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Remarks by EPA Administrator Johnson - Waiver of EPA Standards for Gasoline and Diesel Fuels in Wake of Hurricane Katrina

    Thank you very much. Today, I am exercising my authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily waive specific standards for gasoline and diesel fuels to ensure that the hurricane Katrina natural disaster does not result in serious fuel supply interruptions around the country.

    As we are all well aware, we are seeing increasingly serious impacts from the hurricane in a number of fuel markets around the United States. Yesterday afternoon I exercised this authority with respect to four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It has become clear that the consequences of the hurricane have become more widespread. So today, I’m sending letters to the governors of the remaining 46 states and territories providing temporary relief from volatility and sulfur standards. This action will result in a needed increase in fuel supply.

    These waivers are necessary to ensure that fuel is available throughout the country to address public health issues and emergency vehicle supply needs. Under the Clean Air Act emergency authority, I am making the waivers effective through September 15, 2005. These waivers only apply to volatility standards - the rate at which fuel evaporates - and the amount of sulfur in fuel.

    EPA is committed to working with our state and federal partners to address this extraordinary national disaster.

    Thank you very much.