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FDACS warns against 'panic-buying' gas after pipeline hack

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Posted at 5:15 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 17:15:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says it is aware of issues that may potentially disrupt normal fuel pricing and sales in Floridan after the "cybersecurity hack" of the pipeline.

These issues include the recently-reported cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline serving North Florida, fuel terminal issues in the Pensacola area, and shortages of fuel truck driver availability.

On these issues, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried shared a video update on social media, and offered the following statement:

“FDACS was recently alerted to a potential disruption in the fuel supply impacting the Pensacola region. This specific disruption is due to a company servicing that area that is unable to meet EPA standards on federal gasoline requirements under the Clean Air Act, which must be met annually by May 1. Given the federal regulation of this issue, FDACS immediately contacted the EPA to ensure situational awareness and facilitate direct communication with industry operators. We continue to encourage the company to quickly resolve this issue and mitigate any impact on the community and residents.

"In general, Floridians may expect some fuel pricing and sales issues in the coming days due to several factors. These include the temporary shutdown of a major U.S. fuel pipeline due to a cyberattack, causing fuel to be trucked in to certain regions, as well as a shortage of truck drivers currently affecting both the fuel industry and agriculture industry. FDACS and I are in close, ongoing communication with the EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the petroleum industry regarding this matter, and all partners ask that residents not panic-buy gas, hoard gas, or form long lines at gas stations, as fuel continues to move around our state.”

This is a developing story.