Stage II Vapor Recovery Decommissioning

Gas Station PumpIn 2012, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that ORVR was in “widespread use” and that Stage II emission benefits are now greatly reduced (only approximately 1 ton/day estimated emission benefits with Stage II, compared with 12 tons/day in 1995). Once these systems were no longer beneficial the EPA allowed states to remove the requirement for vapor recovery installation on gas station facilities.  

 Updated 11/20/15
Georgia: As of October 26, 2015 all stage II vapor control requirements for new and upgraded gas stations has been removed and all Stage II equipment can be decommissioned. For more information on the latest ruling visit: Federal Register Georgia Stage II Vapor Recovery Ruling

Florida: Stage II Programs were phased out in 2009 and as of October 2015 all rules pertaining to the Stage II program were removed from regulations. For more information on Florida regulations visit: Federal Register Florida Stage II Vapor Recover Ruling

Stage II Vapor Recovery Regulations FAQ

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), during a meeting on April 10, 2014, issued information detailing the allowable timeframe and protocol for Stage II decommissioning. Below are some frequently asked questions on this topic.

1. Are there any regulatory requirements for replacing hanging hardware?

No. There are no regulatory requirements for hanging hardware replacement. Under certain circumstances, the pump operating system at your site may not work with the current hanging hardware. In that instance, hanging hardware replacement would be necessary. Another cost saving measure, adopted by EPD, is that breaking concrete to access the tank top for Stage II decommissioning will not be required.

2. What is the process for decommissioning the Stage II system?

The general procedures for Stage II decommissioning will be to first, stop all fueling operations at your site. Then, relieve pressure in the tank ullage and drain and collect all liquid from collection points. Next, disconnect the electrical components of the Stage II vapor recovery system (VRS) and remove all vapor pumping and processing units. The dispenser electronics must be reprogrammed to reflect that the Stage II VRS is no longer in service. The next step is to securely seal off and cap the below grade vapor piping at a height below the level of the base of the dispenser. Also, the lower end of the vapor piping inside each dispenser cabinet should be sealed, so that it is vapor tight. If accessible, the below grade vapor piping at the tank end should be sealed off and capped. If needed, hanging hardware for dispensers should be replaced. All instructions regarding Stage II must be removed from all dispenser cabinets. Appropriate pressure/vacuum vent valves must be installed. The final step is to visibly inspect the fueling system to make sure that it is in a condition what will reliably prevent the release of vapors/liquids from any system component, and then restore the facility to operating status.

3. What should I do after I decommission the Stage II system?

Pressure decay and tie-tank testing must then be completed, with proper five business day notifications given and results submitted to EPD. Please note that testing must be completed within 30 days after Stage II decommissioning, and results must be submitted to EPD within 30 days after completion of testing. In the rare instance that, during testing, diesel tanks are found to be manifolded to gasoline tanks, breaking concrete must be completed to disconnect the two systems.

4. What are the timelines for decommission?

EPD should decommission a system no later than April 30, 2016.

Please be aware that annual Stage II testing is and will still be required, until decommissioning occurs. Stage II at the whole site must be decommissioned (no partial decommissioning). Once dispensing at the site is closed for decommissioning, it must remain closed until the whole site has been decommissioned (Site may re-open before testing). Proper Stage II decommissioning notifications, testing, and reporting must be completed. All steps outlined herein must be completed, or hefty, non-negotiable fines will be levied by EPD.

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