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Maryland eases fuel transport restrictions after oil pipeline shutdown

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Maryland officials are introducing emergency measures to relieve potential shortages after a cyberattack disrupted operations at a major pipeline that transports fuel along the East Coast.

Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Greg Slater waived weight restrictions and hours-of-service requirements for Maryland motor carriers to keep fuel moving during the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

“The emergency actions that we are taking will provide the state the flexibility it needs to address any disruption in fuel supply,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “It is important for Marylanders to know that the supply chain is still working — albeit more slowly than usual — and there is no need for panic buying.”

The Colonial Pipeline network runs 5,500 miles from Houston to New York City.

Maryland is preparing for “all contingencies,” Hogan said.

The pipeline’s operator says it expects to largely restore service by the end of the week. Some states along the pipeline route could see gasoline shortages in the meantime.

The Colonial Pipeline runs 5,500 miles from Houston to New York City. It delivers about 45% of the fuel for the East Coast, including gasoline and jet fuel.

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Source: GANNETT Syndication Service