NESHAP / Clean Air Act: US Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Overhaul of Technology and Performance Standards for Bulk Gasoline Terminals | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, PLC

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) last week issued a proposed pre-publication rule that addresses the Clean Air Act’s national emission standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”) for facilities. gasoline distribution and performance standards for bulk gasoline terminals.

The proposal constitutes the Residual Risk and Technology Review (“RRTR”) for gasoline distribution plants and the Performance Standards for the NESHAP source category of bulk gasoline terminals.

Section 112 of the Clean Air Act establishes a two-step regulatory process for addressing emissions of hazardous air pollutants (“HAPs”) from stationary sources.

The first step is required to identify the categories of sources that emit one or more of the HAPs listed in Section 112 of the Clean Air Act. A technology-based NESHAP (ie a “MACT” standard) is then issued for such sources.

Within eight years from the definition of the MACT standard it is necessary to undertake the second phase. Two different analyzes need to be conducted. They include:

  1. Technology review
  2. Residual risk review

The technology review requires the EPA to review technology-based MACT standards and revise them as necessary (taking into account developments and control practices, processes and technologies) but no less frequently every eight years, pursuant to Section 112 (d) (6)) of the Clean Air Act.

Regarding the residual risk review, the EPA is required to assess the public health risk that remains after the application of the technology-based standards and, if necessary, to review the standards to provide a large margin of safety to protect public health or to prevent, taking into account costs, energy, safety and other relevant factors and negative effects on the environment.

The EPA notes in this pre-publication proposal that the categories of sources covered include:

. . . The distribution of gasoline is regulated by 40 CFR Part 63, Subparts R and BBBBBB and the transportation and marketing of petroleum is regulated by 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart XX.

The EPA had previously established MACT standards for the major gasoline distribution source category in 1994 and conducted the RRTR review in 2006.

Sources concerned by the main NESHAP source for the gasoline distribution sources category include:

  • Bulk petrol terminals
  • Pipeline breakthrough stations

Sources affected by the NESHAP area source for the Gasoline Distribution source category include:

  • Bulk petrol terminals
  • Bulk gasoline plants
  • Pipeline installations

The EPA proposes some changes to the NESHAPs which include:

  • NESHAP subpart R
    • Requires graded certification of vapor tightness from 0.5 to 1.25 inches of water pressure drop over a 5 minute period (depending on cargo tank compartment size for gasoline cargo tanks)
    • Request assembly checks for external floating roof tanks consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act New Source Performance Standards, chapter Kb
    • It requires the six-monthly monitoring of the instruments for the main distribution structures of the gasoline of origin
  • NESHAP Subpart BBBBBB
    • Reduce area source emission limits for cargo racks in bulk gasoline terminals to 35 milligrams of total organic carbon per liter of gasoline loaded (mg / L)
    • Requires vapor balancing for loading storage vessels and gasoline loading tankers into bulk gasoline production facilities with a maximum designed capacity of 4,000 gallons per day or more
    • Requires graded certification of vapor tightness from 0.5 to 1.25 inches of water pressure drop over a 5 minute period (depending on cargo tank compartment size for gasoline cargo tanks)
    • Request assembly checks for external floating roof tanks consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act New Source Performance Standards, chapter Kb
    • Request annual monitoring of tools for local gasoline distribution plants
  • New standards of performance of the Chapter XXa source
    • Proposal for a new source performance standard, Chapter XXa, that facilities commencing construction after the relevant date must meet a limit of 1 mg / l and that facilities commencing modification or rebuilding after the relevant date must meet a limit of 10 mg / l
    • Requires graded certification of vapor tightness from 0.5 to 1.25 inches of water pressure drop over a 5 minute period (depending on cargo tank compartment size for gasoline cargo tanks)
    • Requires quarterly instrument monitoring

Note that the Energy Marketers of America (“EMA”) in its June 30 Weekly Review publication noted:

The EPA has not previously included small gasoline bulk plants, cargo racks and tanker vehicles in NESHAP standards. However, there are indications that this equipment may be regulated for the first time under the proposed standard by the EPA. EMA is reviewing the proposed 120-page rule to determine whether downstream gasoline distribution facilities and tankers could be regulated under the NESHAP. If so, this could raise gas prices and put small businesses in a precarious situation. More details on the way and again this is just a proposed rule, so EMA will have time to comment and meet with Biden administration officials to ensure small businesses aren’t interested.

A link to the proposed rule for the 120 page pre-publication can be downloaded here.

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