EPA Announces Steps to Protect the Availability of Gasoline during COVID-19 Pandemic

By on March 31, 2020

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced several steps the Agency is taking to protect the Nation’s gasoline supply in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

As a result, the EPA is providing additional flexibility to the marketplace and will temporarily waive the summer low volatility requirements and blending limitations for gasoline.

Without a waiver of the summer gasoline requirements, parties upstream of retailers and wholesale purchasers would be required to stop selling the winter gasoline in their storage tanks on May 1, 2020, which would prevent them from loading summer gasoline into the storage tanks, resulting in a shortage of gasoline.

The EPA will continue to monitor the adequacy of gasoline supplies and, should conditions warrant, may modify or extend this waiver at a later date.