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Saturday, November 3, 2012

State Agencies Announce Fuel Waivers in Response to Hurricane Sandy

State Agencies Announce Fuel Waivers in Response to Hurricane Sandy

The Departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture announced today that the commonwealth has made available one temporary fuel waiver and requested two additional temporary waivers due to fuel shortages from Hurricane Sandy.

DEP today requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waive the federal requirements on the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel in mobile non-road generators and pumps as well as the requirements for diesel-powered highway and other equipment needed for emergency response and disaster recovery.

“Because of the widespread effects of Hurricane Sandy, there is an insufficient amount of this fuel in Pennsylvania,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “These waivers are necessary to avoid fuel disruptions and continue everyone’s ongoing storm recovery efforts.”

With these waivers, the use of heating oil in diesel-powered, on-road vehicles involved in emergency response efforts in Pennsylvania will be allowed with DEP approval. The waivers would also allow the use of heating oil supplies for generators and other off-road equipment. DEP approval is not required for that use.

The waivers would place restrictions so that the home heating fuel is only used to operate equipment that is compatible with the sulfur levels of heating oil.

The Department of Agriculture today granted a waiver for a temporary suspension of Pennsylvania’s two-percent biodiesel content requirement for on-road diesel fuel. The suspension will be in effect until midnight on Thursday, Nov.12.

“Hurricane Sandy has impacted the supply and demand of diesel fuel,” Agriculture Secretary George Greig said. “Temporarily lifting this requirement will keep trucks on the road and allow food and materials to get to Pennsylvanians who are in need due to power outages.”

Since 2010, the Biofuel Development and In-state Production Incentive Act has required that every gallon of on-road diesel fuel sold in Pennsylvania contain at least two percent biodiesel. Retailers may accept diesel fuel that is not compliant with the mandate and sell it to consumers through Nov. 12. Diesel fuel supplies that meet the two-percent requirement may continue to be sold.

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