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Regulation Revisions to Vapor Emission Control Requirements at Gas Stations in Delaware


For more than 20 years, gasoline stations throughout Delaware have installed and operated vapor recovery equipment to capture gasoline vapors from a vehicle’s fuel tank when refueling. This technology, known as Stage II vapor recovery, has significantly reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. VOCs contribute to summertime smog and also contain certain air toxics.

Beginning in 1998, new vehicles were equipped with on-board refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) canisters. For these vehicles, the vapors displaced during refueling are controlled through the vehicle’s canister, not through the Stage II system. In May 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule in which the EPA determined that ORVR technology was in widespread use, and as such, was largely making Stage II vapor recovery obsolete.

The Delaware Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has evaluated the shrinking benefit of Stage II as older vehicles are replaced with newer ORVR-equipped vehicles, and has determined that alternative requirements at gas stations would be more cost effective than retaining the requirement to install, operate and maintain Stage II systems. Therefore, DAQ has embarked on an effort to revise the vapor recovery regulations.

Goals of the Regulatory Changes
- All gas stations should be well-controlled for vapor emissions,
- Provide flexibility to station owners in meeting the new requirements; and
- Not increase overall costs compared to current requirements.

Rule-Making Development Process
A review committee consisting of gas station owners and operators, petroleum marketers, tank testing companies, public interest groups, and DNREC staff from DAQ and the Tanks Management Section, was organized to discuss relevant issues and assess technologies that will protect air quality while limiting the burden on the regulated community. The committee was tasked with reviewing and commenting on draft revised regulatory language. The committee met five times from August 2013 to June 2014.

As a result of recommendations by the review committee, DAQ proposed a revision to the Stage II Vapor Recovery regulations contained in 7 Del Admin Code 1124, Section 36.0, "Stage II Vapor Recovery." The final regulation revision became effective on Sept. 11, 2015.

Continuous Pressure Monitoring Trial Period Regulatory Revision to 1124, Section 36 Public Hearing Comment List
Hearing Comments - Package A
Hearing Comments - Package B
LWVDE Comments

August 28, 2014 Public Hearing Transcript

Public Hearing Record: Comment period extended to Oct. 6, 2014 

Summary of This Regulation

Draft Amendments to Regulation 1124 Section 36.0 "Stage II Vapor Recovery" Updated for the 8/28/14 Public Hearing

Draft Amendments to Regulation 1124 Section 36.0  "Stage II Vapor Recovery"

Stage II Cost Benefit Analysis (Updated 8/28/14)

Delaware Break-Even Point Analysis - February 2012 

Delaware Break-Even Point Analysis - 2014 Update

Proposed Revision
The proposed revision was published in the Aug.1, 2014 Delaware Register of Regulations and can be found here.

Public Hearing
A public hearing took place on Aug. 28, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Richardson & Robbins Building Auditorium in DNREC's office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. The public comment period remained open through  Oct. 6, 2014. 

   Register Notice
   Legal Notice

For more Information, please contact:

David Fees
Division of Air Quality-DNREC
100 W. Water Street, Suite 6A, Dover, DE  19904
(302) 739-9402

Last modified: 5/16/16

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