Environmental Management Assistance Program
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Author: Jeremy

Emergency Air Quality Regulation for Existing Conventional Oil & Gas Sources Adopted

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) adopted an emergency rule limiting volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and methane emissions from existing conventional oil and gas sources earlier today. The emergency rulemaking establishes the VOC emission limitations for existing conventional oil and gas sources based on Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements consistent with EPA’s recommendations. These sources include natural gas-driven continuous bleed pneumatic controllers, natural gas-driven diaphragm pumps, reciprocating compressors, centrifugal compressors, fugitive emissions components and storage vessels installed at conventional well sites, gathering and boosting stations and natural gas processing plants, as well as storage vessels in the natural gas transmission and storage segment. The rulemaking is final and effective as of December 2, 2022.

Applications for Medium & Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Fleet Grants now open

The Department of Environmental Protection is now accepting applications for grants through the Driving PA Forward Initiative’s Medium and Heavy-Duty (MHD) Zero-Emission Vehicle Fleet Pilot Grant Program.  The deadline for applications is March 1. For more information, visit the Driving PA Forward MHD-ZEV Fleet webpage.

2023 Dry Cleaner Compliance Calendar Available

Digital versions of the 2023 Dry Cleaner Compliance Calendar are now available for download.  You can access a copy here or by visiting EMAP’s page for dry cleaners.  Hard copy versions should be available soon. These calendars contain important record-keeping elements designed to assist Pennsylvania dry cleaners comply with state and federal regulations.   It is important for dry cleaners that the calendar is an annual record of compliance and should be kept for a period of five (5) years.

Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Advantage Grant Now Open

Pennsylvania DEP officially opened the Small Business Advantage Grant Program on October 8, 2022.
This grant assists small businesses who are looking to make pollution prevention, energy efficiency, or natural resource conservation projects. Here are some important details on the grant:
    • The grant program operates on a first-come, first-served basis and provides matching grants which range from a maximum of 50% or $5,000 up to 80% or $8,000. The variation in grant funding amount is determined by whether the project is located in an environmental justice area, it results in significant environmental savings, or both.
    • Eligible projects must save the small businesses with a minimum of $500 per year and at least 20% in annual energy consumption or pollution-related expenses.
 

Update on Control of VOC Emissions from Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (Stage I & Stage II)

UPDATE: Effective on August 20, 2022, Pennsylvania DEP is suspending the enforcement of a specific monitoring requirement – the inspection of the gasoline storage tank automatic tank gauge (ATG) cap.  The reason for the suspension is that after a review of the rule’s requirements it was determined that the likelihood of the ATG being compromised is very low and the verification of the ATG status after every gasoline truck delivery can be problematic and difficult to access.  Please note that the suspension of this specific monitoring requirement does not affect owners or operators of gasoline dispensing facilities relief from other Stage I & Stage II requirements.  Additional information can found in the August 20, 2022 issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin which can be found here.

About the Stage I & Stage II Rulemaking

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board finalized a final-form rulemaking that amends air quality regulations related to the control of VOC emissions at gasoline dispensing facilities. The rulemaking went into effect on March 26th, 2022 and targets Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions during the following situations:
  • Loading of underground gasoline storage tanks (or Stage I vapor recovery)
  • Filling of motor vehicles at the pump (or Stage II vapor recovery)
  • During and after decommissioning of Stage II vapor recovery equipment from gasoline dispensing pumps.
The final-form rulemaking also adds and amends definitions related to Stage I and Stage II vapor recovery systems. A copy of the final preamble and regulation can be accessed here.

What is Stage I Vapor Recovery Systems?

“Stage I” refers to a vapor recovery system that controls the emission of gasoline vapors into the atmosphere during the transfer of gas from a gasoline tank truck to a gasoline storage tank at a Gasoline Dispensing Facility (GDF). A properly operating Stage I vapor recovery system returns vapors to the gasoline tank truck.  The equipment and controls of a Stage I system also control the emission of gasoline vapors during the storage of gasoline vapors at a GDF.

What is Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems?

“Stage II” refers to the vapor recovery system that controls the emission of vapors during the transfer of gasoline from a gasoline storage tank at a GDF to a motor vehicle fuel tank.  A Stage II vapor recovery system also controls emissions into the the atmosphere of vapors during the storage of gasoline at a GDF. Stage II vapor recovery technology uses special refueling nozzles, dispensing hoses and a system that draws refueling vapors in the Underground Storage Tank (UST).  A properly operating Stage II system moves the gasoline vapors from the motor vehicle fuel tank druing the refueling of the vehicle into the UST at the GDF.

Who is Affected by This Rulemaking?

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has finalized regulatory requirements for GDF owners and operators to decommission their Stage II vapor recovery system in 12 counties in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.  The compliance date for the decommissioning of Stage II systems is December 31, 2022.
  • The 12 Pennsylvania counties include: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington, and Westmoreland.
  • Owners and operators are those with gasoline throughputs that exceed at anytime >10,000 gallons per month (or 120,000 gallons per year) and independent small business marketers of gasoline that have a monthly throughput >50,000 gallons per month (or 600,000 gallons per year) in the above mentioned 12 Pennsylvania counties.
  • Persons performing decommissioning procedures, leak testing, and repairs at gasoline dispensing facilities.

What Happens After Decommissioning Takes Place?

For those entities that need to decommission their Stage II vapor recovery system by December 31, 2022, a notification form needs to be completed and submitted to the appropriate DEP regional office, Allegheny County Health Department, or Philadelphia Air Management Services.

Where Can I Learn More about this Rulemaking?

Pennsylvania DEP has put together a Frequently Asked Questions on their website for Decommissioning Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities. In addition, Pennsylvania small businesses can always contact EMAP for further information and assistance if this rulemaking may affect your small business operation.  Simply call EMAP’s toll-free environmental hotline at (877) ASK-EMAP or email us at questions@askemap.org.

EPA Amends NESHAP for RICE and NSPS for ICE

On August 10, 2022, EPA published a final rule amending the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R) to reflect a 2015 court decision regarding the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Stationary Internal Combustion Engines (ICE). The court vacated provisions in the regulations specifying that emergency engines could operate for emergency demand response or during periods where there is a deviation of voltage or frequency. To learn more, see EPA’s Fact Sheet or the Final Rule.

Inflation Reduction Act and Small Businesses

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is set to address climate change and other environmental issues that could benefit small businesses. $369 billion in incentives is dedicated to target areas of renewable energy, energy efficient products, and electric vehicles over the next ten years. While the bill is still waiting final approval, you can find summaries of the legislation as well as a summary of investments in climate and equity.

EPA Taking Comments on SNAP Program

On July 28, 2022, pursuant to the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, EPA proposed to list certain substances as acceptable subject to use conditions in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector for chillers – comfort cooling, residential dehumidifiers, non-residential dehumidifiers, residential and light commercial air conditioning, and heat pumps, and a substance as acceptable subject to use conditions and narrowed use limits in very low temperature refrigeration. Through this action, EPA proposes to establish requirements for electrical air conditioners, heat pumps, and dehumidifiers, laboratory equipment containing refrigerant, safe use of flammable refrigerants, and safe design, construction, installation, and operation of refrigeration systems. In addition, EPA proposes to list certain substances as acceptable subject to use conditions in the fire suppression sector for certain streaming and total flooding uses. EPA requests advance comment on potential approaches to SNAP listing decisions for very short-lived substances that have ozone depletion potentials similar to those of ozone-depleting substances scheduled to be phased out. Comments are due September 12, 2022Learn more.

EMAP Program Manager reappointed to DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee

On July 7th, 2022, EMAP Program Manager, Jeremy Hancher, was reappointed to the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee by Governor Tom Wolf for four years. In this role as a committee member, Mr. Hancher helps review proposed and existing regulations and programs that may affect small businesses, assists to assure such regulations are written in clear and understandable terms, and advises DEP of the small business perspective on air quality issues.
Commenting on his reappointment Mr. Hancher noted the following, “It is with profound excitement to continue to serve on this very important committee and help be a voice for Pennsylvania small businesses. I am honored with the responsibilities bestowed by Governor Wolf to continue this service to the small businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”  
The Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee was mandated by the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and fulfills the federal mandate as outlined in Section 507 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Meetings of the committee are held quarterly and are open to the public.

EPA seeks small business input on proposed TSCA rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for small businesses to participate on a panel that will focus on the development of a proposed rule that will focus on potential risks from existing chemicals.  This rule will collect data in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process. To learn more about this opportunity please see this recently published press release by EPA. Small business self-nominations may be submitted through this link and must be received by July 20, 2022.

Abilene Boot selected for the 2022 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

The National Steering Committee (NSC) of the Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have recognized Abilene Boot Company with the 2022 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.

This small boot manufacturer and EMAP client, Abilene Boot Company, based in Somerset, Pennsylvania, received this prestigious award for its accomplishments in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, and sustainability.   Abilene Boot was recognized for working with EMAP in evaluating the company’s air quality compliance for its operations.  This includied reviewing their natural minor operating permit, looking at coating and adhesives usage, calculating their air quality emissions, and quantifying VOCs and HAPs for the small manufacturing operation. Read More    

Control of VOC Emissions from Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (Stage I & Stage II)

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board finalized a final-form rulemaking that amends air quality regulations related to the control of VOC emissions at gasoline dispensing facilities. The rulemaking went into effect on March 26th, 2022 and targets Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions during the following situations:
  • Loading of underground gasoline storage tanks (or Stage I vapor recovery)
  • Filling of motor vehicles at the pump (or Stage II vapor recovery)
  • During and after decommissioning of Stage II vapor recovery equipment from gasoline dispensing pumps.
The final-form rulemaking also adds and amends definitions related to Stage I and Stage II vapor recovery systems. A copy of the final preamble and regulation can be accessed here.

What is Stage I Vapor Recovery Systems?

“Stage I” refers to a vapor recovery system that controls the emission of gasoline vapors into the atmosphere during the transfer of gas from a gasoline tank truck to a gasoline storage tank at a Gasoline Dispensing Facility (GDF). A properly operating Stage I vapor recovery system returns vapors to the gasoline tank truck.  The equipment and controls of a Stage I system also control the emission of gasoline vapors during the storage of gasoline vapors at a GDF.

What is Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems?

“Stage II” refers to the vapor recovery system that controls the emission of vapors during the transfer of gasoline from a gasoline storage tank at a GDF to a motor vehicle fuel tank.  A Stage II vapor recovery system also controls emissions into the the atmosphere of vapors during the storage of gasoline at a GDF. Stage II vapor recovery technology uses special refueling nozzles, dispensing hoses and a system that draws refueling vapors in the Underground Storage Tank (UST).  A properly operating Stage II system moves the gasoline vapors from the motor vehicle fuel tank druing the refueling of the vehicle into the UST at the GDF.

Who is Affected by This Rulemaking?

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has finalized regulatory requirements for GDF owners and operators to decommission their Stage II vapor recovery system in 12 counties in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.  The compliance date for the decommissioning of Stage II systems is December 31, 2022.
  • The 12 Pennsylvania counties include: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Fayette, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Washington, and Westmoreland.
  • Owners and operators are those with gasoline throughputs that exceed at anytime >10,000 gallons per month (or 120,000 gallons per year) and independent small business marketers of gasoline that have a monthly throughput >50,000 gallons per month (or 600,000 gallons per year) in the above mentioned 12 Pennsylvania counties.
  • Persons performing decommissioning procedures, leak testing, and repairs at gasoline dispensing facilities.

What Happens After Decommissioning Takes Place?

For those entities that need to decommission their Stage II vapor recovery system by December 31, 2022, a notification form needs to be completed and submitted to the appropriate DEP regional office, Allegheny County Health Department, or Philadelphia Air Management Services.

Where Can I Learn More about this Rulemaking?

Pennsylvania DEP has put together a Frequently Asked Questions on their website for Decommissioning Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities. In addition, Pennsylvania small businesses can always contact EMAP for further information and assistance if this rulemaking may affect your small business operation.  Simply call EMAP’s toll-free environmental hotline at (877) ASK-EMAP or email us at questions@askemap.org.

Environmental Justice Policy Now Available for Public Comment

After years of preparation and collaboration, an updated Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Environmental Justice Policy is available for official public comment from now until May 11th. The draft policy moves beyond the public participation in the permitting process – it looks at ways DEP can further environmental justice goals in compliance, enforcement, grantmaking, and other aspects of DEP’s work. DEP will host three virtual public hearings in April to accept verbal public comment. Written public comment is also always welcome. Read the updated policy, view the public hearing dates, and learn how to comment at the EJ Policy Revision webpage. The changes that have been discussed and devised with stakeholders for years, including small businesses, are now assembled in a draft policy that has eight sections.
  • General Information includes definitions, history and background, a description of the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), and the Environmental Justice Advisory Board (EJAB).
  • Permit Review Process is the process around implementing additional public input around particular permits when they are submitted.
  • Community Input describes a range of opportunities for public input throughout and before the permit review process.
  • Oil and Gas Public Engagement was a major need identified by community members and was included in the fourth section.
  • Inspections, Compliance, and Enforcement guidance helps the policy move beyond public participation in the permitting process and are covered in the fifth section.
  • Climate Initiatives spells out ways that EJ can be included in the climate action plan and other efforts.
  • Community Development and Investments look to ways to financially assist communities facing environmental justice issues in the seventh section.
  • Policy Updates, the final section, specifies that the policy should be reviewed for updates regularly to ensure that the policy continues to address community concerns.
At the request of stakeholders, this policy goes beyond the current policy’s scope of public participation and meetings during the review of permit applications. This policy integrates environmental justice into more of the Department’s functions including climate initiatives, penalties (Inspections, Compliance, and Enforcement), and grantmaking (Community Development and Investments). Visit the policy revision webpage to review the policy today and learn how to comment. Three virtual public hearings will be held to provide an opportunity to learn more about the policy and provide and opportunity to give verbal public comment.  Virtual public hearing times and information on how to sign up can be found on the EJ policy revision webpage.

Dent Design Hardware selected for 2021 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

The National Steering Committee (NSC) of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have recognized Dent Design Hardware with the 2021 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.

The company, Dent Design Hardware, based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was recognized for its accomplishments in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, and sustainability. EMAP Program Manager Jeremy Hancher commented with the following:
“Dent Design Hardware has been a good role model for very small businesses, especially in the manufacturing sector, challenged with environmental and economic challenges.  Tim Dodge and Dent Design Hardware have worked tirelessly at achieving environmental compliance, reducing waste, and working with Pennsylvania DEP. It is certainly not easy for a small business owner to suddenly become a storm chaser collecting stormwater samples, so we are extremely happy to see Dent Design Hardware be recognized for their positive environmental actions.”
Mr. Tim Dodge, owner of Dent Design, described his environmental philosophy by adding: “DENT uses geo-thermal heating and cooling for the manufacturing location, works only with food-grade materials in our Walk In Hardware line, and strives to be good stewards of the 2.6 acre property which is more than 50% natural growth riparian buffer to ensure that stormwater is absorbed into the ground as much as possible and avoid runoff.”  

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Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.
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