Gasoline Vapor Recovery
What is Vapor Recovery?
Vapor recovery is the process of capturing the saturated gasoline vapors that would otherwise escape into the environment and pollute the air. There are two types of vapor recovery systems, Stage I and Stage II (sometimes referred to as Phase I and Phase II). The Weights and Measures Services Division oversees a vapor recovery program that mandates Stage I vapor recovery systems to be continuously operated and inspected annually at fuel dispensing sites located in certain geographic areas of Arizona. Stage I vapor recovery systems are designed to collect gasoline vapors that are displaced from the underground or above-ground gasoline storage tank when a fuel tanker truck makes a delivery. Stage II vapor recovery systems differ from Stage I by collecting gasoline vapors displaced from the vehicle fuel tank when a customer dispenses fuel from a gas pump. Stage II vapor recovery systems were once required in Area A (Phoenix Metro), but have since been decommissioned and are now prohibited from use. To learn more about the Stage II decommissioning program click here.
Are You Impacted?
Yes, if you operate a gasoline dispensing site located within Area A (Phoenix Metro) with a gasoline throughput of least 10,000 gallons during any one month of a calendar year (vapor recovery requirements do not apply to gas stations owned and operated by tribal members on Native American reservations). If you have a gasoline throughput of less than 10,000 gallons per month, you must file a monthly Throughput Report by March 30 of each year for the previous calendar year (A.A.C. R3-7-1002(B)). You may submit your throughput report online.
Initial Installation or Major Modification of Vapor Recovery Systems
A person shall not begin to construct a site in Area A (Phoenix Metro) requiring a vapor recovery system, or make a major modification to an existing vapor recovery system or component, before obtaining approval of an Authority to Construct (ATC) permit. The construction plan must be submitted to the Division for review and along with a $250 application fee. You may apply for an ATC permit online using the location's BMF (license) number. If the location does not have a BMF number, please contact Weights and Measures licensing at 602-542-3578 or [email protected].
Once the plan is approved and an ATC permit is issued, inspection of the site is required:
- Prior to burial of vapor recovery equipment (pre-burial inspection);
- within 90 days of the date when the site starts gasoline sales (initial inspection);
- and annually thereafter (annual inspection).
Inspections must be scheduled with the Division, and may be scheduled online by a vapor recovery Registered Service Agency. There is no fee for any inspection.
Inspection & Maintenance Logs
Locations operating Stage I vapor recovery equipment in Area A are required to conduct regular inspections of their vapor recovery system and maintain inspection and maintenance logs. Click here for more information and to access inspection and maintenance log templates.
In Area A, annual vapor recovery system tests are required to ensure that the vapor recovery equipment is working properly. These tests are conducted by an Registered Service Agency (RSA) who is licensed with the Division to install, repair, and test vapor recovery equipment. The dispensing site is responsible for all testing costs associated with RSA, and there are no inspection fees required by the Division. Tests must be scheduled in advance with the Division by a licensed vapor recovery testing company using our Vapor Scheduler, and a Division investigator may witness the test.
For Stage I vapor recovery systems, the required CARB test procedures include:
- Pressure Decay Test
- Tie-Tank Test
- Pressure/Vacuum (P/V) Vent Valve Test
The Division requires the annual test to be conducted during the month of the year that is the same month that the annual test occured in the previous year. For example, if a location was tested on August 3, 2018, the next annual test must occur any time between August 1, 2019 and August 31, 2019.
The penalty for failing to conduct an annual vapor recovery test includes shut down of the location's Stage I vapor recovery system.
In addition to the annual test, the Division may conduct unannounced compliance inspections. These inspections determine if the vapor recovery system and components are properly retaining gasoline vapors, all inspection and maintenance logs are maintained and available for review, and all spill containment buckets are free of liquid/debris and functioning properly.