Governor Northam Declares State of Emergency After Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack

RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order Seventy-Eight declaring a state of emergency in Virginia to address gasoline supply disruptions throughout the Commonwealth. On May 7, 2021, 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, the Governor’s emergency declaration allows state agencies to issue their own waivers as required by the state.

Fuel lines were longer than normal at the Kroger in Rocky Mount early Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Jamey Singleton.

Executive Order Seventy-Eight 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 Governor Northam

Earlier today, EPA Administrator Michael Regan issued an emergency fuel waiver to help alleviate fuel shortages in Virginia and other states whose supply of reformulated gasoline has been impacted by the pipeline shutdown. This waiver will continue through May 18, 2021.

Additional information on the EPA waiver can be found here

The full text of Executive Order Seventy-Eight is available here.