Vapor Recovery Certification Process – Gasoline Dispensing Facilities
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is responsible for the certification of vapor recovery systems at gasoline dispensing facilities, per Section 41954 of the California Health and Safety Code. The CARB Executive Officer, or delegate (as used in this website, the term delegate means CARB staff), certifies only those vapor recovery systems that, based upon testing and engineering evaluation, are demonstrated to meet all requirements of the applicable certification procedure, which can be downloaded from the link, listed in the table in Step 1. The general steps of the certification process are listed below. It is the applicant’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with the detailed requirements of the applicable certification procedure.
Step 1: Applicant Reviews Vapor Recovery Certification and Application Requirements
Based upon vapor recovery system type, the applicant reviews and becomes familiar with the requirements pertaining to the system type they are submitting for certification. The applicant must be aware of the specific system standards, the application requirements and process, and the requirements for research and development (R&D) and test sites. Underground Storage Tanks see CP-201. Aboveground Storage Tanks see CP-206. Enhanced Conventional Nozzles see CP-207. Low Permeation Hoses see CP-201, CP-206, and CP-207 above.
Step 2: Applicant Requests Research and Development Site
As part of the certification procedure review and certification application process, the applicant shall request a research and development site to gather data on the operation of their system. The applicant will initially need a written R&D Test Site approval from the Executive Officer and then a permit from the Local Air District.
Step 3: Applicant Conducts Research and Development
The applicant conducts research and development to provide data in support of their application.
Step 4: Applicant Prepares Vapor Recovery Certification Application
The applicant prepares the application according to the requirements of the appropriate Certification Procedure. See Step 1 above. The application must include: (a) Description of Vapor Recovery System; (b) Description of In-Station Diagnostics System (if applicable); (c) Materials Compatibility with Fuels; (d) Evidence of Compatibility of the System; (e) Evidence of Reliability of the System; (f) Installation and Maintenance Requirements of the System; (g) Evidence of Financial Responsibility of the Applicant; (h) A copy of the Warranty; (i) Request for and Information about Proposed Test Station; (j) Notification of System Certification Holder (if applicable); (k) Equipment Defect Identification and Test Protocols; (l) Challenge Modes and Test Protocols; and (m) Other Information as required by the Certification Procedure. The application shall include approvals from other Agencies, see Step 9.
Step 5: Applicant Submits Vapor Recovery Certification Application
The applicant submits a written and signed certification application (or amendment request) to: Chief, Vapor Recovery and Fuel Transfer Branch, Monitoring and Laboratory Division, California Air Resources Board, P.O. Box 2815 Sacramento, California 95812-2815. Street Address: 1927 Thirteenth Street Sacramento, California 95811. In addition, an electronic version of the completed application shall also be provided (DVD/CD/Thumb Drive, etc.) in portable display format (PDF). The application shall contain all the information specified in the application and other sections of the applicable certification procedure.
Step 6: Executive Officer Reviews Vapor Recovery Certification Application
The Executive Officer has 60 days to determine whether the application is acceptable and contains all of the required information. If the application is deemed unacceptable, the applicant is notified of the deficiencies in writing. The applicant may correct the deficiencies and resubmit the application. The Executive Officer then has 30 days of receipt to review the resubmitted application and determines whether or not the application is deemed acceptable to begin certification testing. The test site and challenge mode testing must be approved in writing by the Executive Officer prior to the initiation of any certification testing. The Executive Officer notifies the applicant when testing will begin and identifies the duration of testing, type of testing, and frequency of testing. The duration of testing is at least 180 days. In some instances, the Executive Officer may allow abbreviated or limited testing depending on the application request.
Step 7: Executive Officer Conducts Vapor Recovery Certification Testing
The applicant is responsible for securing a test site for certification testing. Test site conditions are listed in the applicable certification procedure. The testing period does not start until the Executive Officer sends a site seal letter to the applicant. The Executive Officer shall have continuous access to the test site without prior notification to conduct testing or inspection of the vapor recovery equipment. After a test site is approved for certification testing and a site sealing letter sent, no unauthorized maintenance by the applicant or site contractor is allowed unless approved by the Executive Officer. Maintenance can be performed without the Executive Officer approval only when it is necessary to alleviate a safety problem. Unauthorized maintenance may be subject to termination of the certification test. Failure of any certification test, standard, or specification attributed to the design of the vapor recovery system or component under certification evaluation shall be cause for termination.
Step 8: Executive Officer Prepares Draft Executive Order and Submits for Review
Once testing is successfully completed and the vapor recovery system/component has met all applicable standards and specifications, the Executive Officer prepares a draft Executive Order and Certification Summary. The draft Executive Order and Certification Summary is subject to a series of reviews by the applicant and local air districts (Districts). This review process will typically take up to two months. Following review, the draft Executive Order and Certification Summary is then amended to address comments received.
Step 9: Applicant Submits Approvals from Additional State Agencies
Approvals from other state agencies as specified in the applicable certification procedure are submitted to the Executive Officer and included in the final Executive Order package. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain these approvals from other state agencies. State agency contacts can be found at https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/vapor-recovery-state-agency-contacts.
Step 10: Executive Officer Submits Quarterly Invoice for Vapor Recovery Certification
Each applicant submitting a system/component for certification shall be charged fees not to exceed the actual cost of reviewing and approving the application, evaluating and testing the system/component, and preparing/reviewing/finalizing the Executive Order. Billing invoices will be sent out quarterly.
Step 11: Executive Order is Signed by Executive Officer
The application is deemed complete when all applicable requirements are met (e.g. testing is complete, Agency approvals obtained, and the applicant has submitted all required documentation). Once the application is deemed complete, the Executive Officer has up to 120 days to sign the Executive Order certifying the vapor recovery systems. The applicant will be notified when the Executive Order is signed.
For more information, or questions, please send an email to email@example.com, or call (916) 327-0900, or visit CARB Vapor Recovery webpage at https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/our-work/programs/vapor-recovery.