Moments ago, the EPA issued a temporary waiver allowing more time for refiners and terminal operators to switch over to low volatility summertime RVP requirements nationwide. The waiver moves the deadline for refiners and terminal operators to covert to summertime gasoline blends to May 20, 2020. The waiver is important to petroleum marketers because it will enable them to turnover gasoline tanks to summertime RVP in a more realistic time frame given the precipitous drop in consumer demand since the COVID-19 outbreak.
PMAA has been working closely with the EPA to obtain the RVP waiver after fielding numerous concerns from marketers over their ability to obtain compliant summertime RVP blends by the June 1, 2020 conversion deadline for retail facilities. Due to the drop in consumer demand for gasoline, refiners and terminal operators will likely miss their own May 1, 2020 deadline for converting to summertime RVP, causing a ripple effect downstream that will put petroleum marketers at risk for significant civil penalties for RVP violations. The RVP waiver will allow the unexpected glut of wintertime gasoline blends to continue to draw down into the summertime RVP season. EPA will continue to monitor the adequacy of gasoline supplies and, should conditions warrant, may modify or extend this waiver at a later date. Finally, EPA intends to extend the RFS compliance date for small refineries to provide them with additional flexibility soon.
Earlier this week, PMAA joined NACS, NATSO and SIGMA in sending a letter to the EPA requesting the agency to issue a waiver for the summertime RVP fuel requirements. The waiver request comes in response to the lack of demand for fuel due to the health pandemic. Click here to view the summertime RVP waiver letter.