May 22, 2023

Cassidy, Cramer, Colleagues Urge EPA to Withdraw New Small Gasoline Bulk Plant Rule

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), U.S. Representatives John Joyce (R-PA-13), and 83 members of the House and Senate today urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw portions of a proposal which would place more stringent vapor emissions requirements on small gasoline bulk plants. The rule would lower compliance thresholds using plants’ theoretical maximum design capacities, rather than their actual throughput.

“We are concerned with the adverse economic impacts the proposed modification to [National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollution] could impose on small business energy marketers, specifically in rural America and areas subject to extreme weather,” wrote the members.

If finalized, the rule could drive compliance costs, impact regular service, and during emergencies, choke off supplies to entire communities. As such, the group also suggested the EPA convene a Small Business Advocacy Review panel to engage energy marketers in a conversation about the proposal’s consequences.  

Cassidy and Cramer were joined by U.S. Senators Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Lee (R-UT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Ted Budd (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Boozman (R-AR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), J.D. Vance (R-OH), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), James Lankford (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Rounds (R-SD), John Thune (R-SD), and Katie Britt (R-AL).

Read the full letter here or below.

Dear Administrator Regan: 

We write regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to revise the current requirements for small gasoline bulk plants under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollution [NESHAP Subpart BBBBBB]. We are concerned with the adverse economic impacts the proposed modification to NESHAP could impose on small business energy marketers, specifically in rural America and areas subject to extreme weather.

Gasoline is typically shipped to customers daily in cargo tank vehicles that pick-up product at a large supply terminal and deliver a full truckload directly into customer storage tanks. However, some customers, including state and local governments, farmers, ranchers, commercial end­users, and first responders, require a smaller volume of gasoline than a full truckload on an even less frequent delivery schedule. In those instances, our constituents’ -small, family-owned bulk storage plants are used as intermediaries. Small gasoline bulk plants, as well as straight trucks or tank wagons, factor into the small gasoline distribution segment.

If finalized, this rulemaking would require the installation of gasoline vapor balancing equipment for delivering to a bulk storage plant and loading a cargo tank wagon at virtually all small, intermediate storage bulk plants. The compliance costs associated with the proposed NESHAP Subpart BBBBBB rule would make the intermediate storage of gasoline at, and its distribution from, these bulk plants unworkable. This infeasibility is directly tied to the rule’s proposal to lower the compliance threshold for small gasoline bulk plants from 20,000 gallons per day of actual throughput to just 4,000 gallons of daily maximum design capacity. Since the proposed threshold in the NESHAP Subpart BBBBBB rule is based on a theoretical maximum design capacity rather than actual daily throughput, almost every small bulk plant in the nation would be negatively impacted by its requirements – forcing them to downsize, close, or face the high cost of compliance. In other words, we see this proposal inevitably and implicitly leading to higher fuel costs or eliminating intermediate gasoline storage at small bulk plants, impacting supply to end users offering vital services to their local communities and potentially cutting off whole communities during an emergency.

We hope the EPA will withdraw provisions of the proposed NESHAP Subpart rule applied to small bulk plant facilities and convene a Small Business Advocacy Review panel to actively engage small business energy marketers in a meaningful discussion on the full extent of the regulatory impact of the proposed rule, as required under the Small Business Regulatory.

Enforcement Fairness Act. We understand that the EPA takes its mission seriously. However, we hope the EPA will be mindful of its statutory obligation to understand the impact of this rule on small business interests and the American people.