New UST Regulations
On July 15, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released revised regulations for underground storage tanks (USTs). Many of these regulations mirror certain aspects of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and are designed to emphasize the importance of proper operation and maintenance of UST equipment. The changes include: 1
- Adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping;
- Adding operator training requirements;
- Adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems;
- Adding requirements to ensure UST system compatibility before storing certain biofuel blends;
- Removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks;
- Updating codes of practice; and
- Making editorial and technical corrections.
For UST systems installed on or before October 13, 2015, these requirements will go into effect according to the following schedule: 2:
|Upgrading UST systems; general operating requirements; and operator training||October 13, 2018|
|Release detection||October 13, 2018|
|Release reporting, response, and investigation; closure; financial responsibility and notification (certain exceptions apply)||October 13, 2015|
USTs are a leading source of groundwater contamination. In addition to tank releases, there are risks associated with releases from piping, spills, and overfills associated with delivery. The revised UST regulations aim to reduce the probability of a release, and mitigate the consequences if such releases do occur. By focusing on proper operations and maintenance protocols, these regulations will also increase the chances of early detection and minimize soil and groundwater contamination.
Educating employees on the EPA’s new UST requirements will help facilitate the integration of these revised operation and maintenance procedures.