The EPA says it will exercise its “enforcement discretion” for Duke Energy Florida vehicles and equipment that are being used to respond to power outages in Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Due to logistical circumstances related to ongoing weather and geography-related transportation interruptions caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Duke is not able to obtain adequate supplies of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel needed to operate its fleet of response vehicles. As a result, EPA will exercise its discretion not to pursue enforcement actions for violations of Clean Air Act regulations that pertain to Duke's use of dyed diesel reserves in vehicles and equipment being used to respond to power outages across Florida.
This “no action assurance” was issued in response to a request from Florida Governor Rick Scott, and is in effect commencing immediately and terminates when the diesel reserves are expended or at the end of the day on September 22, 2017, whichever comes first. This action applies to Duke Energy Florida, utility contractors working on behalf of Duke, and other utilities or utility contractors engaged in hurricane response activities.
EPA policy allows the Agency to issue no action assurances in cases where it is necessary to avoid extreme risks to public health and safety and where no other mechanism can adequately address the matter. EPA believes that the exercise of enforcement discretion in these circumstances is in the public interest and will help address the emergency circumstances in Florida.