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 (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) finalized the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which broadly expanded federal jurisdiction over regulated waters to include tributaries and adjacent waters that have a “significant nexus” to navigable waterways. ILTA, along with other members of the Waters Advocacy Coalition, co-signed a comment letter opposing the expansion of EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. Application of the final rule was stayed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2015.
In response to an Executive Order from President Trump, EPA proposed to repeal the WOTUS rule and recodify the regulations that were in place prior to the 2015 final rule. ILTA and WAC filed comments in support of the agency proposal. The agency stated at the time that it would reevaluate the rule and initiate a second rulemaking to define "waters of the United States." In January 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that challenges to the WOTUS rule should be reviewed in federal district courts, invalidating the Sixth Circuit's nationwide stay. Shortly thereafter, EPA issued a rule adding an applicability date of February 2020 to the WOTUS rule. The agency intends to propose a revised WOTUS rule in the spring of 2018. U.S. waters remain protected by the regulations that have been in effect since the 1980s.
Risk Management Program
In January 2017, EPA finalized amendments to the Risk Management Program regulations, specifying accident prevention elements and coordination of emergency preparedness and response efforts. The final rule was widely considered to have circumvented certain mandated rulemaking procedures. ILTA participated in an industry coalition that petitioned for reconsideration. The effective date of the amendments has been delayed until February 2019, in order for the administration to consider petitions for reconsideration.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
In 2015, EPA set more stringent standards for ozone, lowering both the primary and secondary standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. ILTA participated on a consortium of industry trade associations to oppose EPA’s action, pointing out the economic harm caused by lowering the standards.
Permitting Thresholds for Marine Vessel Loading in Texas
In 2016, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued 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.