Region 1: EPA New England

Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery Regulations

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Gasoline dispensing pump vapor control devices, commonly referred to as Stage II Vapor Recovery Control, are systems that control volatile organic compound (VOC) vapor releases during the refueling of motor vehicles. This process takes the vapors normally emitted directly into the atmosphere when pumping gas and recycles them back into the fuel storage tanks, preventing them from polluting the air. The Stage II system controls the release of VOC, benzene and toxics emitted from gasoline.

Vapor Recovery: The Past

Historically, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont had regulations that require Stage II vapor recovery at certain gasoline stations depending on the amount of gasoline pumped at the facility and the facility's location. The map below shows the counties in New England where stage II vapor recovery controls were required to be installed.

New England Areas Where Stage II Controls Are Required

Stage II Coverage Map

Vapor Recovery: The Present/Future

Since the early 2000s, new passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and most heavy-duty gasoline powered vehicles have been equipped with onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) systems. ORVR systems are carbon canisters installed directly on automobiles to capture the fuel vapors evacuated from the gasoline tank before they reach the nozzle of a gas pump. The fuel vapors captured in the carbon canisters are then combusted in the engine when the automobile is in operation.

The phase-in of ORVR controls has essentially eliminated the need for Stage II vapor recovery systems. As such, EPA Region 1 has been working with the New England States as they strive to address State legislation and/or revise State regulations aimed at phasing-out Stage II vapor recovery programs. The table below illustrates the status of the Stage II vapor recovery program in each respective State.

State Date Stage II No Longer Required, Stations can uninstall Date by which All Stage II Systems must be Removed Required by State Legislation Status of State Regulations addressing Stage II Phase-Out
Connecticut See CT DEEP
Stage II Webpage
Stage II Webpage
Public Act 13-120 (PDF) (4 pp, 203 K, about PDF) Currently Revising Regulations
Massachusetts See MA DEP
Stage II Webpage
Stage II Webpage
N/A Currently Revising Regulations. See MA DEP Stage II webpage
Rhode Island Dec. 25, 2013 Dec. 22, 2017 * RIGL 23-23-30** APCR No. 11 (PDF) (39 pp, 184 K, about PDF)
Maine Jan. 1, 2012 Jan. 1, 2013 Public Law, 123rd Legislature, Second Regular Session, Chapter 559 (PDF) (1 pg, 7 K, about PDF) Chapter 118 (14 pp, 131 K, Word)
New Hampshire Nov. 17, 2012 Dec. 22, 2015 N/A Env-Or 500 (PDF) (45 pp, 263 K, about PDF)
Vermont Jan. 1, 2013 Jan. 1, 2015 Title 10 V.S.A. ยง583 VT legislation repealed, effective Jan 1, 2013, all rules pertaining to Stage II vapor recovery.

*: Rhode Island allows stations to keep Stage II vapor recovery systems as long as they are modified to not have any incompatibility issues with motor vehicle ORVR systems.
**: RIGL 23-23-30 applies to new and substantially modified stations only between June 14, 2012 and December 25, 2013, the effective date of the amended regulation APCR No. 11.