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Illinois Fuel Waiver

Release Date: 07/25/2006
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 /

(7/25/06) Today, Stephen L. Johnson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency exercised his authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive federal enforcement of state clean fuel requirements for the St. Clair, Madison and Monroe counties in Illinois (the St. Louis Metro-East area). This waiver was granted at the request of the State of Illinois and in coordination with the Department of Energy. Administrator Johnson determined that extreme and unusual circumstances exist based on recent weather events which caused electricity outages and damage to the Conoco Phillips Wood River refinery, resulting in a supply shortage of fuel in some of the areas served by the refinery. The federal waiver will permit an adequate supply of gasoline in the affected area. President Bush and EPA support this waiver request to address the impacts of the storm on fuel supplies and to allow greater flexibility for the fuel distribution system. Illinois EPA is acting in parallel to issue short-term regulatory relief from state volatility standards.

Under the Energy Policy Act emergency authority invoked by the administrator, the waiver will be effective through Aug. 4, 2006. The waiver applies to the 7.2 RVP (Reid vapor pressure) gasoline volatility requirements for St. Clair, Madison, and Monroe counties in Illinois. In assessing the local circumstances, EPA and DOE consulted with state and industry officials to determine the extent and duration of the fuel supply disruption. Gasoline volatility standards are imposed during summer months to help control emissions from motor vehicles; temporary suspension of such standards will allow for the sale of available supplies of conventional gasoline which have higher volatility limits. EPA and DOE carefully examined all aspects of the fuel supply situation in the St. Louis Metro-East area and, in accordance with statutory provisions, determined that granting a short-term waiver was consistent with the public interest. The State of Illinois has separately determined
that issuance of a short-term waiver of state fuel requirements is appropriate and necessary in this circumstance.

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