Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What Should You Do with Used Oil Filters? Crush Them!

Oil filters have been around since the very early days of automobile travel. The primary role, of course, is to clean oil from potentially damaging contaminants within the engine. Ernest Sweetland is credited with inventing the oil filter in 1922, according to an article in Machinery Lubrication. The spin-on filter style became the industry standard by the early 1970's.

Changing engine oil means changing the filter, so that any solid contaminants in the old oil don't  get into the fresh oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keeps an eye on disposing of items like used oil filters, with its Office of Compliance offering a Fact Sheet on what to do. Oil filter crushers play a key role in these best practices.

Proper Drainage of Used Oil

Used oil filters are not considered hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) if they have been properly drained of used oil. Terre-plated oil filters were also considered hazardous because its tin/lead composition, but those have been mostly out of production since the late 1990s.

The EPA says used oil filters must be punctured and hot-drained, which means at or near engine operating temperature. Of the four hot-draining options listed in the fact sheet, oil filter crushers deliver advantages for speed and efficiency. BJE offers a variety of pneumatic and hydraulic oil filter crushers, which will remove 95 percent of the free-flowing oil from the filter, and reduce the filter to 75 percent of  its original size. Cycle times can be as little as five seconds. Here's a quick video demonstration of the BJE C-4 Pneumatic oil filter crusher. 

Since a properly drained filter is not considered hazardous waste, the paper, steel and plastic that comprise filters can be recycled. There are many options available but Earth 911 offers a link to a recycling locator that can help begin the process.

State regulations can be more stringent than federal guidelines, so it is a good idea to check the requirements or recommendations in your specific location regarding hot draining used oil filters. One example is from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, which has posted a Best Management Practices for Motor Vehicle Recyclers. The document sums used oil filter disposal up this way: "The best way to fully drain a filter is to use a filter crusher."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why Your Fuel Marketing Business Needs Tank Monitoring

For as long as many fuel marketers can remember, the idea behind remote tank monitoring has been self-evident. Remote tank monitoring is based on discrete sensors installed on above-ground tanks to measure and wirelessly transmit fill level data. Dispatchers then make daily use of fill level data for optimal load and route planning. However, the direct and indirect benefits of wireless tank monitoring are more complex than one might think at first glance.


Minimizing remote delivery runs is part of any well-managed fuel distribution operation. Not surprisingly, cost efficiency is the main driver behind remote tank monitoring investments. However, for any fuel marketer, eliminating customer run-outs is mandatory. Tank monitoring solutions can solve both these challenges when used with tanks that are either very remote or support critical customer operations.

With Enevo, the tank monitoring value proposition is based on reliability and ease-of-use

There are also significant secondary benefits of remote tank monitoring. Monitoring tanks for theft or contract-breach can yield unexpected savings. Also, the forecasting abilities of remote tank monitoring enable insight to customer operations as well as predictability of delivery needs. The piece of mind of wireless tank monitoring can also help growing call-in customers towards longer-term contracts.

For fuel marketers actively looking to improve their operational efficiencies, tank monitoring solutions are a game-changer. However, service reliability and ease-of-use play a significant role in making the investment successful. To find out more about what Enevo can offer your business, see www.husky.com/enevo.com or call Joe Laschke at +1-(636)-388-5055.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Winding Down: Decommissioning Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems

Individual States Methodically Decide When (or If) to Phase Out Gas Vapor Recovery at the Fuel Nozzle
It’s been about five years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that fuel marketers could begin removing and replacing Stage II vapor recovery systems because they were no longer cost-effective at reducing air pollution. Since then individual states have been deciding what to do. The result has been a stream of decisions that has amounted to a gradual phase out. Only a handful of jurisdictions, led most notably by California, still require gasoline vapor recovery systems at the fuel nozzle.

The EPA’s 2012 announcement that it would waive Stage II vapor recovery requirements affected approximately 40 ozone nonattainment areas and 13 ozone transport regions. The agency determined onboard refueling vapor recovery systems (ORVR) are widespread in the highway motor vehicle fleet and are effective at capturing vapors evacuated from the gasoline tank before reaching the pump nozzle. The widespread use designation was made after the EPA determined more than 75 percent of gasoline was dispensed into vehicles that have ORVR systems.
The agency estimated potential national cost savings for facilities that decommission Stage II systems at more than $91 million. That amounted to recurring savings of about $3,000 per year for 30,600 dispensing facilities outside California with Stage II equipment. “By waiving the Stage II requirement, EPA is reducing regulatory burdens on the gasoline service station industry,” the agency wrote in its fact sheet regarding the ruling in 2012.
Decommissioning Requirements
The EPA ruling did not mean all fuel marketers were free to eliminate their Stage II systems. States had to show the EPA that removing Stage II requirements would not interfere with applicable Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. This factor led to what amounted to a gradual phase-out in the states that decided to act. The process of decommissioning the systems is either completed or in progress for the large majority of the affected regions. Some of the most recent actions involve these states:
·         Virginia: As of January 1, 2017, owners of Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (GDF) located in the Richmond area may decommission their Stage II equipment in accordance with the PEI RP300-09.
·         Tennessee: As of July 14, 2016, Stage II will no longer be required to be installed in new GDF.  Existing Stage II systems should be decommissioned by July 14, 2019.
·         New Jersey: Beginning October 12, 2016 new GDF can be constructed without Stage II Vapor recovery systems.
·         Kentucky: Louisville stopped Stage II requirement in May 2016 and requires GDF to decommission those systems within 3 years.
California plans to retain its Stage II program for the foreseeable future. The state Air Resources Board (CAB) believes the EPA’s guidance allowing Stage II removal does not apply because its Phase II Enhanced Vapor Recovery program includes more controls and achieves more emission reductions than federal Stage II. The CAB also believes Stage II elimination would likely increase the risk of benzene exposure. The District of Columbia and three other states with Stage II vapor recovery requirements – Nevada, Oregon and Washington – have not acted to change them.
Decommissioning involves properly shutting down the Stage II equipment that collected gas vapor and transferred it to the underground storage tank until it could be collected by delivery trucks. The procedure generally involves capping off and disconnecting various Stage II components but leaves the below grade Stage II vapor piping in place. Regulations generally require facilities to decommission their entire Stage II system rather than replacing equipment at individual dispensers. All the Stage II hanging hardware must be replaced with conventional hanging hardware.
Two types of Stage II systems had been in place across the United States. Vapor Balance systems are characterized by the large bellows attached to the fuel nozzle. The somewhat cumbersome Vapor Balance system assembly creates a slight vacuum that pulls gas vapors back into the underground storage tank. The other Stage II system, Vacuum Assist, has a smaller vapor collector on the nozzle paired with a vacuum pump that pulls gas vapor back to the underground storage tank.

Husky Corporation offers a preassembled and fully tested set of hanging hardware allowing fuel marketers to replace their Stage II equipment. The EZ Connect package includes an adapter (to plug the vapor recovery line at the dispenser), whip hose, break-away, fuel hose, swivel, and nozzle.
“All the fuel marketer has to do is disconnect their old dispenser hose assembly and attach the EZ Connect package,” Baker said. “Since Husky is the only company that manufactures all the components needed to decommission Stage II systems, customers asked us to develop this professionally assembled package to make the decommissioning project as easy as possible.”
Husky quality inspectors check thread connections to ensure compatibility and consistency. Husky technicians assemble the components with tools that apply the correct torque, pressure-test the connections, and conduct continuity tests against problems with static electricity.
The CAA also required many ozone non-attainment areas to adopt Stage I vapor recovery systems which apply to the gasoline distribution industry and Stage II systems which apply to service stations in the early 1990’s. The Stage I rules limiting emissions of hazardous air pollutants from gasoline distribution terminals in the United States remain in effect.