MADISON – Governor Tony Evers is allowing the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to grant a waiver providing gasoline sellers extra time before they must shift to selling gasoline with low Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP).
RVP measures the volatility of gasoline. High-RVP gasoline is desirable for winter starting and operation, while lower RVP levels are helpful in avoiding vapor lock during summer heat. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the vapor pressure of gasoline sold at retail stations during the summer ozone season to reduce emissions and reduce the effects of ozone-related health problems.
Normally, high-RVP gas (15 psi) cannot be sold after April 1st, when retailers are required to shift to selling low-RVP fuel (13.5 psi). Efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have led to fewer vehicles on Wisconsin roads, and less gasoline being purchased to power Wisconsin cars. As a result, the state’s fuel infrastructure still contains high-RVP gasoline. The waiver issued today allows fuel up to 15 psi to be sold in the month of April.
The April 1st reduction date is a state requirement of American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) fuel quality specification adopted by Chapter ATCP 94 of DATCP’s Administrative Code. Any waiver beyond April 30th will need to be requested separately and include a request to the EPA, as the EPA has a mandated RVP reduction effective May 1st. Both conventional automotive gasoline and reformulated (RFG) gasoline are included in the variance. Applicable federal fuel specification requirements continue to apply.