waiver will continue through 15 September 2022.

The Clean Air Act allows EPA Administrator Michael Regan, in consultation with the Department of Energy, to waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages. As a result of the bp refinery shutdown, Administrator Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the affected areas until normal supply to the region can be restored.

As required by law, EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) evaluated the situation and determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest. EPA and DOE are continuing to actively monitor the fuel supply situation resulting from the bp refinery shutdown and considering additional measures to alleviate the impact.

To mitigate any impacts on air quality, the Clean Air Act provides strict criteria for when fuel waivers may be granted and requires that waivers be limited as much as possible in terms of their geographic scope and duration.

Located in northwest Indiana, the Whiting refinery is the largest in the Midwest and bp’s largest anywhere in the world. Able to process around 440,000 barrels of crude oil every day, Whiting produces a wide range of liquid fuels, along with 7% of all asphalt in the United States.

bp’s Whiting refinery can produce enough gasoline each day to support the average daily travel of more than 7 million cars.

bp shut down units at the refinery after an electrical fire last week. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) declared a regional emergency for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.


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