ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Emergency waivers have been put in place by Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan (R) as steps to logistically adapt amid the Colonial Pipeline gas shortage impacting parts of the DMV region and additional parts of the United States.
Hogan said the state's gas supply chain has not been impacted greatly, and that people do not need to make things worse by rushing to the pumps.
“I want the people of Maryland to know that the supply chain is still working. There is no need for panic buying...that would make the situation worse," said Hogan in his Wednesday news conference.
The move is part of actions that bend environmental and transportation requirements that usually are in place for the transfer of gas by tankers. The move by Hogan follows similar responses from states across the region and further south that have been even more impacted by the pipeline hacking.
“The emergency actions that we are taking will provide the state the flexibility it needs to address any disruption in fuel supply,” said Gov. Hogan. “It is important for Marylanders to know that the supply chain is still working—albeit more slowly than usual—and there is no need for panic buying. While the operators of the pipeline anticipate that the disruption is likely to be short-term, we continue to prepare for all contingencies as part of our statewide response.”
Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Greg Slate will be in charge of enacting these emergency changes for less restricted and easier transportation of gasoline in the state.
Virginia's Gov. Ralph Northam (D) made similar moves when he declared a state of emergency in Virginia on Monday to help with transportation and logistical issues that can help get gas to the commonwealth.
Below is an update from the state of Maryland about how its agencies are responding to the gas shortage:
Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)
- As the lead agency, MEA has activated the state’s Fuel Emergency Plan, and is tracking all state fuel reserves.
- MEA is engaged in ongoing discussions with the U.S. Department of Energy, coordinating with state agencies and other state energy offices.
Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
- MDE is working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other states to ensure that a responsible and limited waiver from certain fuel requirements under the Clean Air Act is issued during this emergency.
Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Thurgood Marshall Airport
- To this point, there is no impact on airline operations at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
- BWI is in regular communication with Colonial Pipeline, the air carriers, and the local fueling agent. The airport is working with airline partners and fueling companies to put alternate fueling measures in place.
- The airlines currently have several days of fuel inventory on hand. The airport has initiated over-the-road truck deliveries of fuel, and will continue to monitor the situation and adjust plans as needed.
Port of Baltimore
- The Port of Baltimore is set up to receive petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel transported by product carriers.
- Maryland can also use its anchorage sites in the Port of Baltimore, Mid-Bay, and Annapolis area anchorages to “lighter transfer” petroleum products from large ships onto barges so the product can be delivered into smaller ports.
MDOT State Highway Administration (SHA)
- SHA has looked into current fuel levels at state facilities via the fuel supplier and does not expect any impact to the agency at this time.
- If fuel becomes low in any areas, SHA will ask the supplier to expedite delivery. If unavailable, fuel will be moved among facilities.
- The appropriate SHA staff members have been notified of the situation and asked to keep fuel conservation in mind while continuing to deliver the expected level of service to customers.
Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA)
- The MDA Weights and Measures program will prioritize investigation of consumer complaints related to gas pump operations, functionality, and questions of accuracy.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
- MEMA is coordinating state agencies to determine operational priorities, and has activated the Maryland Business Emergency Operations Center to provide information to the private sector and assess any needs.