September 23, 2015 | Vol. 65, No. 18
Dear PEI Member:
Timing of state regulations. Jurisdictions with SPA (state program approval) have three years from October 13, 2015, which is the effective date of the 2015 UST (underground storage tank) regulation, to revise their regulations and submit a revised SPA application. States can give owners the same amount of time to meet state requirements as the federal regulation gives owners to meet the federal requirements (that is, three years after the effective date of the state regulation). However, the majority of the state regulators we talked with expect to impose shorter time frames than those in the federal requirements and some may even impose more stringent requirements (e.g., integrity testing of interstitial spaces in double wall equipment and/or the frequency of testing and inspection of UST components) than the federal regulation. We expect most states to issue their final rules in the 2017-2018 range, with an effective date between 2018 and 2020.
Conflicting regulations. Thirteen states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming) and three territories (Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Samoa) do not have SPA and must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST requirements. That means, for example, that after October 13, 2015, owners and operators in those jurisdictions can no longer use a flow restrictor to meet the overfill prevention requirement at new installations; must test or inspect equipment repaired within 30 days of the repair; must close internally lined tanks that fail the internal lining inspection and cannot be repaired according to a code of practice; and must demonstrate equipment compatibility. State and federal regulators at the conference explained that confusion could develop because the federal rules also require UST owners and operators to follow their state requirements that will not have changed in time to reflect the new federal rules. For example, Kentucky (a state without SPA) rules will permit flow restrictors but the federal rule will prohibit them after October 13. In this example, the federal rules must be followed. State regulators recognize the possibility of a conflict with the two sets of rules and are prepared to work with UST owners and operators to eliminate potential problems.
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First tests/inspections. Owners and operators in the 16 non-SPA states and territories must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation. Federal regulators confirmed in Phoenix that this means owners and operators in non-SPA states must conduct the following tests or inspections by October 13, 2018:
Compatibility issues. Moderate to severe corrosion of metal components in USTs containing ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) continues to appear across the country. Similar degradation of metal components also has been experienced in the vapor space of sumps attached to ethanol storage systems. Tank owners and regulators in Phoenix described the corrosion as pervasive—but not universal—throughout the UST population. Most people familiar with the problem now acknowledge that this corrosion could pose a serious risk to the integrity and functionality of metal UST systems and components. Practically speaking, our sense is that the solution to the ULSD corrosion problem will be more on the UST owner/operator housekeeping side—eliminating water in the system and/or treating the ULSD with biocides if the problem already exists—rather than a regulatory fix. That said, both UST owners and regulators acknowledge that keeping water out of ULSD is easier said than done.
Acceptance of PEI’s recommended practices. Comments from regulators about the two PEI recommended practices referenced in the 2015 federal regulation—Recommended Practices for the Inspection and Maintenance of UST Systems (RP900) and Recommended Practices for the Testing and Verification of Spill, Overfill, Leak Detection and Secondary Containment Equipment at UST Facilities (RP1200)—were very favorable. Provisions from both documents are being incorporated in the drafts of new state and tribal rules. RP900 will be updated by PEI in the first quarter of 2016. Persons wanting to submit comments to change RP900 can do so by clicking the “Comment Now” button here. Deadline for comments to be submitted for review by the PEI UST System Inspection & Maintenance Committee is October 30, 2015. The deadline for proposals to amend RP1200 is January 29, 2016. Click here to comment on RP1200.
New EPA OUST website. Effective September 21, 2015, EPA’s new UST website home page is www.epa.gov/ust. This change is the result of EPA’s entire website switching to a new web content management system.
USDA AWARDS $100 MILLION IN GRANTS TO 21 STATES FOR
RENEWABLE FUEL EQUIPMENT
Vilsack said the applications received for the program requested more than $130 million, outpacing the available funds. The USDA estimates this grant program will more than double the number of stations nationwide that offer ethanol blends greater than E10.
BIP funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation must be used to pay a portion of the costs to install fuel pumps and related infrastructure for higher ethanol blends including E15 and E85. Matching contributions may be used for these purposes or for related costs such as additional infrastructure to support dispensers, marketing, education, data collection, program evaluation and administrative costs.
The USDA issued a “preliminary list” of state finalists for the grant pool and estimated pump numbers. It said the funding amounts for each state will be announced later. Florida leads the list, receiving funding for about 890 pumps, followed by Texas at 763 and Minnesota with 620. The list covers 21 states located throughout the country.
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.