Virginia Executive Order -78
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Governor
NUMBER SEVENTY-EIGHT (2021)
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY
DUE TO THE SHUTDOWN OF THE COLONIAL PIPELINE
Importance of the Issue
On this date, May 11, 2021, I declare that a state of emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Virginia to prepare and coordinate our response to the voluntary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline due to a cyber-attack on its business systems’ informational technology infrastructure on May 7, 2021. If prolonged, the pipeline closure will result in gasoline supply disruptions to various retailers throughout the Commonwealth, since the pipeline is the primary source of gasoline to many Virginia retailers. While current gasoline reserves in the Commonwealth are sufficient to address immediate supply concerns, a long-term disruption in the pipelines will require transportation of fuel and other oil-derivatives via interstate and state roadways. The anticipated effects of this situation constitute a disaster as described in § 44-146.16 of the Code of Virginia (Code). Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, by §§ 44-146.17 and 44-75.1 of the Code, as Governor and Director of Emergency Management, I proclaim a state of emergency. Accordingly, I direct state and local governments to render appropriate assistance to alleviate any conditions resulting from the situation and to implement recovery and mitigation operations and activities so as to return impacted areas to pre-event conditions as much as possible. Emergency services shall be conducted in accordance with § 44-146.13 et seq. of the Code.
In order to marshal all public resources and appropriate preparedness, response, and recovery measures, I order the following actions:
- Implementation by state agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, as amended, along with other appropriate state plans.
- Activation of the Virginia Emergency Operations Center and the Virginia Emergency Support Team, as directed by the State Coordinator of Emergency Management, to coordinate the provision of assistance to state, local, and tribal governments and to facilitate emergency services assignments to other agencies.
- Authorization for the heads of executive branch agencies, on behalf of their regulatory boards as appropriate, and with the concurrence of their Cabinet Secretary, to waive any state requirement or regulation, and enter into contracts without regard to normal procedures or formalities, and without regard to application or permit fees or royalties. All waivers issued by agencies shall be posted on their websites.
- Activation of § 59.1-525 et seq. of the Code related to price gouging.
Effective Date of this Executive Order
This Executive Order shall be effective May 11, 2021, and shall remain in full force and in effect until June 10, 2021, unless sooner amended, terminated, or rescinded by further executive order. Termination of this Executive Order is not intended to terminate any federal type benefits granted or to be granted due to injury or death as a result of service under this Executive Order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 11th day of May, 2021.
Ralph S. Northam, Governor
Kelly Thomasson, Secretary of the Commonwealth