Blagojevich requests federal and state agencies to grant gasoline
waivers to avoid fuel shortages in Metro East
Assistance necessary to alleviate fuel supply and distribution
concerns following devastating storms that ravaged the region last
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[JULY 26, 2006]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Tuesday, Gov. Rod. R.
Blagojevich directed the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to
temporarily waive the requirement that gasoline distributors sell a
special gasoline blend in the Metro East region. The governor also
sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requesting
similar relief. These waivers will help to avoid any fuel shortages
following the devastating storms that roared through southwestern
Illinois late last week. Both the state and federal agencies must
issue a waiver for the fuel requirement to be suspended.
"I hope the U.S. EPA will quickly respond to my request to help the
people of southwestern Illinois recover from these devastating
storms," Blagojevich said. "After everything these people have gone
through, we need to make sure that enough gasoline is available for
people to go to work, go to school and go to the grocery store as
they deal with cleaning up from the storms that hit them hard last
As part of his ongoing steps to speed recovery following
the storms, Blagojevich requested that the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency temporarily waive the requirement that gas
stations in the Metro East counties of St. Clair, Madison and Monroe
sell fuel that evaporates less readily than regular gas. The waiver
will allow gas stations to distribute and sell conventional gasoline
in the Metro East region for up to 21 days -- enough time for
supplies of the required fuel to be replenished.
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The request for waivers was triggered after the severe storms forced
the shutdown of the ConocoPhillips oil refinery in Roxana, which
produces much of the fuel for the St. Louis and Metro East regions.
On Friday, the governor ordered the Illinois EPA to help the
ConocoPhillips oil refinery resume fuel production by expediting
review of permits for portable cooling towers at the Wood River
Refinery in Roxana. The refinery has been off-line since sustaining
damage in last week's storms.
The request to U.S. EPA asks that
the waiver remain in effect for 21 days. After the waiver expires,
the existing requirement to sell low-volatility fuel will once again
be in effect.
In a separate letter, Blagojevich called on the U.S. EPA to help
prevent fuel shortages from affecting other areas of the state by
evaluating whether a temporary waiver of the reformulated gas
requirements for the Chicago metro area is warranted.
[News release from the governor's