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Understanding New EPA Rules in the Oil and Gas Industry

Posted by Horacio Salinas, Jr. on 1/11/21 8:00 AM
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EPA Ruling for Oil and Gas Sampling

In December 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final version of the updated Fuels Regulatory Streamlining rule, which takes effect in January 2022. Not meeting the new and current EPA regulations can result in hefty fines, as well as damage to the environmental and plant personnel. Protect your processes and prevent these costly risks with representative sampling.

making sense of the updated epa ruling

The new rule updates the EPA’s existing gasoline, diesel and other fuel quality programs to improve overall compliance assurance and maintain environmental performance while reducing compliance costs for the industry and the EPA.

As part of the EPA’s continual effort to ensure that fuel quality standards established under the Clean Air Act (CAA) continue to be met, the new rule streamlines and modernizes the existing fuel regulations under 40 CFR part 80 (“part 80”) fuel quality regulations by transferring them into a new proposed set of regulations in 40 CFR part 1090 (“part 1090”).

The updated rule takes a wholistic look at the existing part 80 regulations attempting to consolidate the many different and overlapping regulations into the proposed part 1090 regulations that will better reflect how fuels, fuel additives and regulated blendstocks are produced, distributed and sold in today's marketplace.

The rule does not change the stringency of the existing fuel quality standards, but streamlines existing fuels regulations by:

  • Eliminating expired provisions
  • Removing redundant compliance provisions (e.g., duplicative registration requirements that are required by every EPA fuels program)
  • Deleting out-of-date requirements

It replaces them with a single set of provisions and definitions that will apply across all gasoline, diesel and other fuels programs currently under 40 CFR part 80.

Maintaining compliance with new guidelines

Any company involved with the production, distribution or sale of transportation fuels, including gasoline and diesel could be affected by this update.

Under the current EPA Part 80, gasoline manufacturers are required to measure 11 complex model parameters. For the updated part 1090, this has been reduced to just three parameters:

  1. Sulfur
  2. Benzene
  3. Reid Vapor Pressure (During summer months only. See rule for more details.)

Diesel manufacturers will have to continue to test for sulfur.

The sampling methods outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR 80 will be carried over to the new Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR 1090, which will apply under this rule. Code 40 CFR 80 indicates for Manual Sampling of tanks and pipelines shall be performed according to procedures outlined in ASTM D4057 and Automatic Sampling of petroleum products in pipelines shall be performed according to procedures outlined in ASTM D4177. In addition, samples to be analyzed for RVP shall be collected via procedures outlined in ASTM D5842. Composite samples are outlined in ASTM D5854.

Achieve representative sampling with automatic samplers

Accurate test results depend upon the sample being representative of the entire fuel batch.

To achieve this accuracy, it’s critical to implement a representative sampling system that removes the operator from the process to protect personnel from fumes and products during testing, while ensuring adherence to the latest EPA regulations.

For example, a Sentry ISOLOK Sampler obtains representative composite samples from the process line. It mounts directly to your process line to grab a small sample at a predetermined interval. The ISOLOK is available in many different materials and can offer several different grab sample sizes to assist with meeting the sampling requirements of the EPA Fuels Regulatory Streamlining Rule.

Sentry Equipment can review your fuel sampling application so you’re ready for the EPA Fuels Regulatory Streamlining rule to take effect in 2022. Contact us at +1-262-567-7256, or complete our online contact form for more information.

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Topics: Downstream, Upstream & Midstream, Liquid & Slurry, Gas