Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Issues State of Emergency to Address Gasoline Supply Disruptions

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam answers a reporter's question during a press briefing inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam answers a reporter’s question during a press briefing inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

VIRGINIA (FOX 5 DC) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the state to address gasoline supply disruptions throughout the Commonwealth.

The decision comes as the Colonial Pipeline system, which is the primary fuel source for many Virginia retailers, reported a ransomware cyberattack that resulted in a temporary shutdown.

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a temporary fuel transportation waiver to increase the supply of gasoline, Northam’s emergency declaration allows state agencies to issue their own waivers as required by the state. The executive order also provides increased flexibility and funding for state and local governments to ensure adequate fuel supply.

“This emergency declaration will help the Commonwealth prepare for any potential supply shortages and ensure Virginia motorists have access to fuel as we respond to this evolving situation,” said Gov. Northam.

Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, halted operations last week after revealing a ransomware attack that it said had affected some of its systems. The pipeline plays a key role in transporting gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and other petroleum products from Texas all the way to the Northeast.

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Source: Fox 5 NY