ILTA Comment on the Proposed New Regulation, 40 CFR Part 60 Subpart Kc, Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels
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Letters, Comments & Testimony

Christopher Meilink

ILTA Comment on the Proposed New Regulation, 40 CFR Part 60 Subpart Kc, Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels

December 8, 2023

  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

WJC West Building (Air Docket), Room 3334 1301 Constitution Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20004

  Attention: Docket ID Number EPA–HQ–OAR–2023–0358

submitted via regulations.gov

Re: Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed new NSPS Subpart Kc, Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels (Including Petroleum Liquid      Storage Vessels) for Which Construction, Reconstruction, or Modification Commenced After October 4, 2023 proposed at 88 FR 68535 (October 4, 2023).

To Whom It May Concern:

The International Liquid Terminals Association (“ILTA”) appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed new regulation, 40 CFR Part 60 Subpart Kc, Standards of Performance for Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels (Including Petroleum Liquid Storage Vessels) for Which Construction, Reconstruction, or Modification Commenced After October 4, 2023 (88 FR 68535, October 4, 2023). ILTA supports comments submitted separately by API/AFPM as well as providing comments from ILTA membership in this submittal.

Founded in 1974, the International Liquid Terminals Association represents 80 companies operating liquid terminals in all 50 states and in over 40 countries. Our members’ facilities provide critical links between all modes of transportation for liquid commodities, such as crude oil, petroleum products, chemicals, renewable fuels, fertilizer, vegetable oils and other food-grade materials that are central to the U.S. economy. Terminals provide essential logistics services that spur trade both within the United States and connect the U.S. economy with overseas markets. ILTA’s membership also includes about 400 companies that supply equipment and services to the terminal industry.

General Comment

As noted in the preamble to the subject proposed rulemaking,1 the Clean Air Act requires that, at least every 8 years, EPA is to review and, if appropriate, revise new source performance standards (“NSPS”). The preamble states:

“In setting or revising a performance standard, CAA section 111(a)(1) provides that performance standards are to reflect ‘‘the degree of emission limitation achievable through the application of the best system of emission reduction which (taking into account the cost of achieving such reduction and any non-air quality health and environmental impact and energy requirements) the Administrator determines has been adequately demonstrated.’’” 2

In determining the “best system of emission reduction” (“BSER”), then, CAA section 111(a)(1) expressly requires EPA to take into account:

  • the cost of any technology under consideration, and
  • whether such technology has been adequately demonstrated.

Thus, any technology which has not been determined to be cost-effective or which has not been demonstrated to have adequate service life should not be specified in an NSPS standard.

Tank and floating roof design for new construction across the industry is not uniform because different design features are appropriate to achieve safe and suitable service life for different products, different modes of operation, and different locations. At the end of the useful service life of a floating roof or seal, the tank may need to be emptied and cleaned to conduct repairs or replace the worn components. These activities represent cost and business disruption to the tank owner/operator, and as such companies are incentivized to identify the design best suited to a given scenario of product, operations, and location. In that an NSPS standard for storage vessels will apply to a wide range of industries, a wide range of scenarios must be accommodated.

Emptying and cleaning of a tank not only involves cost and business disruption, but also constitutes an emissions event. It is, then, imprudent from an environmental viewpoint to mandate a design that may have nominally lower emission factors than another design, but which may have a shorter service life in certain scenarios. Rather, regulations should allow sufficient flexibility such that companies have a relatively low- emitting option available that is also suitable for the expected service conditions.

While ILTA supports many elements of the proposed rule, there are certain details that ILTA cannot support. ILTA’s enclosed comments will detail those concerns. Following is a brief outline of ILTA’s most significant concerns, each of which is elaborated upon in the enclosed attachments. The attachments also include a more detailed set of comments on many specific elements of the proposed rule.

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