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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 16-1952


Suspension of Enforcement of the Stage II Vapor Recovery Requirements for Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from New and Modified Gasoline Dispensing Equipment in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley Areas

[46 Pa.B. 7204]
[Saturday, November 12, 2016]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces that effective November 12, 2016, it suspends enforcement of the Stage II vapor recovery (Stage II) requirements in 25 Pa. Code § 129.82 (relating to control of VOCs from gasoline dispensing facilities (Stage II)) with regard to the addition of new gasoline dispensers and dispenser replacements at affected gasoline dispensing facilities. This suspension of enforcement supplements the Department's prior suspension of enforcement for new gasoline dispensing facilities that began operation after July 31, 2012, and gasoline dispensing facilities that were newly affected after July 31, 2012. See 42 Pa.B. 5437 (August 18, 2012). Gasoline dispensing equipment installed after the effective date of this notice may be subject to future regulations developed for gasoline dispensing facilities in Stage II areas.

 The Stage II vapor recovery systems are required for about 1,600 gasoline dispensing facilities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington and Westmoreland Counties. However, the diminishing emission reduction benefits of Stage II controls no longer justify the cost of installing these controls on new gasoline dispensers and dispenser replacements.

 For owners and operators of gasoline dispensing facilities with Stage II vapor control systems in place to meet the Stage II requirements, the Department will continue to require operation and maintenance of those systems in accordance with 25 Pa. Code § 129.82. This suspension only pertains to new gasoline dispensers and dispensers replacements.

 The installation, modification or removal of gasoline dispensing equipment is a tank handling activity that must be conducted by a Department-certified tank installer in accordance with a code of practice developed by a Nationally-recognized association or independent testing laboratory. For additional information, see the Department's technical document ''263-0900-011 Storage Tank Modification and Maintenance Issues,'' which can be found at by searching for the document number. In addition, all equipment modifications that involve disconnection of vapor control piping must be conducted in accordance with industry best practices, such as the Petroleum Equipment Institute's (PEI) document PEI/RP 300 ''Recommended Practices for Installation and Testing of Vapor Recovery Systems at Vehicle-Fueling Sites.''

 Prior to making any equipment changes addressed in this notice, the gasoline dispensing facility owner or operator must provide written notice to the appropriate Department regional office, Allegheny County Health Department or Philadelphia Air Management Services, depending on the location of the site. In addition to providing written notice, owners and operators in Philadelphia County should contact the Philadelphia Air Management Services at (215) 685-7572 to discuss additional requirements that may apply to equipment changes addressed in this notice.

 The Department has completed its analysis of the benefits associated with the Stage II program based on guidance issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ''Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures.'' The Department has determined that the emission reduction benefits of the Stage II program are gradually diminishing and will approach zero for all areas of this Commonwealth at some time in 2018. Any emission increases that occur from this waiver are expected to be very minor with regard to ozone attainment in these areas.

 The Department's exercise of enforcement discretion does not protect an owner or operator of a gasoline dispensing facility from the possibility of legal challenge by third persons under 25 Pa. Code § 129.82 or the Commonwealth's approved State Implementation Plan.

 For more information or questions concerning Stage II requirements, contact Susan Foster, Division of Compliance and Enforcement, Bureau of Air Quality, (717) 772-3369,

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-1952. Filed for public inspection November 10, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]

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