The New England Fuel Institute (NEFI) is providing the below information in partnership with the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) and other industry groups. While many NEFI members and supporters may not be impacted directly by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we feel it is important to circulate hurricane-related information and available resources as widely as possible.
Updates on Hurricanes Irma & Jose
Just as Gulf states are recovering from Hurricane Harvey, a devastating new storm is impacting the Southeastern United States. Hurricane Irma has begun to affect southern Florida and is expected strengthen from Category 3 to Category 4 before making landfall in the southwestern part of the state. Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and neighboring states may also experience high winds, storm surge, flooding or other effects in the coming days. NEFI is also closely monitoring Hurricane Jose, currently a Category 4 storm just east of the Caribbean. Like Irma, there is great uncertainty regrinding Jose’s anticipated track. It will be several days before meteorologists know of any impact to the U.S. coastline or if Jose will head out to sea. NEFI Weather Alert subscribers should keep an eye-out for periodic hurricane updates from meteorologist John Bagioni in the days and weeks ahead.
Regional Fuel Supplies
The historic 2017 hurricane season continues present challenges to U.S. energy supplies and related infrastructure. NEFI is maintaining an open dialogue with regional suppliers, state and local associations, national industry partners such as PMAA, and relevant government agencies. We are currently unaware of any disruptions to fuel supplies or ports in the Northeast. We are also unaware of any release or planned release from the Northeast gasoline or heating oil (ULSD) reserves. NEFI and PMAA are keeping tabs with the U.S. Department of Energy, which manages the reserves, and we will inform you of any changes.
If you experience supply issues or have other concerns, we would like to hear from you. Please e-mail email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (617) 924-1000.
Current Federal Waivers
The federal government has generally been responsive to industry needs and a series of regulatory waivers have been issued (see links below). Please note: Federal agencies will continue to evaluate the need to extend or expand waivers during Hurricane Irma and its aftermath.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an expanded and extended waiver for summertime RVP and reformulated gasoline (RFG) requirements through September 26, 2017. The waiver applies to Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas.
On August 31, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) issued an Emergency Declaration waiving hours-of-service requirements for certain states and will remain in place for the duration of the emergency or at midnight on September 30, 2017, whichever comes first. It applies to Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Click here for a printable copy.
The FMCSA also issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion for its Eastern Service Center Region on September 7th, 2017. The Eastern Service Center Region includes Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. Under the notice, FMCSA will not enforce the Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee provisions against carriers requesting Temporary Operating Authority Registration to provide direct assistance to emergency relief efforts. Click here for a printable copy.
An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notice issued on August 30, 2017 applies only to counties and areas affected by the storm and waives the penalty when dyed diesel fuel is sold for highway. It expires on September 15, 2017. On September 8th, the IRS said it is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and will be assessing next steps as federal disaster declarations are made.
The Trump Administration has issued a limited waiver from Jones Act maritime restrictions through September 15th to facilitate movement of refined petroleum products from New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Louisiana to South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico. This waiver applies to covered merchandise laded on board a vessel within the seven-day period of the waiver.
You may also wish to visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hurricane Irma Dashboard for latest news and additional information on available resources.
State and Local Waivers
Additional waivers may have been issued by your state or local government to address supply disruptions or to assist in the transportation of fuel to needed areas. NEFI recommends contacting relevant state or local agencies or industry associations for additional information.
Sent Saturday, September 9th at 8:00pm EDT.