Green Gas Station Initiative

Gas Stations Reduce VOC Emissions and Energy Consumption

A cost effective way to keep our air healthy and reduce gasoline consumption is to
reduce ozone-causing VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions or vapors that escape from gas station underground storage tanks. To demonstrate this process, the Green Gas Station Initiative utilized cutting-edge technology (the Vaporsaver system) constructed to return escaping ozone-causing vapors to underground storage tanks as valuable fuel. The Vaporsaver manufacturer estimates a station pumping 200,000 gallons of gas every month can save nearly 500 gallons of gas that would otherwise evaporate. With gasoline prices at $2.50 per gallon, store owners could save $15,000 per year while protecting the environment from tons of air pollution. The pilot project demonstrated that if every gas station in Dane County had a Vaporsaver, they would prevent a total of 440,000 gallons of gas per year from evaporating into thin air and would eliminate 1,350 tons of smog-forming pollution.

Partnering with Dane County for its Green Gas Station Initiative, Dane County Clean AIr Coalition received the only nationally awarded Air Innovation grant from the EPA in 2006. With the $50,000 grant DCCAC demonstrated methods of reducing air emissions and energy consumption. The pilot program 1) installed pressure vent valves at 100 gas stations in Dane County and two vapor recovery systems (one in Dane County and one in southeastern Wisconsin); 2) provided technical assistance and education through Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Program and through industry sources; and, 3) provided information on best management practices and “green” products to station managers and owners. The pressure vent valves reduced VOC emissions by 7.8 tons per year. The two vapor recovery systems reduced VOC emissions by 6.75 tons per year.