As previously reported MIRA opposed the initial Ohio EPA plan to exempt ground-up, new-to-industry locations from the requirement to install Stage II because we feel current operators should also be exempt if they make the appropriate upgrades. MIRA met with Ohio EPA and industry leaders on Nov. 5, and Ohio EPA has agreed to work on existing gas station owners to make certain modifications without having to meet the complete ground-up requirements. This means that once this is approved, they will not have to utilize Stage II if they meet all the requirements. Watch for a new report on the requirements as soon as they are approved. This is a work in progress and some groups in Ohio like OPMCA (a jobber oriented group) was pushing for original EPA plan and resisted including existing station owners in at the November 5th meeting. Please contact your jobber and ask why OPMCA would do this?
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead with a rewrite of regulations that require installation and maintenance of Stage II vapor recovery systems on fuel dispensers in counties where these are required by clean air regulations.
A draft of a revised regulation is being circulated. The draft provides that by June 30, 2017, fuel dispensing facility operators shall decommission their Stage II recovery systems, and replace them with dripless dispenser nozzles and low permeation dispenser hoses.
Further, under the revised regulation, the Stage II vapor recovery requirements would not apply to new or rebuilt gasoline dispensing facilities, which may instead use the dripless nozzle/low permeation hose alternative.
All indicators are that the new regulatory alternative for capturing vapors and drips will be considerably less expensive for petroleum retailers than the current Stage II program.
Completion of the regulatory rewrite process will probably not occur until 2013. Retailers in Stage II areas would be wise to consider delays in any dispenser replacements/upgrades until the new regulation is finalized. (Glenn Waggoner, Pepple & Waggoner, Ltd., Legal Counsel – Ohio)