EPA, DOT Issue Emergency Waivers Following Indiana Refinery Shutdown

Fuel blending requirement and hours-of-service rules are lifted for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

August 30, 2022

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan issued an emergency fuel waiver to four states following the shutdown of the bp Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana. Last Wednesday, an electrical fire broke out at the refinery and in response, the refinery shut down and remains out of operation.

The waiver is to help alleviate fuel shortages in the states whose supply of gasoline has been impacted by the refinery shutdown. EPA has waived the federal regulations and federally enforceable State Implementation Plan requirements for fuel volatility on gasoline sold in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, to facilitate the supply of fuel in these areas. The waiver is in effect through September 15, 2022.

“As a result of the bp refinery shutdown, Administrator Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the affected areas until normal supply to the region can be restored,” EPA wrote in a statement.

NACS has also asked the Biden Administration to also grant a waiver of RFG requirements so that conventional gasoline can be used in the affected areas.

Additionally, the Department of Transportation declared a regional emergency for the four Midwest states. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made the declaration to address the need for the immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, the Hill reports.

The declaration provides relief from maximum driving times for truck drivers and other carriers that are providing direct assistance to the emergency impacting the four states.

According to the Associated Press, bp expects the refinery to open back up “in the coming days,” and that the company “has deployed all available resources and is working around the clock to bring the Whiting refinery back to normal operations as soon as safely possible.”