Gasoline Dispensing Facilities

UPDATE: Stage II for New or Major Modified Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (GDFs)

DEQ has determined that Stage II is no longer needed in Virginia's attainment and maintenance plans, which are approved into the Virginia State Implementation Plan (SIP).  DEQ has also determined that onboard refueling vapor recovery, (ORVR) will be in widespread use in the Richmond area by January 1, 2017, and became in widespread use in northern Virginia as of January 1, 2014.  Because Stage II is no longer needed for the control of ozone in these areas, Virginia submitted amendments to remove it from the SIP on November 12, 2013 (Richmond) and on March 19, 2014 (northern Virginia). EPA approved these amendments on August 11, 2014 (Richmond) and May 26, 2015 (northern Virginia).  Virginia then amended the specific Stage II requirements found in Article 37 of 9VAC5-40, which became effective July 30, 2015. 

Owners of GDFs located in the northern Virginia area may decommission their Stage II equipment in accordance with the PEI RP300-09 Decommission Checklist and ACG-003, Guidance for Decommissioning or Maintenance of Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities in the Northern Virginia and Richmond Volatile Organic Compound Control Emission Control Areas. Owners who opt to maintain their Stage II equipment must continue to meet the requirements of Article 37.

As of January 1, 2017, owners of GDFs located in the Richmond areamay decommission their Stage II equipment in accordance with the PEI RP300-09 Decommission Checklist. Prior to January 1, 2017, owners should consult ACG-003, Guidance for Decommissioning or Maintenance of Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities in the Northern Virginia and Richmond Volatile Organic Compound Control Emission Control Areas; activities after this date remain subject to the notification requirements of ACG-003. Owners who opt to maintain their Stage II equipment must continue to meet the requirements of Article 37.

Additional Links

Definitions for Stage 1 and II Facilities

Average Monthly Throughput (AMT) - average monthly amount of gasoline pumped at a gasoline dispensing facility during the two most recent consecutive calendar years, or some other two year period which is representative of normal source operation. Downtime, such as a full or significant shutdown of a facility's operation due to construction, shall not be included when calculating average monthly throughput.

Certified Stage II Vapor Recovery System - any system certified by California Air Resources Board (CARB) as having a vapor recovery or removal efficiency of at least 95% and approved under the provisions of AQP-9, (also see; 9 VAC 5-20-121).

Defective Equipment - any absence, disconnection, or malfunctioning of a Stage II vapor recovery system component required by this article including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. A vapor return line that is crimped, flattened, blocked, or that has any hole, or slit that allows vapors to leak out;
  2. A nozzle bellow that has any hole large enough to allow a 1/4 inch diameter cylindrical rod to pass through it or any slit one inch or more in length;
  3. A nozzle faceplate or cone that is torn or missing over 25% of its surface;
  4. A nozzle with no automatic overfill control mechanism, or an inoperable overfill control mechanism; and

An inoperable or malfunctioning vapor processing unit, vacuum generating device, pressure, or vacuum relief valve, vapor check valve, or any other equipment normally used to dispense gasoline or is required by Article 37.

Environmental Compliance Device
- see Vapor Escape Guard.

Face Cone/Faceplate - see Splash Guard.Gasoline - any petroleum distillate having a Reid vapor pressure of four pounds per square inch or greater.

Gasoline Dispensing Facility - any site where gasoline is dispensed to motor vehicle tanks from stationary storage tanks.

Independent Small Business Gasoline Marketer (ISBGM) - a person engaged in the marketing of gasoline who owns one, or more gasoline dispensing facilities, and is required to pay for procurement and installation of vapor recovery equipment, unless such owner;

  1. Is a refiner; controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, a refiner; or is otherwise directly or indirectly affiliated with a refiner, or with a person who controls, is controlled by, or is under a common control with a refiner (unless the sole affiliation is by means of a supply contract, or an agreement, or contract to use a trademark, trade name, service mark, or other identifying symbol or name owned by such refiner or any such person); or
  2. Receives less than 50% of his annual income from refining, or marketing of gasoline.

Inspector - any VA Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) employee designated as having the authority to conduct official compliance evaluations (a.k.a. inspections).

Major System Modification - the replacement, repair or upgrade of 75% of a facility's Stage II vapor recovery system equipment.

Nozzle - the spout at the end of the gasoline hose used to dispense and control the flow of gasoline from a stationary gasoline storage tank into motor vehicle fuel tanks.

Nozzle Bellows - a flexible component of a nozzle on a Stage II Balance System that is compressed to establish a seal between the nozzle faceplate and filler neck of the motor vehicle fuel tank.

Operator - a dealer, or other person who is responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of a gasoline dispensing facility and who is subject to the inspection, training, and reporting requirements.

Owner - any person, including bodies politic or corporate, associations, partnerships, personal representatives, trustees and committees, as well as individuals who own, lease, operate, control or supervise an operation involving the storage, or transfer of petroleum liquids, or both.

Splash Guard - a flexible disk that fits over a nozzle spout. The sole purpose of a splash guard is to minimize the customers expose to gasoline that may splash out of the vehicle during the fuel transfer process. The disk slides over the nozzle spout and is not required to demonstrate compliance with Virginia’s regulations because it does not affect the control efficiency of the vapor recovery system.

State II Vapor Recovery System - any equipment designed and used to collect, recover, or destroy, or any combination of those, gasoline vapors displaced during the transfer of gasoline into a motor vehicle fuel tank.

Tag Out of Service - to place out of service by use of a conspicuously located tag, or sign on a nozzle that prohibits the use of any nozzle associated with defective equipment.

Type 1 Safety Vest - an orange safety vest that is designed for use in parking areas where speeds do not exceed 25 miles per hour.

Vacuum Assist System - an assist system designed to enhance vapor recovery at the nozzle/fill pipe interface by drawing in vapors using a vacuum. This design allows assist systems to recover vapors effectively without a tight seal at the nozzle/fill pipe interface.

Vapor Balance System - operates on the principle of positive displacement during gasoline transfer operations. Balance systems use pressure created in the vehicle fuel tank by the incoming liquid gasoline and the slight negative pressure created in the storage tank by the departing liquid to transfer the vapors through the combustion fuel dispensing/vapor collection nozzle, through the vapor passage, and into the service station tank. Because a slight pressure is generally created at the nozzle/fill pipe interface, effective operation requires that a tight seal be made at the interface during vehicle fueling to minimize vapor leakage into the atmosphere.

Vapor Escape Guard (VEG or ECD - a small flexible cone shaped boot installed on the nozzle spout. VEG’s and ECD’s are an integral part of the vapor collection system and can easily be identified because they are required to be secured to the nozzle by a mechanical clasp or seal.

Determining Which Stage I and Stage II Regulations Apply

Available Exemptions from Stage I and II Requirements

You are exempt from Stage I and II regulatory requirements if your Average Monthly Throughput (AMT) is less than 10,000 gallons and has never been 10, 000 gallons or more since January 1, 1993, and/or if your storage tank is less than 250 gallons in capacity. In either case, owners are required to maintain adequate records of AMT and furnish these records to DEQ upon request.

You can be exempt from Stage II regulatory requirements if you qualify as an Independent Small Business Gasoline Marketer (ISBGM), and if your AMT is more than 10,000 gallons and less than 50,000 gallons; and you, as an owner/operator, are not affiliated with a refinery; and 50% or more of your annual income comes from the sale of gasoline. Regulatory citation: 9 VAC 5-40-5220 E-3(a) and 9 VAC 5-40-5220F-4(6)

Determining if Stage I Requirements Apply

You are required to follow Stage I requirements, if your AMT is 10,000 gallons or more, and your station is located in Arlington County, Alexandria City, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Loudoun County, Falls Church City, Prince William County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City, Stafford County, Charles City County, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Prince George County, Richmond City, Hopewell City, Colonial Heights City, Petersburg City, Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Salem City, James City County, Poquoson City, York County, Isle of Wight County, Gloucester County, Portsmouth City, Chesapeake City, Suffolk City, Hampton City, Virginia Beach City, Newport News City, Williamsburg City, or Norfolk City.

Determining if Stage II Requirements Apply

If you are subject to Stage I requirements and your AMT is 10,000 gallons or more, first determine if you are exempt as an ISBGM. If you are not considered an ISBGM, and the owner has not filed an ISBGM affidavit with your regional DEQ office, then you are required to follow Stage I requirements and Stage II requirements if you do not choose to properly decommission.

You are required to follow Stage I and maintain Stage II requirements if you chose to not to properly decommission, if your AMT is 10,000 gallons or more and you are not an ISBGM, and your station is located in Arlington County, Alexandria City, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Loudoun County, Falls Church City, Prince William County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City, Stafford County, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Colonial Heights City, Hopewell City, Richmond City, or Charles City County. Regulatory citation: 9 VAC 5-40-5200 (Rule 4-37).

Requirements for Stage I Vapor Control Systems for Tanks

Regulation Citation: 9 VAC 5-40-5220 (E); 9 VAC 5-40-5230 (E)

No gasoline from any delivery truck can be transferred into a stationary storage tank unless the tank is equipped with a vapor control system. The vapor control system must be able to remove, destroy, or prevent 90% (by weight) of any discharge of gasoline vapors (volatile organic compound emissions).

Before gasoline can be transferred from a delivery truck to the tank the owner must ensure that the vapor control system consists of:  

  • A submerged fill pipe.
  • A vapor recovery system that includes:
    • A vapor tight return line from the storage container to the tank truck must be connected before gasoline is transferred from the truck to the tank.
    • Any adsorption or condensation system
    • A system that has equal to or better control efficiency – this must be approved by DEQ.

The vapor balancing system must meet the following requirements:

  • NO LEAKS during loading or unloading in the tank trucks pressure vacuum relief valves and hatch covers, the truck tank, the storage tank, or vapor return lines.
  • Pressure Relief Valves on the storage tank and the tank truck should be set to release at no less than .7 psi or at the highest possible pressure allowed by the National Fire Prevention Association of Standards: Standard for Tank Vehicles for Flammable and Combustible Liquids; Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code; Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages. (NFPA, Batterymarch Park, Quincy Mass. [617] 770- 3000).
  • Pressure in the vapor collection lines should not exceed the tank truck pressure relief valve settings.
  • All loading and vapor lines must be equipped with fittings which make vapor tight connections and which close when disconnected.
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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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