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U.S. EPA Proposes Revisions to Gasoline Distribution Rules

Posted: July 19th, 2022

Authors: Kevin L. 

On June 10, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) proposed revisions to 40 CFR Part 63, Subparts R and BBBBBB, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Gasoline Distribution Facilities at major (Subpart R) and area (Subpart BBBBBB) sources of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP). U.S. EPA also proposed Subpart XXa, a new subpart to be added to the existing Part 60 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that will cover new, modified, or reconstructed bulk gasoline terminals.

With this rulemaking, U.S. EPA proposes new emissions limits, monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for facilities. Facilities may need to revise existing compliance programs, consider upgrades to continuous monitoring systems (CMS) and/or data acquisition and handling systems (DAHS), and evaluate the need for physical modifications to comply with the proposed rules. Some of the key changes associated with the proposal include the following:

Loading Rack Emissions Limits

The proposed changes to Subpart BBBBBB include a lower emissions limit for loading racks at “large bulk gasoline terminals” (>250,000 gallon/day capacity) of 35 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of gasoline loaded. Subpart XXa will establish emissions limits for new and modified/reconstructed bulk gasoline terminals of 1 mg/L and 10 mg/L of gasoline loaded, respectively. Additionally, emissions limits specific to the type of control device used and the means of demonstrating compliance with those emissions limits have been included or referenced in each of the three revised rules as follows:

  • Vapor Recovery Units (VRU): total organic carbon (TOC) concentration limits and continuous monitoring of TOC concentration
  • Vapor Combustion Units (VCU): mg TOC/L gasoline loaded limits and continuous temperature monitoring
  • Flares: meet the operational limits for refinery flares outlined in NESHAP Subpart CC. New terminals subject to Subpart XXa cannot use flares as a control device.

U.S. EPA proposes that bulk gasoline plants subject to Subpart BBBBBB that have a maximum design throughput of 4,000 gallons/day or more must install and operate vapor balance systems during loading and unloading of gasoline storage tanks and gasoline cargo tanks.

Equipment Leaks

U.S. EPA proposes to change the monitoring method for equipment leaks from monthly audio, visual, olfactory (AVO) inspections to instrument monitoring. The frequency of instrument monitoring depends on the applicable Subpart and can be quarterly, semiannually, or annually. Both Method 21 and optical gas imaging (OGI) are proposed as approved monitoring methods.

Storage Tanks

Facilities with storage tanks subject to Subpart R or Subpart BBBBBB currently must comply with portions of 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart Kb that are incorporated by reference. The proposed revisions to the rules align them closer with Subpart Kb, requiring controls on fittings for external floating roof tanks. Additionally, both Subparts include a proposed new requirement for internal floating roof tanks, prescribing that facilities maintain the vapor space above the floating roof at or below 25% of the lower explosive limit (LEL). Annual monitoring as part of existing visual inspections is proposed to demonstrate compliance.

In addition, gasoline storage tanks subject to Subpart BBBBBB with either a capacity less than 75 cubic meters (m3) or a capacity less than 151 m3 and a throughput less than 480 gallons/day must have a set pressure no less than 2.5 pounds per square in gauge.

Vapor Tightness Certification

The proposed rules synchronize the vapor tightness certification across the gasoline distribution rules to align with the approach currently specified in Subpart R. Expressed as a range, the numerical certification is dependent on the cargo tank compartment size.

Expanded Applicability of NESHAP Subpart R

Subpart R currently allows some bulk gasoline terminals and pipeline breakout stations to be excluded as an affected source based on the value of their emissions screening factor. The proposed revisions remove this exemption and require any bulk gasoline terminal or pipeline breakout station that is located at a major source of HAP to comply with this Subpart.

Miscellaneous Changes

In addition, the revised rules incorporate actions seen in other recent rulemaking activities, including the proposed removal of the startup, shutdown, malfunction (SSM) exemption, and the proposed adoption of electronic reporting for performance tests, performance evaluations, and semiannual reports.

How can I prepare?

Comments on the proposed rule are due August 9, 2022. Check with your industry association to see if they are commenting on the proposed rule, and consider adding your own comments, as U.S. EPA has requested comment on whether the proposed changes should be more stringent. Once the proposed rules are finalized, facilities will have up to three years to comply with the revised requirements following the date of publication in the Federal Register (up to 10 years for storage tanks, depending on when they are degassed). Although the compliance date seems far away, it’s not too early to evaluate current systems and start planning for any necessary upgrades.

If you have questions about how the proposed gasoline distribution rules may affect your facility, please reach out to me at klingard@all4inc.com. ALL4 continues to monitor this topic and is here to help your facility navigate these potential new requirements.


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