The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted different fuel storage and distribution facilities for petroleum, gasoline, and bulk fuel terminals in Texas and Florida with a “no action assurance” policy.
The agency announced a short-term enforcement discretion. It was for the benefit of Harvey- and Irma-damaged energy facilities in Texas and Florida, respectively.
The regulatory relief for facilities damaged by Hurricane Harvey in Texas will help energy companies’ rebuilding efforts. This includes API 653 tank repair services. EPA granted the policy after the state requested for it. Although, non-compliance on pollution controls will be under the agency’s discretion. Also, it will only last until September 22, 2017.
The EPA released three letters that immediately took effect for the temporarily eased rules under the Clean Air Act. These cover Clean Air Act tanker trucks that businesses need to distribute fuel to Texas and Louisiana. Emissions from gasoline storage tanks during “roof landing” events, and the lack of air-pollution controls in some facilities due to operational problems bulk fuel terminals.
In Florida, EPA will allow all power plant facilities to function without observing pollution controls. The no-action assurance for the state will be in effect until September 26, 2017. It eased pollution standards to make sure customers and important facilities have a steady supply of electricity. This was very important, following the impact of Hurricane Irma.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) requested for the temporary non-compliance for power-generating facilities. The policy’s implementation took place after the FDEP issued an emergency authorization. The authorization allowed power plants to be non-compliant with permit and certification requirements.
The EPA’s short-term regulatory relief for fuel storage facilities in Texas and Florida will be helpful in rebuilding efforts. It will ensure that energy distribution and supply will remain stable. These are important for both states to recover from hurricane damages.