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Gasoline Vapor Recovery (Stages I and II)

Information on Stage I and II gasoline vapor recovery programs including equipment, testing, and operation requirements. Requirements vary by county as described here.

Many of the documents linked from this page are in Portable Document Format (PDF). (Help with PDF.)

Stage II Vapor Recovery Equipment Decommissioning

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved revisions to 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 115, Subchapter C, Division 4 and Texas’ State Implementation Plan (SIP) for decommissioning Stage II vapor recovery equipment at gasoline dispensing facilities (GDF). Stage II vapor recovery is technology that prevents gasoline vapors from escaping into the air during refueling. It was required under the Federal Clean Air Act until the EPA issued a decision that on-board vapor recovery was in widespread use throughout the vehicle fleet, allowing states to request that requirements for Stage II be removed from their SIPs.

Amended 30 TAC Chapter 115 specifies that owners or operators of new GDFs are not required to install Stage II equipment, and existing facilities in the current program areas may decommission Stage II equipment. The revision to the Texas SIP removes Stage II requirements from the SIP and demonstrates that the one-hour and 1997 eight-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards in current Stage II counties will not be negatively affected by removal of Stage II equipment. The effective date of EPA’s approval of the rule and SIP revisions is April 16, 2014.

Gasoline stations may begin the process of removing Stage II equipment on May 16, 2014 providing that all other requirements for decommissioning have been met, including appropriate notification. Owners and operators of GDFs must submit the Decommissioning Notification Form (http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/compliance/field_ops/fod_forms/vapor_recov/form20689.pdf) to the appropriate TCEQ Regional Office at least 30-calendar days before any physical decommissioning activities begin. Decommissioning must include the entire GDF site.

Owners and operators of GDFs that elect to continue with their Stage II equipment can do so, but must continue to test, repair, replace, retrofit, and maintain the Stage II equipment in accordance with current Stage II requirements.

All decommissioning must be completed by August 31, 2018.

For questions concerning the Stage II decommissioning process, please contact Sarah Thomas at (512) 239-4939 or

Chapter 115 Stakeholder Group - Stage I and II Stakeholder Meetings

Please visit the TCEQ Chapter 115 Stakeholder page for more information on the dates and times of the Stage I and II Stakeholder meetings. 

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United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ORVR Widespread Use Final Rule and Guidance for States on Removing Stage II Programs

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Stage II Vapor Recovery System Enforcement Discretion Directive

 Enforcement Discretion Directive

The Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will exercise enforcement discretion for potential violations of 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Part 1, Chapter 115, Subchapter C, Division 4, which requires approved and certified Stage II vapor recovery systems at gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs) in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area; Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; El Paso County; and Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange Counties in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. This enforcement discretion only applies to:

  1. any new GDF that began construction of permanent gasoline dispensing equipment at this facility on or after May 16, 2012, and would otherwise be required to install Stage II equipment;
  2. any new GDF that has not begun dispensing fuel and began construction before May 16, 2012, and can certify that Stage II equipment has not begun to be installed at the facility; or
  3. GDFs that become subject to Stage II requirements due to an increase in throughput on or after May 16, 2012, and would otherwise be required to install Stage II equipment; and
  4. transport vessels that dispense gasoline to GDFs listed in 1, 2, or 3 of this enforcement discretion directive.

GDFs currently equipped with Stage II systems must continue to comply with existing Stage II requirements in 30 TAC Part 1, Chapter 115, Subchapter C, Division 4. Also, GDFs that meet the requirements of this directive must continue to comply with the Stage I requirements in 30 TAC Part 1, Chapter 115, Subchapter C, Division 2. A violation of effective regulations may subject the violator to enforcement. The TCEQ will continue to evaluate the Stage II regulations for possible decommission of Stage II systems from all program areas.

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Withdrawal of the Stage II Vapor Recovery Program State Implementation Plan Revision

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (commission or TCEQ) is withdrawing the proposed revision to the Stage II Vapor Recovery Program state implementation plan (SIP). The proposed SIP revision would have requested the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to waive the requirement to implement Stage II in the five outlying Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) counties of Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, and Rockwall.

As a result, the commission has cancelled the public hearings scheduled in Waxahachie on May 22, 2012, and in Austin on May 24, 2012. The purpose of these hearings would have been to receive public testimony regarding the proposed revision to the Stage II Vapor Recovery Program SIP.

The EPA finalized a rulemaking (published in the May 16, 2012, Federal Register, 77 FR 28772) for 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 51, determining that on-board refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) technology is in widespread use for the purposes of controlling motor vehicle refueling emissions throughout the motor vehicle fleet. This action allows the EPA to waive the requirement for states to implement Stage II gasoline vapor recovery systems at gasoline dispensing facilities in nonattainment areas classified as serious and above for the ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Since the EPA rule determining that widespread use of ORVR technology has been finalized, the commission is withdrawing this SIP revision with the waiver request for the five-outlying DFW counties. The EPA's ORVR widespread use determination does not obligate states to remove existing Stage II vapor recovery requirements.

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Descriptions of Stage I and Stage II

The federal Clean Air Act includes several program requirements for areas not meeting the national ambient air quality standards. The Act requires each state to develop and implement a State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIPs include descriptions of control strategies, or measures to deal with pollution. Stage I and Stage II are two strategies helping Texas achieve its goals for air quality.

Stage I vapor recovery is a control strategy to capture gasoline vapors that are released when gasoline is delivered to a storage tank. The vapors are returned to the tank truck as the storage tank is being filled with fuel, rather than released to the ambient air.

Stage II is the control strategy that captures gasoline vapors when a vehicle is being fueled at the pump. The vapors are returned through the pump hose to the petroleum storage tank instead of being released into the air. On some vehicles, Stage II vapor-recovery systems help capture up to 95 percent of harmful gasoline vapors that may otherwise be released to the atmosphere.

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Stage I Requirements

Stage I is required in covered attainment counties by the Texas Administrative Code: 30 TAC 115.10(10) at facilities dispensing more than 100,000 gallons of gasoline a month (effective October 31, 2014).

Facilities dispensing more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline per month and located in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area (Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange Counties), the Dallas-Fort Worth area (Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties), the El Paso area (El Paso County), and the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties) were required to have Stage I equipment installed no later than January 1, 1991.

Facilities dispensing more than 25,000 gallons of gasoline a month and located in either the Austin Early Action Compact Area (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties) or the San Antonio Early Action Compact Area (Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, and Wilson Counties) were required to have Stage I equipment installed no later than December 31, 2005.

Facilities dispensing more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline per month and located in Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, or Rockwall County must have Stage I equipment installed no later than June 15, 2007.

This Texas Stage I Program area map, effective October 31, 2014, represents the requirements by county area.

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Stage II Requirements

Gasoline-dispensing facilities located in the 16 counties in these ozone nonattainment areas—

Houston-Galveston Area: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties;
Beaumont–Port Arthur Area: Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange counties;
El Paso Area: El Paso County;
Dallas–Fort Worth Area: Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties

—must be equipped with Stage I vapor-recovery equipment to control emissions of volatile organic compounds. These facilities must comply with annual testing procedures, proper operation and maintenance and other training requirements.

Facilities with Stage II vapor-recovery equipment in these ozone nonattainment areas may decommission starting May 16, 2014. Owners and operators of GDFs that elect to continue with their Stage II equipment in these ozone nonattainment areas can do so, but must continue to test, repair, replace, retrofit, and maintain the Stage II equipment in accordance with current Stage II requirements.

Current Stage I and Stage II rules.

All new installations of Stage II equipment after April 1, 2005, must be Onboard Refueling and Vapor Recovery compatible [see RULE §115.240 (a) (3)]. All existing Stage II installations must be ORVR compatible by April 1, 2007.

Swivel adapters must have been installed by July 1, 2004. See TCEQ's Bulletin to Owners and Operators of Gasoline Dispensing Facilities for a list of approved adapters.

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Training: Gas Station Stage II Vapor Recovery Representatives

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Stage II Tester Documents

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Stage I and II Texas Tested Equipment Approvals

 

Certified by Third Party in Texas

Certified by California Air Resources Board (CARB)

CARB Executive Orders

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Vapor Recovery Test Procedures Handbook: Corrections and Clarifications

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Procedures for Vapor-Recovery Testing

Proper procedures for vapor-recovery testing can be found in the Vapor Recovery Test Procedures Handbook (see also the preceding links for corrections and clarifications). All tests, to be considered valid, must be conducted either by a TCEQ listed tester or in the presence of a TCEQ inspector. The following forms should be used for test notification and reporting:

  • TCEQ 10501—Stage II Vapor Recovery Pre-Test Notification Form
  • TCEQ 10502—Vapor Recovery Test Result Cover Sheet
  • TCEQ 10503 (TXP-101)—Vapor Space Manifolding Test Report and Facility Layout Form
  • TCEQ 10504—Pressure Decay Test Data
  • TCEQ 10505 (TXP-102)—Pressure Gauge Calibration Form
  • TCEQ 10506 (TXP-103-1)—Dynamic Back-Pressure Data: Nozzle Method
  • TCEQ 10507 (TXP-103-2)—Dynamic Back-Pressure Data: Vapor Piping Method
  • TCEQ 10508 (TXP-104)—Gasoline Flow Rate Performance Data
  • TCEQ 10509 (TXP-105)—Liquid Removal Device Performance Data
  • TCEQ 10510 (TXP-106-1)—Vapor to Liquid Ratio Data (Also used to report A/L data from CARB TP-201.5)
  • TCEQ 10511 (TXP-106-2)—Air to Liquid Ratio Data for Hasstech Testing Equipment
  • TCEQ 10512 (TXP-107)—Determination of Healy Booted Nozzle Operation
  • Stage II Vapor Recovery A/L Test (TXP-106) Reference Tables

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Fugitive Emissions and Motor Vehicle Refueling Observation Study

TCEQ staff conducted a study in November 2005 using an infrared camera to observe emissions from a variety of potential sources at a gasoline dispensing facility.

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