Suspension of Enforcement of a Requirement of the Vapor Leak Monitoring Procedures and Other Requirements for Small Gasoline Storage Tank Emission Control Program in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley Areas (25 Pa. Code § 129.61a)
[52 Pa.B. 5205]
[Saturday, August 20, 2022]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces that effective August 20, 2022, the Department suspends enforcement of a specific monitoring requirement in 25 Pa. Code § 129.61a (relating to vapor leak monitoring procedures and other requirements for small gasoline storage tank emission control) at gasoline dispensing facilities with Stage I vapor recovery systems.
Section 129.61a was published as a final-form regulation at 52 Pa.B. 1875 (March 26, 2022). Beginning March 26, 2022, the requirements of § 129.61a apply to the owner and operator of certain gasoline storage tanks subject to 25 Pa. Code § 129.61 (relating to small gasoline storage tank control (Stage I control)). Specifically, the Department is suspending enforcement of the requirement in § 129.61a(g)(1)(iii) with regard to the inspection of the gasoline storage tank automatic tank gauge cap.
Section 129.61a requires the owner or operator of certain gasoline storage tanks located at gasoline dispensing facilities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington and Westmoreland Counties to perform specified vapor leak monitoring procedures for Stage I vapor recovery system components and other gasoline dispensing components. Section 129.61a(g)(1)(iii) requires the owner or operator of a subject gasoline dispensing facility to monitor the condition of the gasoline storage tank automatic tank gauge cap by performing an inspection after each gasoline tank truck delivery to verify that the automatic tank gauge cap is tightly sealed. The intended purpose of the requirement specified in § 129.61a(g)(1)(iii) is to ensure that the automatic tank gauge cap has not been compromised during a gasoline tank truck delivery. The automatic tank gauge cap, if not closed and tightly sealed, prevents proper operation and vapor capture by the Stage I vapor recovery system.
Subsequent to the publication of § 129.61a as a final-form regulation at 52 Pa.B. 1875, and after review of these requirements and discussion with the Department's Bureau of Environmental Cleanup, Storage Tanks Division, the Department has determined that the likelihood that the automatic tank gauge would be compromised during a gasoline tank truck delivery is low. Verifying the status of the automatic tank gauge cap after each gasoline tank truck delivery is problematic. Many of these gauges are only accessible beneath a heavy sump lid, some of which require special tools to open, or can be otherwise difficult to access. A Federal requirement to check this equipment annually is found at 40 CFR 280.36 (relating to periodic operation and maintenance walkthrough inspections) and the corresponding Commonwealth annual inspection requirement is found in 25 Pa. Code § 245.438 (relating to periodic operation and maintenance walkthrough inspections). This exercise of enforcement discretion does not affect owner or operator compliance with other existing requirements.
The Department's exercise of enforcement discretion of § 129.61a(g)(1)(iii) does not protect an owner or operator of a subject gasoline dispensing facility from the possibility of legal challenge by third persons under § 129.61a.
For more information or questions concerning Stage I requirements, contact Susan Foster, Division of Compliance and Enforcement, Bureau of Air Quality, at email@example.com or (717) 772-3369.
RAMEZ ZIADEH, P.E.,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-1262. Filed for public inspection August 19, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]
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