Cheaper summer gas in Allegheny County continues as EPA extends fuel waiver |

Cheaper summer gas in Allegheny County continues as EPA extends fuel waiver

Jacob Tierney

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has extended an emergency waiver that will keep gas costs lower in Allegheny County.

State and federal regulations have long required the county to sell a low-polluting, more expensive blend of gas during the summer.

However, due to damage to the Buckeye Partners Laurel Products Pipeline, the federal Environmental Protection Agency last month waived this requirement until June 17 because of fuel shortage concerns.

On Wednesday the EPA issued an extension until July 1.

The cross-state pipeline was damaged May 20 after a release of water near Pittsburgh during scheduled maintenance and testing, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Allegheny County is on the brink of removing the summer gas requirement entirely. Since modern cars don’t pollute as much as older models, state officials saw the regulation as no longer necessary.

Last year the state and EPA lifted the requirement for Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The change is taking longer in Allegheny County, which has to go through extra steps because it manages its own air quality program.

The county and state have moved to repeal the regulation, and the EPA has tentatively agreed, but required an in-depth analysis to prove the change would not add pollution to the county.

The agency is expected to issue its final ruling this month.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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