ATLANTA — The federal Environmental Protection Agency is working to alleviate the worsening gas crisis across the Southeast with a fuel standards waiver that could allow more gas to reach pumps more quickly.
The EPA said on Tuesday it would waive "requirements for low volatility conventional gasoline and Reformulated Gasoline (RFG)" for Georgia and 11 other states, as well as D.C.
Those types of gas are considered cleaner, meaning providers could temporarily turn to "dirtier" supplies of gasoline to keep the pumps filled.
"As a result of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, (EPA) Administrator (Michael) Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate supply of gasoline is available in the affected areas until normal supply to the region can be restored," a release said.
The waiver will end on May 31, the EPA said.
According to the EPA, reformulated gasoline "is gasoline blended to burn more cleanly than conventional gasoline and to reduce smog-forming and toxic pollutants in the air we breathe." It's required in a number of smog-heavy cities around the country, though Atlanta is not one of them.
State and national leaders are scrambling to soften the run on gas, with a panicked public causing many gas stations to run out of fuel entirely.
Already this week in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp temporarily suspended the state fuel tax in an attempt to keep gas prices in check.
Experts caution that people don't need to be rushing to gas stations to hoard fuel, with Colonial Pipeline expecting to restore most pipeline operations by the end of the week.
If you spot a fuel line or a gas station running short of fuel, snap a photo and send it to 11Alive. You can upload the image using the Near Me function on the 11Alive mobile app, or by texting 404-885-7600.