Tag Archives: Energy Policy Act

COO of Tait Environmental Services, Tim Ericsen, Presented at the Pacific Oil Conference

Tim Ericsen, COO of Tait Environmental Services, spoke at the Pacific Oil Conference last week in Los Angeles.

Tim Ericsen, COO of Tait Environmental Services

Contracted Designated Operator - Managing a Successful Program by Tim Ericsen, COO Tait Environmental Services

Educational topics covered legal issues, environmental  compliance, marketing, regulations and best practices for

  • Wholesale,
  • Multi-Segment,
  • Retail, and
  • Sales

specific tracks over a three day period. Networking events were a large focus, to expand businesses professional circles at and away from the tradeshow floor.

Events at the Pacific Oil Conference

Events at the Pacific Oil Conference

Having performed over 50,000 DO inspections in California since 2005, “Designated Operators – What You Need to Know” was a comfortable topic for TES. Our team currently provides third-party DO services for over 650 UST locations throughout the state and thoroughly understands the challenges faced by UST owners.  The session focused on how to effectively manage a third-party provider, while getting the most “bang for your buck.”  Specific topics included:

  • Understanding the role of the Designated Operator
  • Common Errors and Omissions
  • Value-Added Services
Example Slide - Common Errors - Expired Designated Operator Certification

Example Slide Common Errors portion of the presentation: Expired Designated Operator Certification

TAIT also provides certification prep courses for the ICC California Designated Operator exam.  To date, TAIT has prepared over 4,000 students for their certification exam.  Classroom-based courses are offered throughout the year in both southern and northern California.  Learn more about TAIT’s training offerings in California and across the nation at www.PSTinstruction.com.

Whether you hire a third-party our handle the Designated Operator role in-house, TAIT has a solution for you! Contact us for more information and to schedule inspections.

Tim Ericsen teaching the TAIT California Designated Operator Training Course

Tim Ericsen teaching the TAIT California Designated Operator Training Course

TAIT’s Dallas Office Enjoys Visitors

TAIT’s Dallas Office Enjoys Visitors

Visit Tait Environmental Services if you are local to, or traveling and will be in the Dallas area.

Have a question about TAIT’s services? Call the Dallas office and stop by to say hello! We enjoy having visitors and for people to swing by when they are in the area. Here are a few pictures I’ve collected with some of the TAIT associates from around the country that stopped by to visit our office.

Here are some pictures from visits to the office. Notice our Goals and Values Statements on the wall in the background. One of the things I love best about TAIT is that they stand by and live out daily these goals and values – they’re more than just a statement of what should be.

Melanie Nelson, Chuck Bentley and Tim Ericsen of Tait Environmental Services

Melanie with Chuck and Tim from the Santa Ana office.

 

Andy Tait with Chuck Bentley and Tim Ericsen of Tait Environmental Services

Andy with Chuck and Tim, in town from California for client meetings.

In order of appearance: Melanie Nelson is the Business Development & Technology Solutions, currently focusing on a SharePoint 2013 rollout and is located in Dallas, Texas.  Chuck Bentley heads up the Designated Operator program on the West coast for one of our national clients. Underground tank inspections and routine AST site inspections are part of the programmatic work that TAIT does. Our technicians visit UST and AST sites during the month performing routine inspections, testing, repairs, and more. Tim Ericsen is the COO of Tait Environmental Services (TES), and recently was one of the speakers at the Pacific Oil Conference. Andy Tait is a Director at TES in our Dallas office. With a remediation background, he is currently busy on many new construction c-store fueling system installs.

24th National Tanks Conference & Expo

24th National Tanks Conference & Expo

Come see TAIT in booth #102! We will be next to our training partner UST Training and are happy to discuss training and our many programmatic tank services such as testing and inspections, as well as the full gamete from design and installation, repairs and upgrades through removals and remediation.

The Annual National Tanks Conference and Exposition is produced by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, and the host state, this year it’s Colorado.

The purpose of this event is to provide learning and networking opportunities for federal, state, and tribal colleagues in the underground storage community. The focus is on progress, priorities, and plans for the pursuit of a common goal–to find new and better ways to work together to protect human health and the environment from tank releases.

TAIT enjoys participating in the shows and look forward to them each year. We are giving out an Apple prize again this year. See last year’s winner below.  Come visit us in Booth #102! If you’d like to schedule a time to meet, contact Melanie Nelson.

iPod Winner Chris Plassmeyer

iPod Winner Chris Plassmeyer

See TAIT at PEI / NACS – Atlanta, Oct 12-15

Come see TAIT  in booth #4552 at the PEI 2014 CONVENTION OCTOBER 12th – 15th, 2013

The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has held its Fall Meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 1995 and the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) has held its annual meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 2002. In 2012, the NACS Show attracted more than 24,000 industry professionals from 65 countries — all seeking or offering the newest innovations, education and conversations about today’s important industry trends and issues.

As convenience and fuel retailing’s premier industry event, the NACS Show offers unmatched opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from one another — all in an environment rich with new ideas and new partnerships.

TAIT enjoys participating in the shows and looks forward to them each year. One funny thing from last year was that my suit matched the carpet. No, really. I’ll add the picture below. Come visit us in Booth #4552!

Melanie matched the Carpet

Usually Melanie stands out in her Bright Red suit…

EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards

EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards to Help Promote American Energy Independence, Reduce Carbon Pollution

EPA also announces steps to address concerns about the E10 blend wall

As part of an ongoing effort to enhance energy security and reduce carbon pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program established by Congress. Most of these fuels are produced by American farmers and growers domestically and help reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

The final 2013 overall volumes and standards require 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply (a 9.74 percent blend). This standard specifically requires:

•           Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.13 percent)
•           Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.62 percent)
•           Cellulosic biofuels (6.00 million gallons; 0.004 percent)

The Renewable Fuels Regulations and Standards can be found on the EPA’s website. You can read the Regulatory Announcement and the Final Rule along with full data online.

These standards reflect EPA’s updated production projections, which are informed by extensive engagement with industry and a thorough assessment of the biofuels market.

During this rulemaking, EPA received comments from a number of stakeholders concerning the “E10 blend wall.” Projected to occur in 2014, the “E10 blend wall” refers to the difficulty in incorporating ethanol into the fuel supply at volumes exceeding those achieved by the sale of nearly all gasoline as E10. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. today is E10. In the rule issued today, EPA is announcing that it will propose to use flexibilities in the RFS statute to reduce both the advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes in the forthcoming 2014 RFS volume requirement proposal.

EPA is also providing greater lead time and flexibility in complying with the 2013 volume requirements by extending the deadline to comply with the 2013 standards by four months, to June 30, 2014.

A January 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals required the agency to reevaluate projections for cellulosic biofuel to reflect market conditions; the final 2013 standard for cellulosic biofuel announced today was developed in a manner consistent with the approach outlined in that ruling.

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) established the RFS program and the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.

More information on the standards and regulations: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm

More information on renewable fuels: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/index.htm

Previous Blog Entries

TCEQ & Decommissioning Stage II

TCEQ & Decommissioning Stage II

The TCEQ has been busy hearing public comments all over the state last week and this week. Did you submit comments?

The only comment I have heard so far from our Regulatory Affairs Manager is

115.241(b)(4) – Add TXP-101 as a test requirement. Some vapor space manifolds may have been achieved through the Vapor Return piping. One of the current proposed requirements is to disconnect the vapor return piping from the UST.

Take a look at the current Proposed revisions to Chapter 115, and let us know your thoughts. Keep in mind that they may change after hearing the public comments, commission requirements or getting final EPA approval.

Resources:

If you have any questions, contact Brian Harmon and get the dialogue going. TAIT has extensive experience in installing and removing VR equipment, as our largest branches are in California and we have the experience of operating under many of the stricter EPA guidelines for years. We look forward to hearing from you!

Looking forward to PEI / NACS 2013!

TAIT eagerly anticipates attending this year’s PEI / NACS Show, which takes place from October 12 to 15, 2013 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

We will have a booth and will be meeting with current and prospective clients both from the environmental side of the house, Tait Environmental Services and from the architectural / civil side, Tait & Associates.

PEI / NACS is a great show we consistently attend, rated Top 10 again last year. Do you have plans to attend? Contact us now and let’s discuss how we can do business together, and perhaps plan a time to meet up while we are in Atlanta.

NACS has announced a series of new post-expo evening events such as:

  • NACS Show Kick-Off Party | Saturday, October 12 | 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
    Held on Atlanta’s “Restaurant Row,” the kick-off party will have planned entertainment and all attendees are eligible for a “Golden Ticket,” where winners will receive a limo party, spending money and access to exclusive parties all week. Tickets for the event are included in full registrations.
  • NACS Show Tailgate Party Sunday | October 13 | 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm  Attendees can stop by the Hall C lobby of the Georgia World Congress Center to watch NFL games and highlights on flat-screen TVs, as well as participate in onsite games and activities. Registration is free for all attendees.
  • NACS Show 2014 Launch Party | Monday, October 14 | 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm The Launch Party is also in the Hall C lobby of the GA WCC and will feature bands and other entertainment. The event allows attendees to learn more about other industry events that can help grow their business in 2014 and beyond. Registration is free for all attendees.

Chip Conley will be speaking at NACS this year. Chip is a best-selling author and acclaimed motivational speaker. He founded Joie de Vivre, California’s largest independent hotel company and America’s second-largest boutique hotelier, with over 40 unique and award-winning hotels, restaurants and spas.

Join us this year at the PEI/NACS show. We had a great time last year and look forward to it every year. Contact us to learn more.

EPA Will Propose Achievable Cleaner Fuels and Cars Standard

Want to go directly to the source?  Tier 3 Vehicle Emissions and Standards Program . For more information, you may also read these previous blogs: Renewable Fuel Standards and EPA Proposes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2013 (another release was also sent 3/29/13 and is below)

EPA Will Propose Achievable Cleaner Fuels and Cars Standard, Slashing Air Pollution and Providing Extensive Health Benefits

WASHINGTON – Based on extensive input from auto manufactures, refiners, and states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive. These cleaner fuels and cars standards are an important component of the administration’s national program for clean cars and trucks, which also include historic fuel efficiency standards that are saving new vehicle owners at the gas pump today. Once fully in place, the standards will help avoid up to 2,400 premature deaths per year and 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children.

Following a proven systems approach that addresses vehicles and fuels as an integrated system, today’s proposal will enable the greatest pollution reductions at the lowest cost. The proposal will slash emissions of a range of harmful pollutants that can cause premature death and respiratory illnesses,  including reducing smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, establish a 70 percent tighter particulate matter standard, and reduce fuel vapor emissions to near zero.  The proposal will also reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene, by up to 40 percent.

The proposal supports efforts by states to reduce harmful levels of smog and soot and eases their ability to attain and maintain science-based national ambient air quality standards to protect public health, while also providing flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.

“The Obama Administration has taken a series of steps to reinvigorate the auto industry and ensure that the cars of tomorrow are cleaner, more efficient and saving drivers money at the pump and these common-sense cleaner fuels and cars standards are another example of how we can protect the environment and public health in an affordable and practical way,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Today’s proposed standards – which will save thousands of lives and protect the most vulnerable — are the next step in our work to protect public health and will provide the automotive industry with the certainty they need to offer the same car models in all 50 states.

By 2030, EPA estimates that the proposed cleaner fuels and cars program will annually prevent up to 2,400 premature deaths, 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children, 3,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits, and 1.8 million lost school days, work days and days when activities would be restricted due to air pollution. Total health-related benefits in 2030 will be between $8 and $23 billion annually.  The program would also reduce exposure to pollution near roads. More than 50 million people live, work, or go to school in close proximity to high-traffic roadways, and the average American spends more than one hour traveling along roads each day.

Throughout the development of the proposal, EPA met with representatives from the automotive and oil and gas industry as well as environmental, consumer advocacy and public health organizations.  Based on initial feedback from these groups and a thorough rulemaking process, EPA’s proposal is estimated to provide up to seven dollars in health benefits for every dollar spent to meet the standards. The proposed sulfur standards will cost refineries less than a penny per gallon of gasoline on average once the standards are fully in place.
The proposed vehicle standards will have an average cost of about $130 per vehicle in 2025. The proposal also includes flexibilities for small businesses, including hardship provisions and additional lead time for compliance.

The proposed standards will reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent – down to 10 parts per million (ppm) in 2017. Reducing sulfur in gasoline enables vehicle emission control technologies to perform more efficiently.  This means that vehicles built prior to the proposed standards will run cleaner on the new low-sulfur gas, providing significant and immediate benefits by reducing emissions from every gas-powered vehicle on the road.

The proposed standards will work together with California’s clean cars and fuels program to create a harmonized nationwide vehicle emissions program that enables automakers to sell the same vehicles in all 50 states. The proposal is designed to be implemented over the same timeframe as the next phase of EPA’s national program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks beginning in model year 2017. Together, the federal and California standards will maximize reductions in GHGs, air pollutants and air toxics from cars and light trucks while providing automakers regulatory certainty and streamlining compliance.

Once published in the Federal Register, the proposal will be available for public comment and EPA will hold public hearings to receive further public input.

Information on EPA’s notice of proposed rulemaking:  http://www.epa.gov/otaq/tier3.htm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 29, 2013

Here’s What They’re Saying about EPA’s Proposed Cleaner Fuels and Cars Standards

WASHINGTON – Based on extensive input from auto manufactures, refiners, and states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed sensible standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution, prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive. These cleaner fuels and cars standards are an important component of the administration’s national program for clean cars and trucks, which also include historic fuel efficiency standards that are saving new vehicle owners at the gas pump today. Once fully in place, the standards will help avoid up to 2,400 premature deaths per year and 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children.

Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland
“The new motor fuel standards proposed today by the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama’s leadership will help Maryland reach its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Reductions from mobile sources are one of the most important strategies needed to provide clean air to Maryland’s citizens for generations to come. Today’s actions will also provide a significant benefit to the Chesapeake Bay as approximately one-third of its nitrogen issues are caused by air pollution. By proposing these new robust vehicle and fuel quality standards, President Obama and the EPA have made a strong commitment to protecting the public’s health and our environment. Together with our federal partners, we can create a more sustainable future for our children.”

Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts

”I applaud President Obama and the EPA for issuing this new rule, which is a significant step forward in reducing air pollution from vehicles.  This rule means cleaner cars and cleaner fuels, which in turn means healthier communities across the country,” said Governor Deval Patrick.  ”This common sense regulation is a victory for a cost-effective and sensible way to clean our air.”

Dannel P. Mallow, Governor of Connecticut

“EPA’s proposed Tier 3 vehicle standards and cleaner gasoline will give our state immediate air quality benefits, which will only grow over time as new cars enter the marketplace.  In Connecticut, we are taking action to show that we can have a strong economy and a healthy environment, and the new standards for motor vehicles and fuels announced today by EPA are consistent with our approach.  I applaud EPA’s help taking on the most significant source of air pollution – cars, trucks and other so-called mobile sources – and look forward to prompt finalization of the rule so we all breathe cleaner air.”

Robert M. Pestronk, MPH, Executive Director, National Association of County and City Health Officials
“On behalf of America’s 2,800 local health departments, NACCHO applauds the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed standards for cleaner gasoline and cars. The updated standards prevent illness, preserve health and help reduce health care costs. Standards like these help local health departments keep people healthy and safe by improving air quality.”

U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, N.Y.
“The implementation of Tier 3 emission standards is a big step forward for Americans,” said Senator Gillibrand. “More stringent emission standards would significantly decrease air pollution, create new jobs and increase worker’s economic productivity by reducing the number of sick days they take from lung and heart related ailments.  We’ve cleared a crucial step in the process, and I will continue to urge the Administration to move quickly to finalize the rule this year”

Paul Billings, Senior Vice President, American Lung Association
“Pollution from cars, light trucks, and SUVs kills and makes people sick. Stronger standards that lower sulfur levels in gasoline and cut toxic tailpipe pollutants will pave the way to a healthier future.  Using lower sulfur gasoline in cars currently on the road will reduce as much pollution as taking 33 million cars off the road.  Passenger vehicles are major sources of ozone and particle pollution that pose serious threats to public health. This pollution triggers asthma attacks, worsens lung and heart health and can even lead to early death. Children, the elderly and those with chronic lung and heart health problems are most vulnerable to traffic-related pollution.”

Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
“The return on investment of these important standards measured in both health savings and deaths averted is hugely significant and should not be overlooked.  Reducing dangerous tailpipe emissions from cars will deliver between $8 and $23 billion in national health benefits annually by 2030 and prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks, hospitalizations and early deaths. “

Gloria Bergquist, Spokeswoman, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
“This is a big step forward for this country to catch up to the clean fuels available in other industrialized nations. Automakers have already reduced vehicle emissions by 99 percent, and we’re working to go further while also delivering high quality, affordable vehicles to our customers.”

Dan Wyant, Director, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
“Michigan’s automobile industry continues producing vehicles that are more fuel efficient and better for the state’s air quality. The EPA’s proposed Tier 3 fuel standard will further the goal of cleaner air.”

Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Policy Counsel for Consumers Union
“Vehicles have gotten cleaner over the years, but unfortunately too many Americans still struggle with health issues like asthma and respiratory problems that come from breathing in air heavy with smog and other pollutants.  These standards are expected to be highly cost-effective in cleaning up gasoline and tailpipe emissions. These minimal costs will be largely outweighed by the savings that come from the huge health benefits we get from cleaner air.”

Bill Becker, Executive Director, National Association of Clean Air Agencies
“The new standard could be ‘the most significant air pollution policy President Obama will adopt in his second term. . . . There is not another air pollution control strategy that we know of that will produce as substantial, cost-effective and expeditious emissions reductions.”

Luke Tonachel, Senior Vehicles Analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council
“These common-sense standards will save lives, save money and clean up our air – all at a minimal cost.  Big Oil companies want us to believe these benefits aren’t worth it. But that’s because they care about profits above all else.”

Frank O’Donnell, President, Clean Air Watch
“I think this proposal is the single most effective step EPA can take right now to reduce smog.”

Statement from the Emissions Control Technology Association
As the companies who have developed the cutting edge technology to reduce mobile source emissions by more than 90 percent, the Emissions Control Technology Association (ECTA) commends President Obama’s leadership in proposing a Tier 3 regulation that will improve public health and strengthen our domestic manufacturing base. The benefits of Tier 3 will far outweigh the cost.

Michelle Robinson, Director of Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
“The path from a car’s tailpipe to our lungs is surprisingly short, and more than 1 in 3 Americans live in areas where air pollution levels exceed at least one federal limit.  Today’s proposal is a common-sense step that will protect our health while growing our economy.”

Michael Brune, Sierra Club, Executive Director
“With these expected cleaner tailpipe standards, President Obama is taking a strong step to protect our public health and secure his clean energy legacy. We have the technology to clean up our fuels and our cars and it’s critical that we put them to work to ensure Americans have the safe, breathable air they deserve.  Cutting smog and other toxic air pollution will help American children breath cleaner air and will save lives. These new standards will save billions annually in health costs and will free American families from some of the crippling effects of respiratory disease, asthma attacks and other severe health problems.”

Michael Stanton, President and CEO, Global Automakers
“We have been anxiously awaiting this rulemaking because it is good for the environment and will help harmonize the federal and California programs for both vehicles and fuels.  With 15 million new vehicle sales a year, automakers need predictable national fuel quality at the retail pump.  Ultra-low sulfur gasoline is already available in California, Europe, and Japan and will enable automakers to use a broader range of technologies to meet the significant environmental challenges facing the industry.”

Mark MacLeod, Environmental Defense Fund
“The new Tier 3 standards will make our cars cleaner, and that means we’ll have cleaner air to breathe.  Reducing tailpipe pollution will provide healthier, longer lives for millions of Americans for less than a penny per gallon of gas. That’s why updating the standards has such broad support from U.S. auto makers, state health commissioners, and health advocates.”

Following the Renewable Fuels Standard? House Committee Seeks ‘Blend Wall’ Responses by April 5th

House Committee Examines ‘Blend Wall’ Challenges

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released its first in a series of white papers that examines a number of issues emerging with the Renewable Fuels Standard and is asking for input from interested stakeholders.

WASHINGTON – Launching a bipartisan review of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), the House Energy and Commerce Committee released last week its first in a series of white papers that examine a number of issues emerging with the current system and solicit input from interested stakeholders.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and other committee members are leading the effort to review the law and its implementation.

In the 112th Congress, Fred serves as co-chair of the House Energy Action Team, a working group of GOP members focused on communicating positive energy solutions including those encompassed by the American Energy Initiative. He held a similar role in the 111th Congress serving as co-chair of the House Republicans’ American Energy Solutions Group, which focused on lowering energy prices for American families and small businesses through the development of domestic energy sources. Fred strongly supports an “all of the above” approach with a greater emphasis on domestic exploration, the advancement of breakthrough technologies, and the development of nuclear power. Fred has also been a leading opponent of cap-and-trade legislation and needless EPA regulations that stifle growth, destroy jobs, and raise energy costs.

“It has been more than five years since the RFS was last revised, and we now have a wealth of actual implementation experience with it,” the white paper explains. “In some respects, the RFS has unfolded as expected, but in others it has not. Several implementation challenges have emerged that received little if any consideration prior to passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Furthermore, the overall energy landscape has changed since 2007. It is time to undertake an assessment of the RFS.”

The white paper addresses the so-called “blend wall,” the point at which adding the required volume of ethanol to gasoline supplies would result in ethanol blends that exceed 10%, which is the maximum ethanol content approved for sale for use in all vehicles. As gasoline demand has declined in recent years, and ethanol targets have continued to rise, the blend wall is approaching much faster than anticipated. The required volumes of ethanol as set by the RFS must now be added to a smaller-than-expected pool of gasoline, and many experts predict the 10% blend wall may be reached as soon as this year. While blends containing up to 10% ethanol (E-10) have long been used, refiners may need to start producing E15 to stay in compliance. Four subsequent white papers with questions will address other economic, environmental, and policy issues.

The approaching blend wall raises a number of issues for producers, refiners, auto manufacturers, and fuel retailers. The Renewable Standard Assessment White Paper examines these issues and poses a number of questions for discussion. The committee is requesting interested stakeholders to send responses to these questions by April 5, 2013.

Questions for Stakeholder Comment

  1. To what extent was the blend wall anticipated in the debate over the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of expanded use of E-15 to automakers, other gasoline powered equipment makers, refiners, fuel retailers, and others involved in the manufacture and sale of gasoline and gasoline-using equipment?
  3. What are the risks of the introduction and sale of E-15 to the owners of pre-2001 motor vehicles, boats, motorcycles, and other gasoline-powered equipment not approved to use it? Are there risks to owners of post-2001 vehicles? How do these risks compare to the benefits of the RFS?
  4. What is the likely impact, if any, of the blend wall on retail gasoline prices?
  5. What is the timing of the implementation challenges related to the blend wall? Will some entities face difficulties earlier than others?
  6. Could the blend wall be delayed or prevented with increased use of E-85 in flexible fuel vehicles? What are the impediments to increased E-85 use? Are there policies that can overcome these impediments?
  7. Is E-15 misfueling unavoidable? Are there lessons from the labeling and dispensing of diesel, E-85 and other fuels that prevent their misfueling that can also be applied to E-15? What specific actions are companies taking to address potential misfueling concerns under MMPs?
  8. Can blend wall implementation challenges be avoided without changes to the RFS? Is the existing EPA waiver process sufficient to address any concerns? If the RFS must be changed to avoid the blend wall, what should these changes entail? Should any changes include liability relief or additional consumer protections for addressing misfueling concerns?
  9. Have the 2017 and Later Model Years Light Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks changed the implementation outlook of the RFS?
  10. What other methods, including the use of drop-in fuels, are available to industry to ease the challenge posed by the blend wall?
  11. What are the impacts on renewable fuel producers if the RFS is changed to avoid the blend wall?

Please send responses to rfs@mail.house.gov by April 5, 2013.

Tait Regulatory Affairs Manager Plays Critical Role in new UST Reference Manual

Brian Harmon, Tait Regulatory Affairs Manager, played a key role in authoring the newly published PEI Recommended Practice 1200.  For the past two years, Brian collaborated with a team of Underground Storage Tank experts to develop this new resource for the UST owners and operators throughout the nation.  The content of this manual is especially significant due to proposed EPA regulatory changes.  According to PEI, “the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed far-reaching regulatory changes that would require that key UST system components be periodically tested/verified to ensure their integrity and adequate performance. PEI/RP1200 provides a concise summary of general guidelines for the inspection and testing of leak detection, release prevention and overfill prevention equipment at UST facilities to complement those proposed regulatory changes.”  More information can be found at www.PEI.org/RP1200.

Tait Regulatory Affairs Manager plays critical role in new UST Reference Manual

Brian Harmon listed in PEI’s RP 1200

As part of the PEI Overfill, Leak Detection and Release Prevention Equipment Testing Committee Brian was instrumental in creating this new publication entitled Recommended Practices for the Testing and Verification of Spill, Overfill, Leak Detection and Secondary Containment Equipment at UST Facilities. It is available through the Petroleum Equipment Institute at this link.

PEI is a trade association located in Tulsa, Oklahoma with member companies located in all 50 states and more than 80 countries whose members manufacture, distribute and service petroleum marketing and liquid-handling equipment. Here is a link to PEI’s presentation from the Tanks Conferrence. Click on the image below to see the whole slideshow.

PEI - RP1200 Presentation

PEI – New Practices Slideshow

Will you be attending the 2012 PEI Convention? Join us, Tait Environmental Services will be at Booth #4818 October 7th – 10th, 2012. Please contact us so we can coordinate spending some time with you before, during or after the show. We look forward to meeting with you! You can email Brian Harmon directly in advance of the show with any questions you have.