These amendments offer flexibility to conduct “in-service” rather than out-of-service inspections – potentially saving industry between $768,000 and $1,091,000 per year and reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds by as much as 83-tons per year.
“The Trump Administration is delivering on its promise to cut unnecessary regulatory costs while retaining important emissions reductions,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This action shows that environmental protection and a strong domestic energy industry go hand-in-hand.”
These amendments will allow owner/operators of certain large tanks known as Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels to conduct less cumbersome “in-service” inspections of the tanks, without emptying and degassing the storage tank. Since 2018, EPA has received more than 300 requests from facilities seeking permission to conduct in-service inspections to demonstrate compliance with a 1987 Clean Air Act regulation. These one-off requests are time consuming and burdensome for both tank owners and operators and for EPA. The current inspection methods can also be expensive, labor intensive and results in volatile organic compound air emissions and other pollutants from venting and flaring.
Further, EPA understands that in recent months inspecting these large tanks, while empty of product and vapors, has become more challenging because there is a significant increase in the need for liquid storage capacity (particularly crude and petroleum products), due to slower consumer demand.