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Air Pollution - Other Programs

Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery Programs

Stage I Vapor Recovery

The purpose of Stage I Vapor Recovery Systems at gasoline dispensing facilities ("GDFs") is to route gasoline vapors into the tanker truck without releasing them into the atmosphere. The Stage I system, consisting of sealed product fill and vapor apparatuses or both in one apparatus, is activated by a connecting hose that allows the transfer of vapors from the underground or aboveground storage tank back to the tanker truck's empty tank compartment while the tanker truck unloads gasoline product(s) into the storage tank(s). All connections are tightly fitted and properly sealed to prevent the escape of vapors.

Environmental Benefits

When using Stage I Vapor Recovery equipment, the escape of gasoline vapors is held to a minimum, helping to limit the escape of pollutants that contribute to air pollution. In addition, they are able to save money in the long run by having the majority of gasoline vapors retained in the tanks. Some of the "captured" vapors are converted back into the liquid gasoline state while the rest remains in the vapor state. The Stage I Vapor Recovery program in Illinois reduces volatile hydrocarbon emissions by nearly 5 tons per day in the Chicago Nonattainment Area and a half a ton per day in the Metro East St. Louis Nonattainment Area.

Chicago Nonattainment Area

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 classifies the Chicago metropolitan area as a "severe" nonattainment level of air pollution. It means that there is a significant amount of air pollution capable of causing ground level ozone, and it affects a majority of people who have respiratory problems. The following counties are listed in the Chicago Nonattainment Area:

  • McHenry
  • Lake
  • Kane
  • DuPage
  • Cook
  • Will
  • Kendall (Oswego Township)
  • Grundy (Goose Lake & Aux Sable Townships)

Metro East St. Louis Nonattainment Area

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 classifies the Metro East St. Louis metropolitan area as a "moderate" nonattainment level of air pollution. It means that there is only a moderate level of air pollution capable of causing ground level ozone and it may affect people with respiratory problems. The following counties are listed in the Metro East St. Louis Nonattainment Area:

  • Madison
  • St. Clair
  • Monroe

Stage I Vapor Recovery Requirements

All GDFs, whether retail or non-retail, are subject to Stage I Vapor Recovery requirements if they are located at the following counties:

  • Boone
  • Cook
  • Peoria
  • McHenry
  • Lake
  • Tazewell
  • Will
  • Kane
  • Winnebago
  • DuPage
  • Madison
  • Monroe
  • St. Clair
  • Rock Island
  • Kendall (Oswego Township)
  • Grundy (Goose Lake & Aux Sable Townships)

GDFs located in the Chicago and Metro East St. Louis Nonattainment Areas are subject to a more stringent Stage I Vapor Recovery specification requirements. Not only do they need to have a tight connection in the product and vapor fill adaptor apparatus as well as operate a submerged loading pipe, but they are required to have a pressure/vacuum relief valve connected to each vapor vent pipe. If the vapor vent pipes have been manifolded, the open-ended vent pipe must be equipped with a pressure/vacuum relief valve. The pressure/vacuum relief valve must have the pressure and vacuum settings in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 inches water column and 6.0 to 10.0 inches water column, respectively. In addition, it has to be tested on an annual basis to determine whether they are meeting the pressure and vacuum limits.

Other GDFs located in Boone, Peoria, Rock Island, Tazewell, and Winnebago counties are not required to have pressure/vacuum relief valves on their vent pipes. Instead, they are required to have a vapor control system for fuel delivery into the tanks via tanker trucks. Minimum requirements for each facility include a submerged loading pipe and compatible vapor control devices. These devices include product/vapor fill adaptors as well as tanker truck inlet/outlet fittings. Hoses must be tightly connected to prevent any escape of gasoline vapors during a gasoline product delivery.

Stage I Vapor Recovery Rules and Regulations

Stage I Vapor Recovery rules are specifically described under Section 215.583, Section 218.583, and Section 219.583, of Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code. For GDFs located in the Chicago Nonattainment area, they should follow rules specified under Section 218.583. For GDFs residing in the Metro East St. Louis Nonattainment Area, they should follow the rules under Section 219.583. For GDFs not located in either Chicago or Metro East St. Louis Nonattainment Area, they should follow the rules in Section 215.583.


Stage II Vapor Recovery

Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems collect gasoline vapors from vehicles' fuel tanks while customers dispense gasoline products into their vehicles at gasoline dispensing facilities. The Stage II system consists of special nozzles and coaxial hoses at each gasoline pump that captures vapors from the vehicle's fuel tank and routes them to the station's underground or aboveground storage tank(s) during the refueling process.

Environmental Benefits

When using Stage II Vapor Recovery equipment, the escape of gasoline vapors is held to a minimum, helping to protect the customers from the harmful effects of gasoline fumes as well as minimizing the escape of pollutants that contribute to air pollution. The Stage II Vapor Recovery program in Illinois reduces hydrocarbon emissions by more than 35 tons per day and saves in excess of 4 million gallons of gasoline annually.

Stage II Vapor Recovery Applicability Requirements

All GDFs are required to install Stage II controls if they meet the following two criteria:

  • They are located in the Chicago Nonattainment Area (see definition above), and
  • They dispense, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline per month for the last 12 months of operation.

Acceptable Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems

Only Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems approved by the California Air Resources Board ("CARB") are to be used in GDFs that meet the Stage II applicability requirements in Illinois. All system parts must be clearly identified to show that they are CARB-certified. Over 40 types of Stage II systems have met the rigorous certification standards imposed by the CARB and are given a CARB Executive Order number. All approved Stage II systems with a CARB Executive Order number are listed on the CARB website, http://www.arb.ca.gov/vapor/eo-PhaseII.htm.

Maintaining Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems

All GDFs utilizing both Stage I and Stage II systems must have at least one person trained to operate and maintain them. To receive the proper training, representative(s) from each GDF (e.g., station managers, assistant managers, owners, etc.) must enroll in a training course offered by a qualified Stage I/II trainer. They must be able to pass the course before they can obtain a training certificate and receive copies of the Stage I/II maintenance and malfunction log. A current list of qualified Stage I/II trainers is provided as follows:

Company Name
Address
City and State
Zip Code
Phone Number
JMM Management Group, LLC
2496 Technology Drive Elgin, IL 60123 847/888-0276
ECS, Inc. 720-L Lakeview Plaza Blvd
Worthington, OH 43085 614/433-0170
B & K Equipment Company 1924 177th Street Lansing, IL 60438-1590 708/474-3344
Tanknology 8900 Shoal Creek Blvd; Building 200 Austin, TX 78757 800/964-1270
Emro/Speedway SuperAmerica 501 W. High St.; P.O. Box 1500 Springfield, OH 45501 937/863-7034
BP Products North America, Inc. 4 Centerpointe Dr LaPalma, CA 90623 630/388-4158
Thorntons, Inc. 10101 Linn Station Rd
Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40223 502/425-8022
Meijer, Inc. 2929 Walker Ave NW Grand Rapids, MI 49544 616/791-3390
Delta Environmental Consultants, Inc. 84 Business Park Dr Armonk, NY 10504 800/477-7411

Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery Recordkeeping Requirements

All GDFs operating both Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems shall have the records kept up-to-date and easily accessible to the inspector upon request. The following records must be kept on-site:

  • Stage II registration certificate (issued by the Illinois EPA)
  • Stage I/II maintenance checklist log
  • Stage I/II malfunction log
  • Monthly gasoline throughput log (reported in total gallons of gasoline per month)
  • Stage I/II training certificate and/or approval letter of training (issued by a qualified Stage I and II trainer)

How to Apply for a Stage II Registration Certificate?

New or newly renovated gas dispensing facilities having installed and tested the Stage II Vapor Recovery System must register with the Illinois EPA. The Stage II registration form must be completed and returned to the Illinois EPA within 30 days after the facility has completely installed and tested the Stage II Vapor Recovery System. Existing facilities having modified their Stage II systems or changed ownership or lost their original registration certificate will need to re-register (using the registration form) to obtain the registration certificate. There are no fees involved with registering.

If for any reason you cannot download and print the registration form, please contact Jerry Clark of Illinois EPA at 217/524-1096 and request to obtain a hard copy.

Compliance Inspections

Each gas dispensing facility subject to Stage II control requirements will be inspected shortly after its registration and annually thereafter. The inspection will be performed by the Illinois EPA or its delegates, e.g., Department of Agriculture, Cook County Department of Environmental Control, or City of Chicago Department of Environment. The inspectors will be checking all records relating to Stage I and Stage II Vapor Recovery requirements, inspecting vapor control equipment that appears to be malfunctioning, and detecting any leaks that may occur within the system. Nearly all inspections are conducted unannounced. It is the facility owner's or operator's responsibility to be present, or to have a designee in attendance, in the event of an inspection and provide records to the inspectors upon request.

Penalties

Penalties for violating air pollution regulations can be as high as $50,000 per violation and $10,000 for each day the violation continues.

Assistance with Stage II Vapor Recovery Rules and Regulations

Stage II Vapor Recovery rules are specifically stated under Section 218.586 of Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code. If you have any questions, need assistance, or request a copy of the rules, you may contact Jerry Clark of Illinois EPA at 217/524-1096.

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