WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday announced its intent to provide a 20-day Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for winter-grade gasoline. EPA will temporarily waive the summer low volatility requirements and blending limitation for gasoline from May 1 to May 20, 2020. The waiver will apply to the lower 48 contiguous states.
The EPA, in its press release, explained the need to provide flexibility to the marketplace in transitioning from winter-grade, high volatility gasoline to summer-grade low vapor pressure gasoline. “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,” the agency said.
“Without a waiver of the summer gasoline requirements, parties upstream of retailers and wholesale purchasers would be required to stop selling the winter gasoline sitting 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. By waiving the low volatility and blending limitations through May 20, 2020, EPA will ensure a steady supply of gasoline.”
As previously reported in NACS Daily, NACS, along with NATSO, PMAA and SIGMA, on March 23 sent a joint industry letter to EPA requesting an RVP waiver.