Limited Suspension of Enforcement of the Commercial Fuel Oil Sulfur Content Limit Requirements for Combustion Units for Certain Distributors and Retail Outlets
[50 Pa.B. 3804]
[Saturday, July 25, 2020]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces that beginning on September 1, 2020, and ending February 28, 2021, the Department will suspend enforcement of the 15 parts per million (ppm) maximum allowable sulfur fuel content requirement for No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil for certain ''distributors'' and ''retail outlets'' as defined in 25 Pa. Code § 121.1 (relating to definitions). The maximum allowable sulfur fuel content requirement for No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil is established at 15 ppm in the final-form rulemaking notice amending 25 Pa. Code § 123.22 (relating to combustion units), published at 50 Pa.B. 3714 (July 25, 2020) by the Environmental Quality Board, with a compliance date of September 1, 2020.
This suspension applies to the transfer and use of No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil stored by the distributor or retail outlet in this Commonwealth as of July 25, 2020, that exceeds 15 ppm sulfur fuel content but that does not exceed the current regulatory limit of 0.05% sulfur by weight (500 ppm). This suspension of enforcement does not cover No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil received by the distributor or retail outlet after July 25, 2020. This suspension does not cover distributors of commercial fuel oil by pipeline or supersede conditions in any air quality plan approval or operating permit.
Under 25 Pa. Code § 123.22, a person may not offer for sale, deliver for use, exchange in trade or permit the use of commercial fuel oil if it exceeds the specified sulfur content. For No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil, the regulation promulgated at 50 Pa.B. 3714 imposes a maximum allowable sulfur content of 15 ppm beginning September 1, 2020. However, due to the unusually warm winter of 2019-2020, remaining inventories of No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil exceeding 15 ppm sulfur content are larger than anticipated. For that reason, the Department is announcing this transitional period during which it will exercise enforcement discretion on a limited basis for these existing inventories. Enforcement is not being suspended for any other requirements of 25 Pa. Code § 123.22, including recordkeeping requirements.
A distributor or retail outlet covered by this limited suspension of enforcement must maintain adequate records onsite to document the quantity of No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil stored by the distributor or retail outlet in this Commonwealth on July 25, 2020, that exceeds 15 ppm sulfur content. The records shall be made available to the Department upon request.
This suspension also applies to No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil received by the ''ultimate consumer'' as defined in 25 Pa. Code § 121.1, on or before February 28, 2021.
The commercial fuel oil sulfur limit requirements published at 43 Pa.B. 806 (February 9, 2013) and codified in 25 Pa. Code § 123.22 prior to July 25, 2020, are incorporated in the Commonwealth's State Implementation Plan (SIP) approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency at 40 CFR 52.2020 (relating to identification of plan), published at 79 FR 39330 (July 10, 2014). The Department's exercise of enforcement discretion does not protect an owner or operator of a subject distributor or retail outlet from the possibility of legal challenge by third persons under 25 Pa. Code § 123.22 or the Commonwealth's approved SIP.
For more information or questions concerning combustion unit commercial fuel oil sulfur limit requirements, contact Susan Foster, Environmental Program Manager for the Division of Compliance and Enforcement, Bureau of Air Quality, at email@example.com or (717) 772-3369.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-1001. Filed for public inspection July 24, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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