Gasoline Dispensing Requirements

NEW Compliance Reminder (PDF) to Operators of Gasoline Dispensing Facilities to submit Monthly Throughput data for Calendar Year 2017 by March 1, 2018 

Retail Gas Station Inspection Process (Video)

Vapor Recovery System Upgrades

Since 2001, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted a number of significant enhancements to gasoline dispensing facilities' (GDFs') vapor recovery systems.  These efforts are necessary to ensure the continued effective operation of the vapor recovery systems during the transfer and dispensing of gasoline at these facilities.

As the regional air pollution control agency responsible for permitting and enforcement activities related to GDFs, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has prepared a number of Compliance Advisories to provide guidance to GDFs attempting to comply with these new requirements. Regulatory requirements you should be aware of include:

Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR)

Vapor recovery systems collect gasoline vapors that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere during fuel delivery to the underground storage tanks (Phase I) or fuel storage and vehicle fueling (Phase II). The Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) regulations became state law on April 1, 2001. These regulations provide more stringent requirements for vapor recovery systems in order to reduce gasoline vapor emissions. The EVR program is being phased-in according to the CARB EVR timeline (PDF).

  • Phase I EVR for Gasoline Underground Storage Tanks (UST)
    As of April 1, 2005, all GDFs were required to be equipped with Phase I EVR systems for their UST. As of this date, all existing non-EVR Phase I systems were decertified for use by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and any GDF operating without the upgraded EVR system is in non-compliance with State regulations and AQMD Rule 461 (PDF) requirements.

  • Phase II EVR for Gasoline UST (Phase II FAQs)
    Phase II EVR systems are certified to several new standards, including ORVR compatibility, more stringent spillage and “dripless nozzle” requirements, In-station diagnostics and storage tank pressure limits. GDFs with underground storage tanks must upgrade to Phase II EVR by April 1, 2009.

  • In-Station Diagnostics (ISD)
    ISD detects potential failures automatically, notifies the station operator, and is designed to reduce emissions by early detection and prompt repair. ISD must be installed in GDFs with an annual throughput of more than 1.8 million gallons by September 1, 2009. The deadline for GDFs with annual throughputs of 600,000- 1.8 million gallons, to install ISD is September 2010. ISD monitors the performance of the vapor recovery systems and triggers warnings for alarms to indicate potential failures. If corrective action is not taken, ISD may eventually shut down fuel dispensing.  For information about all current and upcoming EVR regulations, refer to CARB's EVR Implementation Update (PDF)

  • EVR for Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST)
    ARB adopted Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) standardsLink to external website. for vapor recovery systems using Aboveground Gasoline Storage Tanks (AST)on May 2, 2008.  The standards included Standing Loss Control, Phase I and Phase II vapor recovery systems, and components used at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (GDF). At the same time, Test Procedures TP-206.1, TP-206.2, and TP-206.3 were certified in regards to determining compliance with AST EVR system performance standards.  Compliance schedule for AST EVR as of July 2014 can be viewed hereLink to external website..

  • Training for Installation Contractors

    In order to install vapor recovery system and components, contractors must obtain certification from equipment manufacturers and  the International Code CouncilLink to external website. (ICC).  For further information, please refer to Advisory 23-05 (PDF) and Advisory 01-07 (PDF).

Compliance Assistance

The following classes are offered to GDF owners and operators.  To register for any of these classes, click here.

  • Daily Self-Inspection Class
    This course is designed for GDF personnel who will be conducting daily maintenance inspections. Subjects covered during this training include: Rule 461 requirements, Phase I and II vapor recovery systems, inspection procedures, and equipment defect detection.   In addition to the classes offered by SCAQMD, there are also a number of outside trainers that have been approved by SCAQMD to provide this training.

  • Annual Periodic Inspection Class  
    This certification course is intended for anyone planning to conduct the annual inspections required by Rule 461.  Subjects covered during this class will include: Rule 461 requirements, CARB Executive Orders, Phase I and II vapor recovery systems, SCAQMD permitting requirements, inspection procedures and equipment defect identification. Participants receiving a passing score of 70 or better on the course test will be issued auditor identification cards and be authorized to conduct annual inspections within the SCAQMD.

  • Vapor Recovery System Tester Orientation
    Regular testing of a gasoline dispensing facility's vapor recovery system ensures its proper operation and compliance with applicable CARB Executive Orders. Individuals must first complete this orientation training prior to conducting any testing in the SCAQMD. Subjects covered during this training include: CARB test procedures 201.3, 201.4, 201.5 and 201.6; EVR test procedures; testing equipment; and Rule 461 requirements for testing (notification and reporting). Upon completion of this course, participants will be issued identification cards and will be authorized to conduct testing at any facility within the SCAQMD.

Class Schedule:

Class Title

Upcoming Scheduled Classes


Daily Maintenance Inspection

March 23, 2018 (Friday) 
June 15, 2018 (Friday)


Periodic Compliance Inspection

March 9, 2018 (Friday) 
June 8, 2018 (Friday)


Vapor Recovery System Tester Orientation

March 16, 2018 (Friday) 
June 1, 2018 (Friday)


Vapor Recovery System Testing

SCAQMD Rule 461 subdivision (e) - Testing, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements specifies requirements for testing the vapor recovery system of a gasoline dispensing equipment. A vapor recovery system has to be tested within 10 calendar days after initial operation of dispensing fuel.  Initial vapor recovery tests are referred to as Performance Tests.  Additionally, vapor recovery systems must be tested annually (throughput less than 100,000 gallons per month) or semi-annually (throughput more than or equal to 100,000 gallons per month).  These tests are referred to as Reverification Tests.  All vapor recovery system tests have to be scheduled and conducted by certified individuals.

  • Certified Vapor Recovery Testers
    To find a current list of certified vapory recovery testers (updated 1/11/18), click here

  • Scheduling a Vapor Recovery Test
    To schedule a vapor recovery test, click here.  For further information, refer to the FAQs.

  • Clarification of Testing Hours
    All performance and reverification testing can only be conducted Monday through Friday during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Testing may be conducted during weekend hours subject to SCAQMD approval. However, SCAQMD may require retesting at these stations during regular SCAQMD business hours.  SCAQMD will require Performance Tests be performed during regular SCAQMD business hours so that an inspector can witness the testing. 

  • Training for Testers
    Testers must complete the testing orientation Training Class from SCAQMD, and obtain a tester number from the SCAQMD. An International Code Council (ICC) issued VT certification is required of all testers.  At the time of issuing a tester number, a picture of the tester will also be taken.  [NOTE: Any person performing vapor recovery repairs and installations must possess valid ICC VI certification.] 

  •  "No Show” Fee
    SCAQMD will assess a fee of $412.43 to any contractor that schedules a Reverification/Performance test or a Pre-Backfill inspection and does not conduct the planned event at the specified date and time.

Pre-Backfill Inspection

All vapor return lines of a vapor recovery system must meet certain sloping requirements as stated in Vapor Recovery Executive Orders issued by the California Air Resources Board.  All newly installed vapor return lines or any exposed vapor return line must be inspected by SCAQMD prior to backfilling.  All installation or repair of vapor recovery system must be performed by individual possessing an ICC issued Vapor Recovery Installation and Repair (VI) certification and applicable manufacturer certification.  Pre-backfill inspection can be scheduled by certified contractors by clicking here.

GDFs Documents

For all GDF documents including advisories, meeting presentations, etc., click here.



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