Listen Live

The Department of Transportation declared a regional emergency Saturday affecting four Midwest states after a fire earlier this week cause an “unanticipated shutdown” of a BP oil refinery in northern Indiana.

BP Whiting, the sixth largest refinery in the U.S., refining over 400,000 barrels of oil per day, shut down to undergo damage assessment after a fire knocked out the plant’s electrical power and cooling water systems on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

The shutdown caused the federal government to take action and address the looming shortage of fuel output that affect Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that collectively receive up to %25 of their fuel from the Whiting refinery.

The emergency declaration gives states an exemption from some federal regulations, such as waiving U.S. truck driver rules that dictate maximum driving times. However, when truckers return to normal operations after providing emergency assistance, they will be required to take a 10-hour break if they exceed 14 hours in emergency relief, according to FMCSA.