To help cope with Hurricane Harvey’s impact, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has expedited a request from the Austin-based Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to increase the area being covered by an emergency fuel waiver.
The newest waiver is in effect through Sept. 15, the EPA said in a release. Temporary waivers are designed to help ensure adequate fuel supplies during emergencies, especially for vehicular use, and permit interim measures to relax fuel standards during events such as natural disasters or other causes of infrastructure damage, such as refinery or pipeline issues.
Acting under the power of the Clean Air Act and in cooperation with Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Pruitt authorized the addition of the Dallas-Fort Worth region, known as the reformulated gasoline (RFG) area that spans four counties; a 98-county area normally required to use low-volatility fuel; and a 110-county area required to use Texas Low Emission Diesel (TxLED), the release said.
The waiver expansion followed a call for action by TCEQ Executive Director Richard Hyde and Gov. Greg Abbott.