National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP): Gasoline Dispensing Facilities at Area Sources

Contact: Clean Air Assistance Program, 800-662-9278
Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Federal Vapor Balance System Standard

On January 10, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) finalized a standard that requires gasoline stations to minimize the release of gasoline vapors during the filling of tanks. The federal standard, referred to as the National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), Subpart CCCCCC is far more encompassing than the existing Michigan rules.

Stage I Gasoline Vapor Balance Systems

Stage I vapor balance equipment collects vapors when underground or aboveground gasoline storage tanks are being filled. During loading, when vapor balance equipment is connected, the vapors travel through a hose from the storage tank to the tanker truck as opposed to escaping through the vent pipe and into the atmosphere when vapor recovery is not connected. The tanker truck returns the vapors to the terminal where they can be recovered as gasoline.

Gasoline is a valuable commodity. Gasoline vapors lead to the formation of ground level ozone (O3), an air pollutant that triggers a variety of health problems including aggravated asthma, reduced lung capacity, and increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis. Vapor recovery captures an amount of vapor equivalent to 10 to 15 gallons of gasoline each time a tanker truck unloads(1). During a year, that amounts to five million gallons of gasoline that potentially could be recovered in Michigan -- or in other words, 37.5 million pounds (18,750 tons) of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) not emitted into the air(2).

(1) Petroleum Equipment Institute, December 1992, "Keeping It Clean: Making Safe and Spill-Free Motor Fuel Deliveries."

(2) Based on data from Michigan Department of Treasury, Motor Fuel Division. Approximately five billion gallons of gasoline each year is delivered to Michigan gasoline stations, an average load of gasoline is 10,000 gallons, and vapor recovery is responsible for recovering 10 gallons of gasoline vapor per load.


  • Federal and State Vapor Balance Requirements for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (February 2015) - This fact sheet provides a brief explanation of the regulations that minimize the release of gasoline vapors from storage tanks located at retail gasoline stations, and fleet refueling stations.
  • For a more detailed discussion of the regulations, please read Gasoline Station Owners & Tanker Truck Drivers: What You Should Know About Vapor Balance Systems" (2nd Edition, May 2011).
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Vapor Balance Requirements for Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (February 2015) - This document is designed to help gasoline station owners and tanker truck drivers understand both the Michigan and new federal Stage I vapor balance requirements that reduce emissions during the loading of gasoline storage tanks. With everyone doing their part, the gasoline service industry can make a significant improvement in the air quality of our urban areas. Questions regarding the content of the publication may be directed to Anita Singh, Office of Environmental Assistance at 517-281-2615.



Michigan Vapor Balance Rules

  • Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules
    • R 336.1606: Loading gasoline into existing stationary vessels of more than 2,000-gallon capacity at dispensing facilities handling 250,000 or more gallons per year.
    • R 336.1627: Delivery vessels and vapor collection systems.
    • R 336.1703: Loading gasoline into new stationary vessels of more than 2,000-gallon capacity at dispensing facilities.
  • Motor Fuels Quality Act, Public Act No. 104 (April 6, 2006): Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Maps of Areas Subject to Michigan Stage I Vapor Balance

Gasoline dispensing facilities located within the red borders are subject to state rules. Areas subject to the Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules referenced above.

Tanker Truck Pressure / Vacuum Testing

Stage I Vapor Balance Related Equipment

Required Poppeted
Vapor Recovery Adapter
Required Poppeted Vapor
Recovery Adapter with
Recommended Orange Cap
Pressure / Vacuum
Vent Cap
Reproduced courtesy of OPW.
May 2006.
Signifying Vapor Recovery Reproduced courtesy of OPW.
May 2006.

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