Protection of the environment and the communities where terminals operate remain a vital concern for ILTA member companies. Recently, regulators have been tightening the provisions for air emissions, water quality and other environmental initiatives that affect the industry, making it more challenging to secure permits and conduct business. ILTA stands behind objective, science-based regulation that reasonably protects our environment while remaining conscientious about the impacts to our industry.
Waters of the United States
In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Waters of the United States rule, which expanded the jurisdiction of regulated waters to include tributaries and adjacent waters that have a “significant nexus” to navigable waterways. The economic impact on the regulated industry is substantial. As a member of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, ILTA co-signed a comment letter opposing the expansion of EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. A federal court has issued a nationwide stay on the regulation, preventing the agency from enforcing the new rule.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
EPA recently set more stringent standards for ozone, lowering both the primary and secondary standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. Many areas of the United States will be unable to meet the lower standard, and companies located in those counties classified as non-attainment will face increased regulatory burdens as they seek to build new terminals or expand existing storage capacity. ILTA participated on a consortium of industry trade associations to oppose EPA’s action, pointing out the economic harm caused by lowering the standards. Additionally, ILTA supports legislative efforts that would delay the promulgation of the rule or would change EPA’s authority to revise the standards.
Permitting Thresholds for Marine Vessel Loading in Texas
In September 2016, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued new guidance for permitting marine loading collection efficiencies for ocean-going vessels. The guidance is based on emissions capture data collected by ILTA terminal members from approximately 50 ship tests conducted between 2012 and 2015. TCEQ's policy change was in direct response to ILTA's initiative to educate the agency on vapor collection effectiveness in order to improve the permitting conditions for such operations based on actual data.
EPA Risk Management Program (RMP)
In January 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized amendments to its Risk Management Program regulations. New requirements were added to specify accident prevention program elements, coordination of emergency preparedness and response efforts, and the reporting of chemical hazard data. ILTA opposed the changes and argued that the new rule poses significant new costs without improving safety. Additionally, inadequate time was provided for the public to review and comment on the proposed rulemaking. In June, EPA delayed the effective date of the RMP rule amendments until February 19, 2019, providing time for the agency to conduct a reconsideration proceeding to review objections raised by petitioners. ILTA has prepared an overview of the new requirements to help terminal member companies understand implications of the new provisions that may impact their facilities.