The Department of Environmental Protection today asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a temporary waiver of the low RVP (reid vapor pressure) gasoline requirement in the seven county Pittsburgh region due to shortages of fuel meeting the requirement that developed over the last week.
In a May 12 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, DEP Secretary Michael Krancer wrote, "We have information indicating that the shortages and disruption of the RVP 7.8 gasoline supply is due to the normal seasonal turnaround from winter to summer fuel stock. This situation was compounded by disruptions from the Buckeye/Laurel pipeline and some eastern Pennsylvania/ New Jersey refinery outages from early-to-mid-March until late April 2011. The conditions have resulted in delays ranging from five to seven days for the delivery of summertime gasoline to various PA terminals in southwestern Pennsylvania.
"Presently, approximately five gasoline terminals of the nine terminals contacted in the region are either at cautiously low levels of summertime gasoline or completely out of the compliant fuel. Two Gulf Oil L.P. and two BP terminals, as well as Guttman Oil report that they are out of RVP 7,8 product or will be out by tomorrow. Other unbranded haulers report that they have very few locations to get 7.8 RVP gasoline or have fallen very far behind due to travel distances. In addition, pipeline deliveries from eastern Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh region, while expected to increase, are not anticipated in sufficient volume to meet full demand until mid to late May 2011.
"Wholesale distributors in neighboring conventional areas outside of the seven-county Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area are currently unable to provide an adequate supply of compliant summertime gasoline. However, supplies of conventional gasoline are available for immediate distribution into the region.
"In light of the existing fuel supply circumstances, the requested temporary waiver is "clearly necessary to serve the public interest." My staff believes that the action would have no negative consequences for either the health of the residents of southwestern Pennsylvania or for the attainment status of the region."
A copy of the letter is available online.
NewsClips: Gas Supply Shortage Hits Pittsburgh Region