State Water Board – Underground Storage Tank Biodiesel Regulations

INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS OF CHAPTER 16 OF DIVISION 3 OF TITLE 23 OF THE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS FOR THE STORAGE OF BIODIESEL

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Core Documents

Technical, Theoretical, or Empirical Studies, Reports, and Documents

Key Provisions of Regulation

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) proposes to amend California Code of Regulations, title 23, division 3, chapter 16 (California Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations), article 3, sections 2631 and 2631.2 (proposed amendments).  The proposed amendment to section 2631 provides that diesel containing up to 20 percent biodiesel meeting the American Society of Testing and Materials International standard D7467 (B20) shall be recognized as equivalent to diesel for the purpose of complying with existing approval requirements for double-walled USTs unless any material or component of the UST system has been determined to not be compatible with B20.  This proposed amendment allows double-walled UST owners and operators that wish to store B20 to comply with the California UST Regulations.  The State Water Board also proposes to delete section 2631.2, which provided a temporary variance for biodiesel blends from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2012, because it is inoperative.

Background

California UST Regulations require that the primary and secondary containment, leak detection equipment, and all other UST equipment that comes into contact with the stored substance be approved for the storage of a specific hazardous substance.
Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) is an independent testing organization that has issued approvals for primary and secondary containment for USTs that are used in California.  UL approvals do not always cover B20.  In 2009, UL began material compatibility testing for biodiesel and biodiesel blends in USTs.  On January 7, 2009, UL determined that diesel containing up to five percent biodiesel fell within existing approvals covering diesel.  Section 2631.2 of the California UST Regulations provided a temporary variance for UST owners and operators of double-walled USTs to lawfully store B20 from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2012.

Effective June 1, 2012, sections 2631(j) and (k) of the California UST Regulations provided a permanent option to double-walled UST owners and operators to store any hazardous substance including biodiesel and biodiesel blends containing more than five percent biodiesel USTs.  Sections 2631(j) and (k) provide that if the independent testing organization approval does not cover the specific hazardous substance to be stored in a double-walled UST, a manufacturer’s affirmative statement of compatibility for that specific hazardous substance may be used.  The National Biodiesel Board, Renewable Energy Group, and California Advanced Biodiesel Association have identified that this regulatory requirement is prohibitive as UST owners and operators are not familiar with the components used to construct their UST systems, and therefore cannot produce the proper documentation.  This prevents owners and operators from being eligible to store B20.
 
As of April of 2019, UL still has not completed material compatibility testing for biodiesel and biodiesel blends in USTs.

Public Participation

State Water Board staff conducted collaborative discussions with the National Biodiesel Board, Renewable Energy Group, and California Advanced Biodiesel Association regarding technical, theoretical, and empirical studies, reports, and documents, demonstrating that there is sufficient technical data and positive operational experience in the field to support a rulemaking to recognize B20 as equivalent to conventional diesel fuel.

The State Water Board relied upon the technical, theoretical, or empirical studies, reports, and documents in proposing these amendments to the California UST Regulations.  The State Water Board also relied on a preliminary Economic and Fiscal Impact Statement (Form 399) and an Economic Impact Analysis/Assessment prepared pursuant to Government Code section 11346.3, subdivision (b) in proposing these amendments to the California UST Regulations.  Form 399 and the technical, theoretical, or empirical studies, reports, and documents relied upon are available above.

Public Comment Period

Any interested person may submit written comments relevant to the proposed regulatory action to the State Water Board.  The written comment period closed on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 12:00 p.m.  The State Water Board will only consider comments received by that time. Please send comment letters to Ms. Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board, by email at: commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov, fax at (916) 341-5620, or mail or hand delivery to:

Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000 (by mail)
1001 "I" St, 24th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 (by hand delivery)

Please also indicate in the subject line, “Comment Letter - Proposed UST Regulations.”

Hand and special deliveries should also be addressed to Ms. Townsend at the address above. Couriers delivering comments must check in with lobby security and have them contact Ms. Townsend at (916) 341-5600.  Due to the limitations of the email system, emails larger than 15 megabytes are rejected and cannot be delivered or received by the State Water Board.  The State Water Board requests that comments larger than 15 megabytes be submitted under separate emails.

Contact Information

Requests for copies of the text of the proposed regulations, the statement of reasons, or other information upon which the rulemaking is based, or other inquiries should be addressed to the following:

Laura S. Fisher, Chief 
State Water Resources Control Board 
Division of Water Quality 
1001 "I" Street 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
(916) 341-5870 
Laura.Fisher@waterboards.ca.gov

The backup contact person is:

Cory Hootman 
State Water Resources Control Board 
Division of Water Quality 
1001 "I" Street 
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 341-5668 
Cory.Hootman@waterboards.ca.gov