EPA Ruling Sets Stage for a Gas Pump Change

Husky develops vapor recovery-system replacement

PACIFIC, Mo. -- Motorists accustomed to filling up at gas pumps with vapor-collecting attachments on the nozzles could be in for a change. Those nozzles belong to Stage II vapor-recovery systems, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled no longer cost effectively cut air pollution. And states are increasingly allowing them to be decommissioned. EPA estimates eliminating Stage II systems will save gas stations $3,000 each year.

Husky Corp., an industry leader in developing innovative fuel nozzles, safe-t-breaks and accessories, has developed a preassembled solution so fuel marketers can easily decommission Stage II systems. Husky's EZ Connect allows fuel marketers to replace the old hose assembly in one step with conventional hardware that is professionally thread-inspected then tested for pressure and continuity to assure safety and top performance.

"Customers asked us to develop this professionally assembled package to make the decommissioning project as easy as possible," said Husky executive vice president Brad Baker.

The EPA ruled that Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR), technology in all new vehicles sold since 2006 that captures gas vapors during refueling, will soon surpass emission reductions delivered by Stage II systems alone. Stage II systems have been required in approximately 53 ozone nonattainment areas and ozone transport regions. But many states are seeking EPA approval to decommission them.

"Since approval will be needed to decommission Stage II systems, it's a good idea for fuel marketers to be proactive in planning to replace them," Baker said.

Decommissioning involves properly shutting down the Stage II equipment that collects gas vapor and transfers it to the underground storage tanks. Fuel marketers are advised to check with the proper agency in their region to learn about the status of the Stage II vapor recovery program.

Regulations require facilities to decommission their entire existing Stage II system by following the applicable steps listed in the Petroleum Equipment Institute's Recommended Practices for Installation and Testing of Vapor Recovery Systems at Vehicle-Fueling Sites, PE/RP300-09, Section 14, Decommissioning Stage II Vapor Recovery Piping. All Stage II hanging hardware must be replaced with conventional hanging hardware.