EPA Proposes New Rules for Underground Storage Tanks

Date: October 31, 2011

Source: News Room

The EPA is proposing to overhaul its 1988 underground storage tank (UST) regulations by adding new requirements for tank maintenance and spill prevention. The proposed rule, which EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson signed Oct. 25, would require the installation of secondary containment systems for all new and replaced tanks, including those containing petroleum, and require the installation of under-dispenser containment for all new dispenser systems. EPA says the changes are meant to address the increased fuel corrosivity due to due to increased use of biofuels and to take advantage of new leak detection technology that was not available in 1988 when the rules were first promulgated.

While the 1998 rule required equipment to be in place to reduce and prevent releases, the proposed rule adds requirements for owners and operators to conduct monthly walk-through inspections to look at spill prevention equipment, monitoring wells and release detection equipment. It would also require owners and operators to test spill prevention equipment annually and to test overfill prevention equipment and certain secondary containment equipment every three years. Another proposed change from current rules is requiring owners and operators to permanently close tanks that use internal lining as the sole method of corrosion protection, if an inspection shows the lining has failed and cannot be repaired. This is a change from the existing rule, which allows some tanks to be relined.

To learn more, visit: www.epa.gov/swerust1/fedlaws/proposedregs.html.

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