PA 15-160—sHB 6730

Environment Committee

General Law Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ENFORCEMENT OF STAGE I VAPOR RECOVERY RESTRICTIONS AND SULFUR CONTENT REQUIREMENTS FOR DISTILLATE FUELS

SUMMARY: This act establishes a procedure under which the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner may enforce proper operation of stage I vapor control recovery systems at gasoline dispensing facilities, such as gas stations. Stage I systems prevent the discharge of gasoline vapors into the air when gas is transferred from a delivery vehicle to a facility.

The act allows the commissioner to place a disabling device on a facility's dispenser to prevent its use if the system (1) was not tested within the past year or (2) is improperly operating. It gives facility owners or operators an opportunity for a hearing.

The act prohibits facility owners or operators from putting a dispenser back into service until (1) the commissioner determines the violation is remedied or (2) they submit a written affidavit certifying the violation is corrected.

The act also authorizes the DEEP commissioner to enforce the law on sulfur content of home heating oil and off-road diesel fuel by using the methods and standards established in regulations on sulfur content for stationary sources (Conn. Agencies Reg. 22a-174-19b). The regulations set procedures for, among other things, (1) seeking to sell or burn fuel with higher sulfur content than allowed by law, (2) determining compliance with the sulfur content standards, and (3) recordkeeping and reporting.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

STAGE I SYSTEM ENFORCEMENT

Disabling Device

Under the act, the commissioner may place a disabling device on a facility's dispenser if he determines the (1) facility's owner or operator failed to perform the annual pressure decay (integrity) test of the vapor recovery system, as required by law, or (2) system is not operating as required by agency regulations (Conn. Agencies Regs. 22a-174-30). For the latter, he may only do so after giving the owner or operator 48 hours' notice.

The act prohibits removing, altering, defacing, or tampering with a disabling device, except to correct a violation. The facility must correct all violations that caused a disabling device to be placed on a dispenser, to the commissioner's satisfaction, before the dispenser is put back into service or used to dispense gasoline.

Hearing

The act affords the owner or operator of a facility with a disabling device placed on its dispenser the opportunity for a hearing. It limits the hearing's purpose to determining whether a violation occurred and if it continues. The hearing must be held within two business days after the commissioner places the device on the dispenser.

Return to Service

Under the act, a facility owner or operator may return a system to service if he or she:

1. notifies the commissioner that each violation was fully corrected and the commissioner agrees or

2. provides the commissioner with a written affidavit fully describing the actions taken to correct each violation and certifying that each violation was corrected before returning the system to service.

If the commissioner receives the notice of correction from the owner or operator, he must determine whether a violation was corrected within 24 hours. If he receives the affidavit, he must review the corrective actions on the day the system is returned to service or on the next business day, if it is returned to service on a weekend or legal holiday.

BACKGROUND

Oil and Fuel Sulfur Content

By law, until June 30, 2018, the maximum sulfur content allowed in number two heating oil is 500 parts per million (ppm) (0. 05%) by weight. After that date, it declines to 15ppm (0. 0015%). The maximum sulfur content allowed in number two off-road diesel fuel is 0. 3% by weight. These amounts apply to fuel sold, offered for sale, distributed, or used in Connecticut. The commissioner may suspend these requirements in an emergency (CGS 16a-21a).

OLR Tracking: KLM; JO; SD; BS