- What action has MassDEP taken regarding Stage II vapor recovery systems?
- Why is MassDEP considering phasing out its Stage II program?
- Can the owner/operator of an existing Stage II facility stop operating and maintaining a Stage II system without decommissioning it?
- What are the requirements for decommissioning an existing Stage II system?
- Where can I get a copy of Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI)'s decommissioning guidance?
- Who can decommission a Stage II System?
- What are the initial testing requirements for a new gasoline dispensing facility with Stage I only and no Stage II system (referred to as a "Stage I facility")?
- Are there other Stage I compliance requirements applicable to new Stage I facilities and to facilities that decommission their Stage II systems and become "Stage I facilities"?
- When will MassDEP make a decision on formal repeal of the Stage II Program and potential upgrades to the Stage I Program?
- What types of Stage I system upgrades is MassDEP considering?
A: MassDEP currently is assessing when to phase out its Stage II program. Because Stage II systems are costly to install, it is not reasonable to require new or modified motor vehicle fuel dispensing facilities to install or modify Stage II systems at this time. Therefore, MassDEP Commissioner Ken Kimmell issued a letter that advises owners/operators of motor vehicle dispensing facilities that MassDEP will exercise its enforcement discretion to allow new or modified facilities to be constructed without Stage II systems.
More specifically, the letter states that, effective July 9, 2012, MassDEP will use enforcement discretion to no longer require the installation Stage II Vapor Recovery systems under 310 CMR 7.24(6) at the following facilities:
- A new motor vehicle fuel dispensing facility dispensing gasoline for the first time.
- An existing facility where:
- there is excavation below a shear valve or tank pad to repair or replace a Stage II system or an underground storage tank; or
- 50 percent or more of the dispensers are replaced; and
- The entire Stage II system is fully decommissioned in accordance with applicable guidance.
A: On May 16, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule allowing states to phase out their Stage II Vapor Recovery programs. EPA's action was based on its determination that onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) systems are in widespread use in the motor vehicle fleet nationwide and Stage II Vapor Recovery systems may no longer be needed to control evaporative emissions during gasoline refueling.
Q: Can the owner/operator of an existing Stage II facility stop operating and maintaining a Stage II system without decommissioning it?
A: No. The owner/operator must either maintain the Stage II system in accordance with 310 CMR 7.24(6) or decommission the entire Stage II system.
A: To decommission an existing Stage II system, the owner/operator must do the following:
- Decommission the entire Stage II system in accordance with Petroleum Equipment Institute's (PEI's) Recommended Practices for Installation and Testing of Vapor-Recovery Systems at Vehicle-Fueling Sites (PEI/RP300-09), Chapter 14: Decommissioning Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems;
- Perform and pass a Pressure Decay Test of the decommissioned Stage II system before commencing operation;
- Submit to MassDEP within 60 days of performing and passing the required Pressure Decay Test a completed Stage II System Decommissioning Notification Form and attach to it a copy of the completed PEI RP300 Stage II Decommissioning Checklist signed by the contractor who performed the decommissioning. Please note that MassDEP will consider the postmark date on this submittal as the official decommission date.
A: A copy of PEI's decommissioning guidance is available for purchase from the organization's web site.
A: MassDEP recommends contacting a Stage II Compliance Testing Company or maintenance contractor to obtain decommissioning services.
Q: What are the initial testing requirements for a new gasoline dispensing facility with Stage I only and no Stage II system (referred to as a "Stage I facility")?
A: Before commencing operation, the owner/operator must ensure that the new Stage I facility has passed the applicable Stage I compliance tests listed below, as administered by a Stage II Compliance Testing Company. Within seven days of the applicable tests being performed and passed, the owner/operator must submit to MassDEP a completed and signed Stage II Form A: Installation/Substantial Modification Certification .
- Pressure Decay Test (Bay Area Air Pollution Control District Source Test Procedure ST-30 (2/6/1991)) and Table A. Minimum Allowable Pressure.
- Underground Piping Check (Vapor Tie) Test (San Diego County Air Pollution Control District Test Procedure TP-96-1, Section 5.1.9)
- Pressure/Vacuum Vent Test (Leak Rate and Cracking Pressure of Pressure/Vacuum Vent Valves, CARB TP-201.1E) P/V relief vents shall be tested to be within .29oz/in2 or 0.5 inches of water column of the designed pressure and within 1.2oz/in2 or 2.0 inches of water column of the vacuum settings.
- Static Torque Rotatable Adaptor Test (TP-201.1B)1
- Leak Rate of Overfill/Drain Valve (TP-201-1D)1,2
- Leak Rate of Drop Tube/Drain Valve (TP-201.1C)1,2
1. Additional required test if Stage I system is a CARB Stage I Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) Systems.
Q: Are there other Stage I compliance requirements applicable to new Stage I facilities and to facilities that decommission their Stage II systems and become "Stage I facilities"?
A: Yes. All Stage I facility owner/operators, whether of a new facility that did not put in a Stage II system, or an existing facility that has decommissioned its Stage II system, must:
- Perform weekly visual inspections of the Stage I system and components including: coaxial adaptors, dry breaks, fill caps and adaptors, vapor recovery caps and gaskets, spill containment boxes and drain valves.
- Maintain records of training, maintenance and testing.
- Submit an annual compliance certification to MassDEP:
- Pay an annual Motor Vehicle Fuel Dispensing Fee to MassDEP.
Q: When will MassDEP make a decision on formal repeal of the Stage II Program and potential upgrades to the Stage I Program?
A: MassDEP is working with a consultant to analyze potential changes to the Stage I and II programs and expects a draft report to be available for review and comment this summer. The agency will discuss potential program changes with stakeholders and will initiate a public notice and hearing process for any proposed regulatory changes. Any changes made to the Stage I and II programs require a SIP revision, as well as EPA review and approval.
A: For more information on Stage I system upgrades being considered, please see: Stage II Vapor Recovery . Owner/operators of planned new motor vehicle fuel dispensing facilities, and existing Stage II facilities considering either substantial modification or decommissioning of their Stage II systems, should take into consideration that MassDEP may propose Stage I system upgrades in its upcoming regulation revisions.