“Marine Vapor Control Systems.”
Final Rule. July 16, 2013.
Note well: “The Coast Guard regulations themselves do not require any facility or vessel to control vapor or be equipped with a VCS, nor do they require a vessel to take away vapor from facilities.”
“During marine tank vessel loading and other operations, the liquid loaded into a cargo tank displaces vapors within the tank. Vapors are also generated because of vapor growth from liquid evaporation. The emitted vapors of certain cargoes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air pollutants. CAA 90 requires that these vapors be controlled in air quality non-attainment areas. Under CAA 90, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues national standards for control of VOCs and other air pollutants emitted during marine tank vessel operations. 40 CFR 63.560- 63.568. CAA 90 also authorizes Federal and State regulations to set vapor emission standards and to require that marine terminals and tank vessels be equipped with VCSs. These systems are used to collect and process VOCs and other air pollutants emitted during loading and other operations of marine tank vessels.
“Today, VCS design and technology are more advanced than they were in 1990, and VCSs control more types of vapor than the crude oil, gasoline blend, or benzene vapors to which they were limited in 1990, and the EPA and States now permit or require the control of vapor emissions from many other cargoes. See current EPA regulations in 40 CFR subpart Y, 40 CFR 63.560-63.568. In addition, EPA regulations now require marine tank vessels operating at major terminals that control VOC vapors to be vapor-tight and equipped with vapor collection systems. 40 CFR 63.562.
Current Coast Guard practice is to accommodate these design and technology improvements by using the exemption and equivalency determination provisions of 33 CFR 154.108 and 46 CFR 30.15-1 to approve individual applications by VCS owners or designers who can show that their improvements provide a level of safety at least equivalent to that provided by our regulations. Reliance on individual exemptions or equivalency determinations involves extra risk for VCS owners and designers, and extra review time for the Coast Guard. This rulemaking will reduce the need for individual exemptions and equivalency determinations, and therefore reduce Coast Guard administrative work, by updating our regulations to reflect more recent VCS design and technology. This is consistent with the principles of retrospective review outlined in section 6 of Executive Order 13563, ‘Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,’ 76 FR 3821 (Jan. 18, 2011).
“For cargo types and tank barge cleaning facility VCS applications that have emerged since 1990, we have provided safety guidance in the form of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-96 (included in our docket), developed in close consultation with the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), a Coast Guard advisory committee that operates under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2. However, safety guidance is not legally binding on industry, and reliance on exemption and equivalency reviews involves extra risk for VCS owners and designers and extra review time for the Coast Guard.
“Therefore, our goal has been to update our regulations to apply in a wider range of circumstances, and at the same time to eliminate a risk for industry and an administrative burden for ourselves. Our new regulations:
- Reflect the expanded number and scope of Federal and State regulations for VCSs since 1990;
- Reflect advances in VCS technology and operational practices since 1990, particularly in vapor-balancing operations, cargo line clearing operations, and multi-breasted tandem barge-loading operations;
- Incorporate safety guidance and reflect VCS regulatory exemptions and equivalency approvals;
- Provide new regulations for cargoes and operations, such as TBCFs, that have become subject to Federal or State regulatory expansion since 1990;
- Provide for periodic operational reviews to ensure that VCSs are properly maintained and operated after they are certified;
- Provide an alternate test program for analyzers and pressure sensors, in addition to existing 24-hour pre-transfer/cleaning instrument testing requirements, to provide greater regulatory flexibility;
- Require certifying entities (CEs) to be operated by currently licensed professional engineers to ensure that certification is conducted by properly qualified professionals, and clarify the role of the CE in VCS design, installation, and hazard reviews;
- Remove 33 CFR Part 154, Appendix B, which provides specifications for flame arresters and requires flame arresters to meet third-party standards, because of apparent lack of public demand for these devices;
- Attempt to achieve greater clarity through the use of tabular presentation;
- Update industry standards that are incorporated by reference into our regulatory requirements;
- Phase in requirements for existing VCSs to moderate the economic impact of new requirements for those VCSs;
- Make conforming changes in regulations other than 33 CFR Part 154, Subpart E and 46 CFR Part 39; and
- Make nonsubstantive changes in the wording or style of existing regulations, either to improve their clarity or to align them with current Federal regulatory style guidance.”