MDE receives waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Press Release

Maryland Department of the Environment

Media Contacts

Robert Ballinger
(410) 537-3003

MDE receives waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Baltimore, Maryland (September 18, 2008) - As a result of the disruption in the supply of fuel caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, today, the Maryland Department of the Environment(MDE) received a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) temporarily suspending the requirement for the use of reformulated gasoline in certain areas of the state of Maryland. Receipt of this waiver will facilitate the distribution of gasoline throughout the state and the region, thus providing buyers more flexibility in their fuel purchases.

Under the Clean Air Act, the ozone nonattainment areas in Maryland are required to use reformulated gasoline or RFG. RFG is specially formulated to reduce emissions from automobiles and has been a significant part of Maryland’s overall clean air plan. The Clean Air Act allows the EPA Administrator to waive certain fuel requirements due to “extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances” that prevent the distribution of an adequate supply of fuel.

Under this waiver, EPA will allow regulated parties to sell conventional gasoline, as provided in the waiver, in the Covered Areas in Maryland through October 7, 2008

Covered Areas in Maryland are Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s.

Since the potential for high ozone levels decreases in September, any adverse impact on air quality in these ozone nonattainment areas is expected to be minimal and is not expected to cause a measurable increase in ground level ozone.

 

###