The following e-mail was received from the DEP –
Maine DEP issues statement regarding seasonal gasoline requirements
AUGUSTA, Maine, April 8, 2020 — Federal and state law impose certain seasonal (winter and summer) requirements regarding gasoline volatility and reformulated gasoline (RFG) on regulated parties including gasoline terminal owners, terminal operators, distributors, carriers, retailers, and wholesale purchaser-consumers. See40 C.F.R 80.27; 40 C.F.R. 80.78; and 06-096 C.M.R. ch. 119. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly decreased consumer demand for gasoline, these regulated parties have a surplus of winter gasoline in their storage tanks that will prevent them from turning the storage tanks over to summer gasoline by May 1, 2020. Absent action by regulatory authorities, federal and state law would prohibit regulated parties from selling the remaining winter gasoline beginning on May 1, 2020, thereby further preventing them from loading summer gasoline into their storage tanks and resulting in a shortage of compliant summer gasoline.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that such a shortage of summer gasoline can best be prevented by waiving federal requirements to sell summer gasoline and provisions prohibiting any person from combining any RFG blendstock for oxygenate blending with any other gasoline, blendstock, or oxygenate, unless certain conditions are met. On March 27, 2020, EPA therefore issued a waiver of federal summer gasoline volatility and RFG requirements (the EPA Waiver). The EPA Waiver, which applies only to federal fuel standards including those in federally enforceable state implementation plans, will be effective May 1, 2020 through May 20, 2020.
In light of Governor Mills’ Proclamation of a State of Civil Emergency and EPA’s declaration that an “extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstance” exists that will prevent the distribution of an adequate supply of compliant gasoline to consumers, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is aligning its compliance expectations for gasoline terminals distributors, marketers, and retailers with the EPA Waiver to ensure an adequate supply of gasoline in Maine. The Department does not anticipate enforcing violations of Chapter 119 of its rules that occur while the EPA Waiver is in effect. Facilities must nevertheless continue to maintain records as required by 06-096 C.M.R. ch. 119(5). All other statutory and regulatory requirements enforced by the Department remain in effect unless otherwise specifically waived or exempted.
If you have any questions, please contact Jeffrey Crawford at (207) 287-7647.
Gerald D. Reid, Commissioner