Press Release: ICYMI: Gov. Evers Takes Action to Protect Gas Supply Following BP Oil Refinery Fire in Indiana, DATCP Issues State RVP Fuel Waiver

Office of Governor Tony Evers
ICYMI: Gov. Evers Takes Action to Protect Gas Supply Following BP Oil Refinery Fire in Indiana, DATCP Issues State RVP Fuel Waiver
Governor's requested and approved waiver will help address potential challenges following BP fire 
MADISON  Gov. Tony Evers took action to maintain supplies of gasoline after a fire that occurred on Aug. 24, 2022, causing BP’s Whiting, Indiana, oil refinery to temporarily go offline. The governor is working to ensure continued access to an adequate supply of motor fuels by waiving regulations on motor vehicle hours-of-service rules, as the effects of the outage at the plant are expected to spread across the region and will impact drivers transporting such fuel.

We’re working quickly with our federal, regional, and private partners to minimize disruptions in fuel supply across our state due to the recent fire at a refinery in Indiana,” said Gov. Evers. “
I’ll continue working with governors from across the Midwest to ensure that fuel keeps flowing at the terminal and the pump.”

On August 24, BP’s 435,000 barrel-per-day refinery located in Whiting, Indiana, suffered an electrical fire. As a result, the refinery ceased production while a damage assessment was conducted. By capacity, the Whiting refinery is the sixth biggest in the United States and provides approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of the refined gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel used collectively by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The Evers Administration worked with regional partners to request a regional emergency declaration that was granted by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Friday, August 26. The FMCSA issued a regional emergency declaration for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin to allow motor carriers and drivers additional flexibility to provide direct assistance to affected states. Additional information is available here

Additionally, on Friday, August 26, Gov. Evers requested waivers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist in addressing any potential fuel supply issues. In response, on Saturday, August 27, the EPA also issued a waiver for the four states, raising the summer vapor pressure allowance, which temporarily raises the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limit for conventional and reformulated gasoline to allow for the immediate transition to winter blend fuel in order to take advantage of existing fuel stocks. Consistent with these federal waiver requests, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection followed suit and issued a RVP fuel waiver in Wisconsin. Additional information is available here

This is a great example of government and business working together to ensure essential fuel supplies are available to keep Wisconsin moving, said Matt Hauser, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. “This type of issue is usually short lived, but the swift actions taken here will lessen any impact on Wisconsin businesses and residents.”

BP has communicated that the damage has been repaired and production is expected to resume, in part, by the end of the week.

An online version of this release is available here.