A fuels waiver can be issued only when the criteria specified in the Clean Air Act have been met. In general, these criteria allow a fuels waiver only to address a temporary emergency fuel supply shortage that exists throughout a state or region that was caused by an unusual situation such as an Act of God, and that could not have been avoided by prudent planning. "Spot" or localized shortages generally are not fuel supply disruptions for which a waiver may be issued.
A fuel supply disruption that meets the criteria for a waiver must be one that results in a generalized supply emergency. For example, in 2005 EPA issued fuels waivers in those areas of the country that experienced fuel shortages as a result of the extensive damage Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused to refineries and pipelines.
Fuels waivers cannot be issued to address concerns regarding the price of fuel.