Gasoline Stations

Background and Emissions:

  • Air pollutants from service stations are fugitive volatile organic compounds from the filling of underground storage tanks and vehicle fuel tanks.  Underground Storage Tank (UST) systems for fuel storage are potential sources of soil and groundwater pollution.

Specific Regulations:

  • LAC 33:III.2131 and 2132 require emission controls for underground storage tanks (Stage I) and vehicle fuel tanks (Stage II) respectively.  LAC 33:XI requires UST owner/operators to register their tanks, perform monthly leak detection testing, install and maintain corrosion protection if necessary, and implement other measures to prevent overfilling, fuel leaks, and spills to the environment.

Stage I Vapor Controls

Stage I controls require all affected facilities to use a vapor recovery system when filling their USTs.  They must be equipped with submerged fill pipes. Very small tanks and service stations with throughputs less than 10,000 gallons per month are exempt. Service station owner/operators cannot accept fuel deliveries from any tank truck not tested within the last year. An affected facility is: 

  • Any gasoline outlet in the parishes of Ascension, Calcasieu, East and West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Pointe Coupée, and Iberville whose throughput is greater than 120,000 gallons per year; or
  • Any gasoline outlet in the parishes of Bossier, Caddo, Beauregard, Lafayette, St. Mary, St. James, St. John, St. Charles, Lafourche, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Grant whose throughput is greater than 500,000 gallons per year.

Stage II Vapor Controls

  • Stage II controls are required for facilities in Livingston, Pointe Coupeé, East and West Baton Rouge, Ascension, and Iberville parishes. Stage II recovers gasoline vapors displaced from refueling vehicle fuel tanks and returns them to the underground storage tank (UST). There are exemptions for service stations with throughputs less than 10,000 gallons per month and 50,000 gallons per month for Independent Small Business Marketer (ISBM) of gasoline (see final rule for definition).
  • All vapor recovery equipment must be California Air Resource Board (CARB) approved, and all systems must attain a minimum of 95% control efficiency. At least one owner/operator/employee from each facility must have a certificate or other proof that they have received training.

Underground Storage Tank (UST) Systems

UST systems (tanks & piping over 110 gallon capacity) pose unique pollution risk to groundwater if they are not managed to prevent leaks and spills.  Owner/operators must register their USTs with DEQ annually - no fuel can be delivered into unregistered tanks.  All metal parts in contact with soil or water that routinely hold or carry product (like fuel) must have cathodic protection which must be periodically tested.  The tank must have overfill prevention (ex. alarm, automatic shut-off, ball float valve) and the fill port must have spill buckets to catch fuel from disconnecting hoses.  Tanks and piping must have release detection capability and owner/operators must keep monthly records of leak detection test results.  Any release or spill (real or suspected) must be reported immediately to DEQ.  All repair/upgrade work on a UST system must be performed by a DEQ-certified UST worker, and a revised UST registration form submitted to DEQ.  Cleaning up discovered underground leaks can be expensive, and the Motor Fuel Trust Fund administered by DEQ will cover remediation expenses (over $5000 minimum deductible) provided the UST system is registered and compliant with all applicable rules.


Testing Requirements:

Stage I Vapor Controls

The following tests must be performed to determine compliance: Pressure-vacuum test to determine vapor tightness of gasoline delivery trucks

  • Gasoline vapor leak detection procedure by combustible gas detector
  • Test method 21 for volatile organic compound leaks.

Stage II Vapor Controls

The following tests must be performed after the system is installed but before start-up. Retesting must be performed as noted. The owner or operator must notify the department at least 5 calendar days in advance of the pre-start-up testing.Pressure decay/leak test - retest every 5 years 

  • Dynamic pressure drop test - retest annually 
  • Liquid blockage test - retest every five years


Underground Storage Tank (UST) Systems

The following routine tests must be performed during the active life of any UST system:Leak detection test - every month

  • Tank tightness testing every five years (with monthly inventory control leak detection option)
  • Cathodic protection test every three years
  • Impressed cathodic protection besides 3-year test, check rectifier box every 60 days
  • Internal inspection of lined metal tanks -  every 5 years
  • Line tightness test for pressure or suction fuel delivery systems every year or 3 years depending on the equipment installed (and if no other leak detection method is used)


Stage I Vapor Controls

A sticker must be displayed on the tank truck, near the DOT certification plate, with the ID number of the tank and the date it was tested.
Stage II Vapor Controls

Operating instructions must be posted on the front of each gasoline dispenser. Missing labels may result in penalties. Information to be posted includes:A clear description of how to dispense gasoline with the vapor recovery equipment

  • A warning that attempting to top-off may result in spillage and recirculation of gasoline
  • The Department's phone number (504-765-0219) for use by the public to report comments, questions, or problems with the system
  • Any equipment found to have a defect during daily inspections must be tagged out of order, and not used until it is repaired or replaced.

Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

Stage I Vapor Controls

  • The Stage I regulation requires the following records to be kept for at least two years:Date of delivery of each shipment of gasoline,
  • Certificate number and date of certification of each delivery vehicle that delivers a shipment,
  • Date and description of any malfunction, repair, replacement or modification of control systems or control equipment.
  • If the problem is with the tank trucks equipment, the name of the owner or operator, the truck ID number, date the problem occurred, and the driver's name must be recorded. Records of any testing that has been done, by request or voluntarily.

Stage II Vapor Controls

The following records must be kept at the facility and accessible for inspection for at least two years:Application approval records

  • Station operating license
  • System installation and testing results
  • Stage II maintenance records including daily visual inspections
  • Inspection records
  • Compliance records
  • Training certification
  • Gasoline throughput records including all monthly gasoline delivery receipts and sales information
  • The owner or operator must notify the department at least 5 calendar days in advance of the pre-start-up testing
  • The owner or operator must notify the department of the results of functional testing within 30 days after installation or modification pre-start-up testing.


Underground Storage Tank (UST) Systems

  • The following records must be kept at the facility and accessible for inspection:Up-to-date tank registration forms (REG-01 and REG-02)
  • Current year's UST registration certificate (on display)
  • All installation plans and manufacturer?s performance claims for any part of the UST system (equipment, monitoring systems, cathodic protection, etc.)
  • All repairs or upgrades ever made to the UST system
  • Site assessments, inspections, or remediation actions performed at the site
  • Communications with DEQ
  • Monthly leak detection test results
  • Tank or line tightness test results, if applicable
  • Cathodic protection test results, if applicable
  • Impressed current cathodic protection rectifier box inspections, if applicable
  • Third-party certifications validating tests performed for leak detection (tank and/or line tightness tests, etc.)
  • DEQ must be notified 30 days in advance of any planned UST repairs, upgrades, or closures.
  • Anyone who sells a UST system must notify DEQ in writing within 30 days after the transaction. 
  • Anyone who acquires a new UST system must submit amended UST registration forms (REG-01 and REG-02) to DEQ within 30 days after acquisition.
  • Anyone who closes a UST system must notify DEQ 30 days in advance.  The owner/operator must test for possible leakage where it would most likely occur and send test results to DEQ within 60 days following closure.
  • All leaks or spills (real or suspected) must be reported to DEQ.  Serious leaks/spills that might affect public health or safety must also be reported immediately to the parish Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), the Louisiana State Police, and the National Response Center (call the SBAP for more details on phone numbers, addresses, etc.)

Important Dates:

There are no important dates for the Stage I, Stage II, or UST regulations.


Housekeeping Suggestions:

For Stage II vapor controls, daily self-inspections are required by LAC 33:III.2132.D(1)(d). This helps the owner/operator to detect leaks and equipment malfunctions, and reduce emissions by keeping equipment operating properly. They can also (1) Save the owner money - Detection/repair of equipment failure helps to avoid penalties; and (2) Improve customer satisfaction Properly functioning equipment is easier to use.

  • Daily Self-inspections include checking:Hoses for kinks, flat-spots, and blockages
  • Boots for triangular tears or slits
  • Face plates or face cones for good sealing ability
  • Nozzle shutoff mechanism for malfunctions
  • Check valves for proper operation
  • Vacuum producing device for proper operation (vacuum assist systems)
  • All labels, instructions, and the (800) number are visible
  • Underground tanks for missing seals, all valves closed
  • Vapor processor and/or compressor for proper operation
  • Hose retractors for proper operation

Maintaining equipment is the most effective method of alleviating the operating costs of Stage II systems. By keeping equipment in good operating condition, costly repairs and replacements can be avoided. The following are manufacturers suggestions to lengthen the life of Stage II equipment:

  • Oil valve stem through nozzle body
  • Make sure hoses do not touch ground
  • Keep a few spare parts for simple repairs.


Pollution Prevention Suggestions: