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Maryland seeks fuel waiver from EPA

Maryland asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver that would allow it to sell cheaper, lower grade gasoline to help ease a rise in pump prices, according to a release issued by the governor's office.
/ Source: Reuters

Maryland asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver that would allow it to sell cheaper, lower grade gasoline to help ease a rise in pump prices, according to a release issued by the governor's office.

The request comes after dozens of gasoline stations along the East Coast ran short of fuel due to supply glitches as the oil industry shifts to a new anti-smog fuel blend ahead of the summer vacation season.

"As part of a package of steps, the Governor requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency temporarily waive the requirement for the use of reformulated gasoline in Maryland," according to the release, issued Wednesday.

President George W. Bush directed the EPA this week to consider granting fuel waivers to stem a spike in gasoline prices toward a record over $3 a gallon.

Pennsylvania is the only other state that has requested a waiver from the EPA, and no waivers have yet been granted. Virginia is considering requesting a waiver, the governor's office said.

Officials at the EPA were not immediately available to comment on Thursday.