City of Berkeley Permits for Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) Systems and In-Station Diagnostics (ISD)

California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations require Gasoline Dispensing Facilities (GDFs) to install Phase II EVR equipment, including ISD, by April 1, 2009.  GDFs that do not meet this deadline will be shut down and may be fined by CARB.  You must obtain a permit from the City of Berkeley for the installation of this new equipment.  The speed of the permitting process is dependent upon your complete permit application.  Permit processing takes a minimum of 3 weeks.  Specific submittal requirements for the City of Berkeley follow.

Berkeley Permit Service Center (PSC)

The PSC, located at 2120 Milvia Street, is a one-stop information and processing location for permit applications.  Please refer to these suggestions for EVR plan submittal:

  1. Plan submittal for new projects requires an appointment. Make an appointment by calling (510) 981-7502.  You will need an over-the-counter appointment with Zoning and the PSC.  Please plan on spending one to two hours at the PSC.
  2. During your appointment, submit eight (8) sets of plans to be routed to Zoning, Design Review, Building & Safety (2 sets), Fire, Toxics Management Division, Traffic, and Engineering.
  3. The plan check fee must be submitted with your plans.
  4. The estimated review time period will be three (3) weeks for issuance of the first correction list or the approved permit.
  5. Issuance of the permit is contingent upon approval from all agencies.

Building and Safety

EVR plans submitted to the PSC must be wet-stamped and signed by a licensed Architect, Civil, or Structural Engineer.  All construction shall comply with 2007 California Building, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Codes. The minimum plan size accepted is 11 x17 inches.

Submittal must include at a minimum:

  1. A site plan showing all existing and new structures with dimensioned setbacks to property lines
  2. Manufacturer’s specifications for all equipment and tanks including: height, diameter, tank thickness, operating weights, materials, and operating pressures
  3. Fully dimensioned foundation plan with pad thickness, reinforcement size and spacing, and all material types specified
  4. Anchor bolt connection details with bolt size, spacing and material types
  5. Size and location of bollards protecting tank from damage
  6. Piping schematic with specifications, material types, underground burial depths, connection details to underground and above ground tanks
  7. Requirements for electrical systems
  8. Supporting structural calculations for gravity and seismic loadings (uplift and overturning) are required and shall also be wet-stamped and signed by the Architect or Engineer of record.

Fire Department

  1. Recovery/Processing units must be securely mounted to concrete, masonry, structural steel or other non-combustible supports.
  2. Equipment Location: Vapor processing units w/ ignition sources to be 18" above any fill tank openings or dispenser islands or grade (whichever is higher). Not less than 20' from dispensing devices, 50' from fuel delivery locations, and no closer than 10' to property lines which can be built on or buildings on the same property. Where the vapor processing equipment has electrical or other ignition sources incorporated into the design, special clearance provisions apply per CCR, Title 19, 1918.64.
  3. Alternate Methods for Equipment Setbacks: Where site conditions prevent the separations listed in 2) above, a fire resistive assembly may be built around the installation to protect it from fire exposure. The enclosure must extend a minimum of 18" above the processing equipment. The enclosures must provide adequate space around the equipment for inspection and maintenance and adequate ventilation must be provided. Fire protection water spray systems may also be used but these are normally only practical in industrial settings.
  4. Vehicle Impact Protection: Vehicle impact protection is required via fire code approved bollards.
  5. Electrically Connected Equipment: Any vapor processing equipment which requires an electrical connection to operate must comply with requirements within the California Electrical Code for Hazardous Location equipment, AND must comply with additional design requirements located in CCR Title 19, 1918.70.

Toxics Management

  1. Submit a Toxics Management Division (TMD) Underground Storage Tank (UST) modification permit, including a brief description of the scope of work, with your building permit application.
  2. If installing In Station Diagnostics (ISD), you must print out a monitoring system report with alarm history, just prior to disconnecting the monitoring system. A copy of the printout must be provided to TMD.
  3. A monitoring certification inspection is required to be performed with TMD upon installation of the ISD.  Contact TMD at least 48 hours prior to installing the ISD to schedule the monitoring certification inspection. 

Zoning/Design Review

  1. Tanks should be:
    • horizontally-mounted if possible; and
    • located behind or adjacent to existing buildings if possible, with a substantial enclosure that matches the building.
  2. If locating the tank near a building is not possible, locate it in a landscaped area and screen with a substantial steel mesh enclosure planted with bushes and vines on all sides as appropriate.  Landscaped area should be irrigated.  Tank and mesh enclosure should be painted green, or an alternate color that is similar to the immediate surroundings.
  3. If tank enclosure is located within 4’ of the vehicular travel path, the bottom 4’ of the enclosure should be split-face concrete block or an alternate material of similar quality.
  4. If located in a landscaped area near drive-aisles, the Traffic Engineer needs to confirm that there are no line-of-sight issues.
  5. If easily viewed from the Public Right of Way, landscape screening may be required in addition to an enclosure, no matter where it is located.

Please, give your station time. Submit your complete permit application 2-3 months before the April 1, 2009, CARB deadline.  If you have specific permitting questions, please contact Marsha Cook, Permit Specialist, at (510) 981-7501.  If you have technical questions, please contact Meridith Lear, Hazardous Materials Specialist II, at (510) 981-7464.