EPA waves gasoline requirements post-Isaac

09 06, 2012 by UPI

The Environmental Protection Agency lifted federal clean gasoline requirements temporarily for states affected by Hurricane Isaac.

Onshore and offshore oil and gas installations along the southern U.S. coast were shut in as a precaution because of Hurricane Isaac, a Category 1 storm that struck the region last week.

Closures caused a spike in crude oil and gasoline prices in the United States. Motor group AAA reports retail prices Thursday for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at $3.82 on average, unchanged from last week but 19 cents higher than one month ago.

The EPA waiver applies to summer blends of gasoline for the rest of the "high-ozone" period, which end Sept. 15.

"Due to a number of continuing refinery outages caused by Hurricane Isaac, and the slower-than-expected-pace of restarts of other gulf-area refineries, EPA determined that there would not be an adequate supply of summertime gasoline for these states through Sept. 15," a statement read.

The wavier applies to gasoline sold and distributed in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The EPA said states bordering the region have enough of the summertime blend on hand to last through the rest of the high-ozone period and no shortages are expected.