The International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) has welcomed the news that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised its new rule expanding the use of in-service tank inspections.
The final rule, effective immediately, was published in the US Federal Register on 19 January 2021. It allows operators of certain tanks (those New Source Performance Standards of Subpart Kb) to carry out in-service inspections of internal floating roof rim seals rather than having to empty the tanks and remove them from service first.
In a blog post on the new rule, which applies to around 3,500 storage vessels in the US, ILTA says that such in-service inspections are more efficient, save money, and emit fewer air pollutants, and that the change is something the liquid terminal industry has wanted for some time. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many tanks unusually full and almost impossible to empty for inspection, which has allowed ILTA to make the case for the change to EPA. ILTA says that the action is a ‘huge win for the liquid terminal industry and ILTA’s advocacy efforts.’
EPA says that the change could eliminate 38 tonnes of volatile organic compound emissions and save US$768,000-1.1 million (€634,000-907,000) annually.
‘ILTA appreciates EPA’s efforts to finalise this rule that allows the use of modern tank inspections methods to find and correct air pollution leaks at large liquid storage tanks. This final action is a win-win for both the environment and the industry,’ says ILTA president Kathryn Clay.
She adds: ‘This common-sense solution will lower emissions, ensure safety and provide operations with increased regulatory flexibility.’