Feds Plan Gasoline Rule Waiver That Could Increase Pollution

EPA intends to provide additional flexibility to the marketplace to transition from winter-grade, high volatility gasoline to summer-grade low vapor pressure gasoline,” by temporarily waiving “the summer low volatility requirements and blending limitations for gasoline.” Winter-blend gasoline emits more volatile organic compounds, which are precursors of smog, when used in warmer weather. The agency cited “the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” which has led to oversupplies of winter-grade gasoline and limited storage capacity for summer-grade gas. Status: Effective March 27, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.