Gasoline tanker truck
EPA Finalizes Regulations for Gasoline Distribution Source Category

On May 8, 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized changes to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Gasoline Distribution Terminals major source category (Subpart R), the NESHAP area source category (Subpart BBBBBB, or 6B), and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Bulk Gasoline Terminals via a new subpart,  Subpart XXa. These changes, effective from July 8, 2024, were originally proposed in 2022, and the final rules are substantially similar to the proposed rules.  

EPA estimates these final rules will apply to nearly 9,500 gasoline distribution facilities. The changes will affect storage tanks, loading operation controls, equipment leak detection, performance testing, and compliance reporting requirements. 

In this first part of our analysis of the new requirements, Trihydro focuses on important definition changes, equipment leak detection, storage tank fitting controls and monitoring, and steps you should take now to ensure compliance.  

Why is EPA Updating NESHAP and NSPS Regulations?

Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA is required to periodically assess and revise air toxics standards to help keep regulatory requirements in line with evolving industry practices and technology improvements. This review process is generally referred to as a technology review (TR). EPA’s latest TR of the NESHAP evaluated current practices in emission reduction to assess whether current practices achieve greater emission reductions than existing requirements for facilities in the Gasoline Distribution source category related to storage tanks, loading operations, and equipment leaks. EPA’s TR identified several changes in the approach to emissions reduction, resulting in proposed amendments. At the same time, EPA reviewed NSPS Subpart XX, and determined that the bulk gasoline terminal requirements should also be updated, generally consistent with the TR for the NESHAP regulations.  

For the NESHAP regulations changes, facilities must comply with the new requirements three years after the final rule is published, May 10, 2027. 

Importantly, bulk gasoline terminals that commenced construction, reconstruction, or modification after June 10, 2022 (the proposal date) are subject to the NSPS XXa requirements no later than the rule's effective date (July 8, 2024) or upon startup, whichever is later.  

The following highlights the principle new requirements in modified NESHAP Subparts R and BBBBBB and the new NSPS Subpart XXa. The rules include many details that are not included in this discussion. 

Important Definition Changes in the Amendments for NSPS Subpart XXa, NESHAP Subpart R, and NESHAP BBBBBB

In the recent updates, the EPA defined two different facilities affected by regulations under NSPS Subpart XXa: 

  1. Gasoline loading rack (generally consistent with NSPS XX): This includes all loading racks at bulk gasoline terminals that deliver liquid products into gasoline cargo tanks, including the gasoline loading rack, vapor collection systems, and vapor processing system. This affected facility will primarily be subject to the control device provisions. Control device provisions apply primarily to this facility, with the stipulation that flares (defined as a device that uses an open or shrouded flame such that the emission point is not suitable for stack testing) are not acceptable control systems for newly constructed gasoline loading rack facilities; only thermal oxidation or vapor recovery systems are acceptable.

  2. Collection of equipment at bulk gasoline terminals: This includes all equipment associated with gasoline loading at the terminal, including lines, pumps, loading racks, vapor collection, and processing systems. This facility primarily falls under equipment leak provisions and covers more piping than NSPS Subpart XX.

In addition to defining new affected facilities, the EPA updated the definition of a bulk gasoline terminal by adding “cargo tank” as one of the gasoline delivery methods to the affected facility. Since “cargo tank” includes both tank trucks and railcars, this closes a prior exception for facilities that received gasoline only by railcar. This provision is immediately effective for NSPS Subpart XXa facilities. For NESHAP Subpart R, the new definition, including cargo tank, becomes effective May 8, 2027 (3 years after the final publication date). The Subpart BBBBBB definition previously included cargo tanks.

Additionally, in the recent update, the EPA clarified components excluded from the calculation of fixed capital costs for reconstruction under Subpart XXa. The EPA excluded the following "frequently replaced components" from the calculation: pump seals, gaskets and swivels for loading arms, gaskets for couplers, couplers and cables for overfill sensors, flexible vapor hoses, and cables and connectors for grounding.

New Equipment Leak Detection Requirements

The following table outlines the new equipment leak detection compliance requirements for the following Subparts: 

  • NSPS Subpart XXa: The collection of equipment in gasoline service at a bulk gasoline terminal affected facility.

  • NESHAP Subpart R: All equipment in gasoline service at a bulk gasoline terminal or pipeline breakout station

  • NESHAP BBBBBB: All equipment in gasoline service at a bulk gasoline terminal, bulk gasoline plant, pipeline breakout station, or pipeline pumping station

 

 NSPS Subpart XXa
NESHAP Subpart R 
NESHAP Subpart BBBBBB 
Compliance date
July 8, 2024 for facilities which commenced construction, reconstruction, or modification after June 10, 2022 and before July 8, 2024, or at startup if after that date
For existing facilities effective May 8, 2027; for facilities that commenced construction after June 10, 2022, the compliance date is July 8, 2024 or upon startup, whichever is laterFor existing facilities effective May 8, 2027; for facilities that commenced construction after June 10, 2022, the compliance date is July 8, 2024 or upon startup, whichever is later
If using OGI (any visualization is a leak)
Quarterly: pumps, valves, connectors 
Semiannual: pumps, valves, connectors
Annual: pumps, valves, connectors
If using Method 21 (10,000 ppm = leak)
Quarterly: pumps, valves 
Annual: connectors 
Semiannual: pumps, valves
Annual: connectors
Annual: pumps, valves, connectors
Pressure relief deviceQuarterly: OGI or M21 monitoring, and within 5 days of each pressure release Semiannual: OGI or Method 21 monitoring, and within 5 days of each pressure releaseAnnual: OGI or Method 21 monitoring, and within 5 days of each pressure release.  If monitored by non-plant personnel, may be monitored next time personnel are on site, but not later than 30 days after pressure release
If by AVO
Minimum monthly while loading gasoline; leak found anytime observed (i.e., not just during monthly formal observation)
Minimum monthly while loading gasoline; leak found anytime observed (i.e., not just during monthly formal observation)
Minimum monthly while loading gasoline; leak found anytime observed (i.e., not just during monthly formal observation)
If leak detected
  • Attach leak tag (until repaired)
  • Initial repair attempt within 5 days
  • Repair within 15 days
  • DOR allowed (reported in semiannual report) if isolated from gasoline service; emissions from repair are greater than emissions from delay; up to 3 months if valve assembly replacement is necessary; not later than 6 months for pumps when repair uses dual mechanical seal with barrier fluid system 
  • Attach leak tag (until repaired)
  • Initial repair attempt within 5 days
  • Repair within 15 days
  • DOR allowed (reported in semiannual report) if isolated from gasoline service; emissions from repair are greater than emissions from delay; up to 3 months if valve assembly replacement is necessary; not later than 6 months for pumps when repair uses dual mechanical seal with barrier fluid system 
  • Attach leak tag (until repaired)
  • Initial repair attempt within 5 days
  • Repair within 15 days
  • DOR allowed (reported in semiannual report) if isolated from gasoline service; emissions from repair are greater than emissions from delay; up to 3 months if valve assembly replacement is necessary; not later than 6 months for pumps when repair uses dual mechanical seal with barrier fluid system 
 OGI per Appendix KYesNo (although rule cross-references NSPS XXa, it references to 60.502a(j), which does not reference Appendix K)No (although rule cross-references NSPS XXa, it references to 60.502a(j), which does not reference Appendix K)

 

  • OGI – optical gas imaging
  • AVO – audible, visual, olfactory
  • DOR – delay of repair

Additional requirements for NESHAP Subpart R and BBBBBB include:

  • Maintain a logbook including summary descriptions or diagrams showing the locations of all equipment in gasoline service at the facility.

  • The logbook shall be signed by the owner/operator at the completion of each AVO inspection and record information regarding any detected leak and repair resolution.

New Gasoline Storage Vessel Fitting Controls Requirements

The new requirements for fitting controls on gasoline storage vessels vary depending on the facility's classification under NESHAP Subpart R or Subpart BBBBBB.

For NESHAP Subpart R facilities, storage vessels generally need fitting controls in line with NSPS Subpart Kb, with an alternative option for compliance with NESHAP Subpart WW. Detailed cross-references to Subpart Kb can be found in 40 CFR 63.423, particularly in paragraphs (b)(1) for all gasoline storage vessels, (b)(2) for internal floating roof tank vapor space requirements to meet a 25 lower explosive limit (LEL), and (b)(3) for external floating roof tank fitting requirements.

As for NESHAP Subpart BBBBBB facilities, the storage vessel requirements referencing NSPS Subpart Kb are integrated into Table 1 of Subpart BBBBBB.

The applicable compliance dates are as follows:

For NESHAP Subpart R facilities:

  • Storage vessels that commenced construction on or before February 8, 1994: compliance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) no later than May 8, 2027, and compliance with paragraph (b)(3) May 8, 2034, or the next time the storage vessel is completely emptied and degassed, whichever comes first.

  • Storage vessels that commenced construction after February 8, 1994, and on or before June 10, 2022: compliance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) no later than May 28, 2027, and compliance with paragraph (b)(3) no later than May 8, 2034, or the next time the vessel is completely emptied and degassed, whichever comes first.

  • Storage vessels that commenced construction after June 10, 2022: compliance with all requirements upon startup or July 8, 2024, whichever is later.

For NESHAP BBBBBB facilities:

  • Storage vessels that commenced construction or reconstruction on or before June 10, 2022: compliance upon startup, or the next time the storage vessel is completely emptied or degassed, or May 8, 2034, whichever occurs first.

  • Storage vessels that commenced construction or reconstruction after June 10, 2022: compliance upon startup or July 8, 2024, whichever is later.

Internal Floating Roof LEL Leak Monitoring Requirements

NESHAP Subparts R and BBBBBB facilities that commenced construction on or before June 10, 2022, must commence internal floating roof gasoline storage vessel LEL monitoring by May 8, 2027, or upon startup, whichever is later. Affected facilities that commenced construction or reconstruction after June 10, 2022, must comply with these requirements upon startup or July 8, 2024, whichever is later.  

The affected internal floating roof storage vessels require LEL monitoring once every 12 months. Although the first monitoring event will not be required until 2027, EPA expects that facilities will use the 3 years to make any necessary upgrades to meet the new standard. An LEL reading above 25 percent on a 5-minute rolling average for a 20-minute test period constitutes an inspection failure. LEL meters must be calibrated per the manufacturer’s recommendations, and calibrations must be conducted with the extension tube in place. The vapor measurement must be taken no more than 3 feet above the stationary internal floating roof deck. At the time of the measurement, wind speeds at the top of the tank should be 5 miles per hour (mph) or less to the extent practicable and shall not exceed the annual average wind speed at the site or 15 mph, whichever is less. The data collection requirements are detailed, including taking readings at least every 15 seconds, LEL instrument gasoline vapor correction factors, instrument documentation, documentation if the LEL monitoring event occurred at a time other than concurrent with the annual visual inspection, and more.  LEL remonitoring is required to confirm that a repair was successful. 

What Should I Be Doing Now to Ensure Compliance?

  1. Determine whether your gasoline bulk terminal may be subject to NSPS Subpart XXa.

    • Since NSPS regulatory applicability begins on the proposal publication date, NSPS Subpart XXa applies to facilities constructed, reconstructed, or modified (CRM) after June 10, 2022. Hence, facilities that were CRM between June 10, 2022, and July 8, 2024, must comply with NSPS Subpart XXa as of July 8, 2024, and upon startup.  

    • Trihydro recommends that you review all changes to your bulk gasoline terminal considering this compliance timeframe. In particular, ensure consideration of the new “collection of all equipment at a bulk gasoline terminal associated with gasoline loading” affected source, as gasoline piping changes remote from the loading operations may also trigger NSPS Subpart XXa requirements. 

  2. Verify the “commenced construction” date for all gasoline storage vessels at NESHAP Subparts R and BBBBBB facilities and whether those gasoline storage vessels meet the applicable requirements in 40 CFR 63.423(b) (cross-referencing NSPS Subpart Kb). If upgrades are necessary, ensure that these upgrades are accounted for in future storage vessel inspection and repair schedules.

  3. Conduct pre-compliance OGI or Method 21 inspections of gasoline piping at NESHAP Subparts R or BBBBBB gasoline distribution facilities, including bulk gasoline terminals, pipeline breakout stations, and pipeline pumping stations. A pre-compliance inspection will allow the facility to evaluate leaks and make repairs prior to the May 10, 2027, compliance date.

  4. Conduct pre-compliance LEL monitoring of internal floating roof tanks using a methodology consistent with the new monitoring requirements. Note that through-the-hatch LEL monitoring is not consistent with the new requirements, which require that the LEL reading be taken within 3 feet of a stationary floating roof deck.

  5. Update the NESHAP Subpart R or BBBBBB gasoline piping AVO inspection workbook to address all affected gasoline service piping. 

  6. Establish recordkeeping systems to track OGI (or Method 21) inspections of gasoline piping and LEL inspections of internal floating roof storage tanks. Trihydro would be happy to discuss potential data solutions with you.  

Questions?

Trihydro has assisted facilities with regulatory compliance since 1984. Our regulatory specialists are available to help facilities in the gasoline distribution source category understand how the new requirements impact your projects and operations. We also have dedicated software (LeakTracker ProTM) to support these monitoring requirements. Contact us if we can be of assistance!

Contact Us

John Pfeffer headshot
John Pfeffer
Senior Air Professional, Lakewood, Colorado

John has performed, supervised, and managed environmental projects in the refining and petrochemical industries for over 29 years. His experience includes numerous Clean Air Act compliance projects involving New Source Review (NSR) permitting, Title V Permitting and compliance, Benzene Waste Operations NESHAP (BWON), Consent Decree compliance, leak detection and repair (LDAR) program implementation and management, New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations.

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