New laws requiring the installation of Vapour Recovery Stage 2 (VR2) equipment at existing service stations in NSW came into force on 1 January 2017.

The new laws require that existing service stations located in the Sydney Metropolitan Area (refer to the yellow shaded area presented in the map below) and selling more than 3.5ML of petrol per year must now have VR2 equipment installed and operating.

These new laws are the final stage of the VR2 roll-out at NSW service stations. They are in addition to previous laws requiring installation and operation of VR2 equipment for:

  1. New sites and/or sites modified since November 2009 that are selling more than 0.5ML of petrol (and located in the yellow and green shaded areas in the map below) from 1 January 2010
  2. Existing sites selling more than 12ML of petrol (and located in the yellow and green shaded areas) from 1 January 2014

In addition to the new laws, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released an updated version of the Standards and Best Practice Guidelines for Vapour Recovery at Petrol Service Stations (2016).

A full version of the new Guidelines can be downloaded at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/resources/epa/standards-best-practice-guidelines-vapour-recovery-petrol-service-stations-160799.pdf

“The new guidelines have been developed following a period of industry consultation undertaken late last year and, among other changes, take account of previous industry concerns relating to the unduly prescriptive nature of the design of Pressure Vacuum (PV) Vents”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

ACAPMA was alerted to concerns about the nature of the previous Guidelines soon after acquiring members from the former Australian Petroleum Industry Contractor and Suppliers Association (APICSA) in 2014, said Mark.

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Specifically, the concerns related to an apparent requirement for a 10mm orifice to be drilled on the pump side of the pressure chamber for all types of PV vents – a practice that, although consistent with European Guidelines relating to the use of single piston type vents, was wholly inconsistent with USA CARB Guidelines relating to the use of multi valve devices.

“It is very pleasing to see that the new Guidelines now make provision for the use of multi-valve PV vents in accordance with the Calfornia Air Resources Board (CARB) standards – provided they are installed in accordance with the requirements of section 5.1 of the new Guidelines”, said Mark.

The changes mean that fuel retailers now have a choice of VR equipment and can make equipment maintenance decisions that take account of the costs of VR valves on a whole of life basis (i.e. capital cost plus recurrent maintenance costs).

Further information about the new VR2 laws or the new VR Guidelines can be found at http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/air/petrolvapour.htm