EPA waives air quality gasoline regulation in 3 states, DC after pipeline hack

EPA waives air quality gasoline regulation in 3 states, DC after pipeline hack
© Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has temporarily waived in three states and Washington, D.C., a gasoline regulation aimed at improving air quality to alleviate fuel shortages associated with the Colonial pipeline shutdown.

The agency has lifted the vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as the District, through May 18. 

An EPA press release said that EPA Administrator Michael ReganMichael ReganBiden to return to pre-Obama water protections in first step for clean water regulations Overnight Energy: Manchin grills Haaland over Biden oil and gas review | Biden admin reportedly aims for 40 percent of drivers using EVs by 2030 |  Lack of DOD action may have caused 'preventable' PFAS risks Nearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards MORE determined that “extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist” and issued the waiver to make sure there is an adequate gasoline supply to the areas. 


In the summer, the agency requires gasoline to be at certain vapor pressure levels to ensure that it is less likely to evaporate and contribute to ozone pollution at the ground level. 

Ozone is a key component in smog, and exposure to it has been linked to respiratory issues such as asthma attacks.

The move comes after the Colonial Pipeline, which says it supplies about 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, shut down following a ransomware attack. 

The attack didn’t shut down the pipeline, but the company chose to shut it down to prevent hackers from accessing its operational technology.

The White House said in a statement late Monday that it was monitoring fuel supply shortages in part of the southeast.