Special Bulletin from the PPA

The Pennsylvania Petroleum Association (PPA) recently released a special bulletin informing its customers of a notice published by the Department of Environmental Protection informing our industry of a transition period to meeting 500 PPM by July 1st, 2016. We felt it was important to inform our customers of this notice, and how to get more information on this upcoming transition. Below is the bulletin released by the PPA.

May 13, 2016

TO: PPA ACTIVE AND ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

FROM: JOHN V. KULIK, Executive Vice President

SUBJECT: DEP Publishes Notice Of Transition Period To Meeting 500 PPM July 1 Heating Oil Sulfur Limit

The Department of Environmental Protection published a notice in the May 14 Pennsylvania Bulletin outlining a transition policy for enforcement of the July 1 deadline for selling heating oil that meets a 500 parts per million sulfur content standard (25 Pa. Code Section 123.22).

This notice is in response to a meeting PPA had in April with DEP that included PPA Board Members Bruce Spiridonoff from Shipley Energy and Heating Fuels Chair; Quincy Longacre from Buckeye Energy Services LLC; John Kulik, Executive Vice President; and David Hess, former Secretary of DEP, that brought to DEP’s attention the unprecedented heating oil inventories remaining from an unusually warm winter and the difficulty of meeting the 500 ppm standard on July 1.

The notice temporarily suspends enforcement of the 500 ppm standard for No. 2 heating oil stored by a distributor or retail outlet as of May 14 that exceeds 500 ppm, but does not exceed the current regulatory limit of 5,000 ppm.

This suspension of enforcement does not cover commercial fuel oil received by the distributor or retail outlet after May 14, 2016.

Noncomplying heating oil may be sold to the ultimate consumer until December 31, 2016.

Please read the May 14 Pennsylvania Bulletin notice in its entirety–

Limited Suspension of Enforcement of the
Commercial Fuel Oil Sulfur Limit Requirements for Combustion Units
for Certain Distributors and Retail Outlets (25 Pa. Code § 123.22)

The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces that, beginning July 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2016, the Department will suspend enforcement of the 500 parts per million (ppm) sulfur fuel content requirement for No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil for certain “distributors” and “retail outlets,” as defined in 25 Pa. Code §121.1.

This suspension applies to the transfer and use of No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil stored by the distributor or retail outlet in the Commonwealth as of May 14, 2016 that exceeds 500 ppm but that does not exceed the current regulatory limit of 0.5% sulfur by weight (5000 ppm).

This suspension of enforcement does not cover commercial fuel oil received by the distributor or retail outlet after May 14, 2016.

This suspension does not cover distributors that distribute commercial fuel oil by pipeline. This suspension does not supersede conditions in any air quality plan approval or operating permit.

Under 25 Pa. Code §123.22 (relating to combustion units), a person may not offer for sale, deliver for use, exchange in trade or permit the use of commercial fuel oil if it exceeds the specified sulfur content (43 Pa. B. 806, February 9, 2013 and corrective amendment at 43 Pa. B. 2140, April 20, 2013).

For No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil, the regulation imposes a maximum allowable sulfur content of 500 ppm beginning July 1, 2016. However, due to the unusually warm winter of 2015-2016, remaining inventories of commercial fuel oil exceeding 500 ppm are larger than anticipated.

For that reason, the Department is announcing this transitional period during which it will exercise enforcement discretion on a limited basis for these existing inventories. Enforcement is not being suspended for any other requirements of 25 Pa. Code § 123.22, including recordkeeping requirements.

A distributor or retail outlet covered by this limited suspension of enforcement must maintain onsite adequate records to document the quantity of No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil stored by the distributor or retail outlet in the Commonwealth on May 14, 2016 that exceeds 500 parts per million. The records shall be made available to the Department upon request.

This suspension also applies to No. 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil received by the “ultimate consumer,” as defined in 25 Pa. Code §121.1, on or before December 31, 2016.

The commercial fuel oil sulfur limit requirements codified in 25 Pa. Code § 123.22 are incorporated in Pennsylvania’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, at 40 CFR §52.2020 (relating to identification of plan) (79 FR 39330, July 10, 2014).

The Department’s exercise of enforcement discretion does not protect an owner or operator of a subject distributor or retail outlet from the possibility of legal challenge by third persons under 25 Pa. Code §123.22 or the Commonwealth’s approved SIP.

For more information or questions concerning combustion unit commercial fuel oil sulfur limit requirements, contact Susan Foster, Environmental Program Manager for the Division of Compliance & Enforcement, Bureau of Air Quality, by e-mail at sufoster@pa.gov or by telephone at (717) 772-3369.

JOHN QUIGLEY, Secretary

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