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EPA Considering Waiving Summer Fuel Rules for Pennsylvania

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a request that it waive stricter U.S. summer pollution rules for Pennsylvania, where idled refineries may prompt seasonal fuel shortages.

Given rising gasoline prices, “of course we are considering it,” Lisa Jackon, the EPA’s administrator, told reporters today.

Jackson earlier told the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at a hearing that the EPA is in discussions with Pennsylvania state officials following reports of low supplies in the Pittsburgh area because of shuttered refineries.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey has asked Jackson to waive the summer pollution rules for the Pittsburgh area. Supplies of the seasonal blend of gasoline are limited and could cause price spikes because of reduced refinery output, Casey said in a letter to Jackson on March 16.

Regular gasoline at the pump in the eastern U.S. was $3.811 a gallon as of March 19, 7.7 percent higher than a year earlier, Energy Department data show.

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