ARIZONA NEWS

EPA gives Arizona 2 extra weeks to start summer blend to avoid gas shortage

Apr 26, 2024, 4:00 PM

EPA fuel waiver will keep Arizona gas prices down, Hobbs says...

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the EPA's approval of a fuel waiver request on Friday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ request to delay the annual implementation of summer fuel blends was granted Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hobbs made the request two days earlier, expressing concerns that refinery issues would create a shortage in areas that have to use cleaner fuel blends in the hotter months.

The EPA requires gas retailers in Maricopa County and portions of Pinal and Yavapai Counties to sell these summer blends from June 1 through Sept. 30. The purpose of using different types of fuel is to reduce pollutants.

The EPA fuel waiver gives Arizona’s suppliers an extra two weeks to transition from winter gas to summer gas.

Essentially, retailers can now sell gasoline that remains in the distribution system through June 14.

“I am glad the EPA has allowed us to take this proactive measure that will help keep costs down at the gas pump as we enter the summer months,” Hobbs said in a press release Friday.

Delays of summer blend made EPA fuel waiver necessary

Giving retailers more time to make the gas transition will help avoid a fuel shortage in the Valley, Hobbs said.

Refineries in California supply most of the Phoenix metro area’s gas. Gas from the West takes around seven days to arrive to the Valley.

However, a small section of a gas pipeline malfunctioned in mid-April, Hobbs told the EPA. A power outage delayed repairs, which essentially delayed the first shipment of the summer fuel to April 30, a week later than usual.

It takes a minimum of three weeks for terminal tanks to transition to the summer blend. That means retailers wouldn’t have gotten the new fuel type until May 21, Hobbs said.

“It takes another two weeks for retail tanks to make the transition,” Hobbs said in her letter to the EPA.

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EPA gives Arizona 2 extra weeks to start summer blend to avoid gas shortage