ILTA's Situational Awareness Report and Analysis for Colonial Pipeline Outage
May 14, 2021
ILTA’s Colonial Pipeline Daily Report provides a brief synopsis of news happenings, federal policy developments, and legislative discussions that are released each business day. The Daily Report is released via email and on the ILTA Colonial Resource Page, where links to the below documents can be found.
General
  • Colonial Pipeline began restarting Wednesday, but it will likely take weeks before all markets served by the pipeline are back at pre-outage operations. ILTA will continue to advocate with regulators to ensure smooth operations at terminals.
  • ILTA assisted a member securing Coast Guard approval of temporary alternate security measures to allow non-TWIC truck drivers terminal access to load. Company/facility and port not disclosed for security reasons.  
  • ILTA continues to press EPA for temporary air emissions waivers related to landing floating roofs.
  • Markets are getting resupplied, but it takes time. The Colonial Pipeline said Thursday afternoon that "product delivery has commenced to all markets we serve."
  • GasBuddy's crowdsourced tracking shows significant numbers of gas stations without fuel in eastern states.
  • AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said Thursday that "relief is coming," but "motorists in affected areas can expect to see a few more days of limited fuel supply."
  • The Biden administration late Thursday issued its second Jones Act waiver, giving an unnamed company a limited exemption from the 101-year-old law that requires that goods transported between American ports be carried on domestically built and crewed ships.
  • The White House, regulators and Congress have vowed to take action to avoid future cyberattacks on critical infrastructure.
EPA
  • ILTA continues to press EPA for temporary air emissions waivers due to operational challenges (specifically, landing floated roofs) related to the temporary shutdown of Colonial pipeline. ILTA told EPA that failure to receive these waivers will likely result in further curtailing of terminals’ operations in gasoline and diesel fuel distribution. EPA responded to ILTA on May 13 that it is considering the request.
 
Coast Guard
  • ILTA continues to work with members and the Coast Guard to facilitate other requests.

DOT/Homeland Security
  • Officials said there would be no blanket waiver to the Jones Act. 
DOT
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the ransomware attack a “wake-up call” that raises questions about whether the nation’s laws and political system are prepared for what he called “the cyber era.”
  • The Colonial incident put tanker trucks in the spotlight.
  • Because of the pipeline slowdown and the uptick in demand everywhere, truckers are now having to make faster turnarounds and sometimes longer trips—as much as an extra 80 to 180 miles each time. The federal government has granted area-specific waivers allowing tanker trucks to carry more gas than safety guidelines usually permit. It has also waived some hours-of-service rules, permitting drivers to stay on the road for longer than usual.
  • The shutdown also highlighted the issue of a shortage of drivers. With demand for gas down during the pandemic, many drivers either got furloughed, stopped driving because of COVID-related health concerns, or decided to retire.

White House
  • President Biden Thursday afternoon spoke about the Colonial Pipeline incident, outlining the government response to the outage and noting it would take some time before the fuel market was back to normal. Biden said that the FBI has concluded that the Russian government was not involved in the hack. Remarks by President Biden on the Colonial Pipeline Incident
  • Biden formed a new Justice Department task force to go after DarkSide, a hacker group that infiltrated Colonial Pipeline’s servers and said it would not relinquish control without a ransom.