Pennsylvania Cuts Plans For Vapor Recovery System Installations At New Gas Stations

New southeastern and southwestern gas stations no longer need to install expensive vapor recovery systems.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reported it does not plan to enforce a requirement for new gas stations to install costly vapor recovery systems at their outlets.

The state’s current regulations require facilities in southeast and southwest Pennsylvania to maintain vapor recovery systems, which are attached to fuel pump nozzles to siphon off fumes while pumping gasoline. DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said the Stage II vapor recovery systems must still be operated and maintained at existing facilities.

“We will, however, use our discretion to not enforce these requirements for any new gas station in the greater Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas because the diminishing benefits do not justify the cost of installing new systems,” Krancer said.

Vapor recovery systems are required for about 1,600 gasoline-dispensing facilities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington and Westmoreland counties. 

On July 5, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed Act 135, which amended the Air Pollution Control Act to direct DEP to review its current compliance strategy of using Reid Vapor Pressure gasoline during the summer ozone season. EPA issued guidance on Aug. 7 that will help the Pennsylvania DEP determine any additional requirements Pennsylvania might need to add in order to repeal Stage II requirements.

“Gas station owners should note that DEP’s enforcement discretion does not protect an owner or operator from potential legal challenges by third parties,” Krancer said.

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