Category Archives: Uncategorized

UST Secondary Containment and Interstitial Monitoring Requirements

Are you responsible for ensuring site or corporate environmental compliance or for implementing a site environmental management system that includes fueling systems? Whether you’re an environmental manager, a plant engineer, plant/general manager, facility manager, site manager or other role, if you’re involved with underground fuel storage tanks, the new rules regarding secondary containment should be of interest.

Federal UST Secondary Containment and Interstitial Monitoring Requirements

The 1988 requirement and criteria required secondary containment and interstitial monitoring for hazardous substance tanks only (280.42). The EPA is implementing secondary containment with interstitial monitoring and under-dispenser containment (UDC) as additional measures to protect groundwater. States that have already implemented secondary containment regulations that meet or exceed the federal regulations will not have to change their requirements. There are significant changes to the federal requirements and implementation which are summarized below. The implementation timeframe for secondary containment is 180 days. States with approved programs still have three years to reapply, and depending on which state you are in, you may still be governed by the state program rather than the EPA regulations.

Owners and operators are required to install tank and piping secondary containment that will contain regulated substances leaked from the primary containment until they are detected and removed and that will prevent the release of regulated substances to the environment at any time during the operational life of the UST system, and must be  monitored for leaks at least once every 30 days using interstitial monitoring.

NEW INSTALLS and REPLACING Tanks and Piping

Owners and operators are now required to install secondary containment and interstitial monitoring for ALL (including petroleum) new and replaced tanks and piping. There are still some exceptions like safe suction piping and piping associated with field-constructed tanks over 50k gallons, and airport hydrant systems.

REPAIRING Piping

Owners and operators must replace the entire piping run when 50% or more of the piping (excluding connectors) is removed and other piping is installed.

NEW DISPENSERS

All new dispensers need to have under-dispenser containment.

Interstitial Monitoring

Interstitial Monitoring of new and replaced secondarily contained tanks and piping must occur at least once every 30 days as a release detection requirement.

The EPA reviewed data from release sites and the higher number of releases from single walled tanks and piping when compared to secondarily contained systems was considered in the decision for new requirements to prevent regulated substances from reaching the environment and ensure a consistent level of environmental protection for regulated USTs across the USA.

 

TAIT is Growing – Meet our New Hires – 1st Quarter 2013

TAIT is Growing – Meet our New 2013 Q1 Hires

Tait and Associates and Tait Environmental Services, are growing! During the first quarter of 2013 we have added several associates, including:

Tami Friesen – Accounting – Santa Ana, California

Tait and Associates is pleased to announce Tami Friesen as our new Accounting Clerk. She is joining our Santa Ana office in the Accounting Department. Tami comes highly recommended and we are pleased to have her on board.

Justene Vargas – Civil Design Engineer – Santa Ana, California

Justene graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering with a Transportation specialization from the University of California, Irvine in 2011.  She joined the TAIT & Associates engineering team in February and assists Project Managers in the design of land development projects including grading, drainage analysis, street design, street widening, water distribution, sewage collection, and storm drain systems. She prepares SWPPPs, WQMPs and SUSMPs reports and calculations based on the new general permit and water quality requirements by county in California.

Other than obtaining her Professional Engineer’s license, one of Justene’s dreams is to be an Indie Pop singer.

Robert McClellan – Design Engineer – Bismarck, North Dakota

New graduate Robert McClellan attended school at Valparaiso University where he was honored with a Presidential Scholarship and Caterpillar Endowment and received his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. He moved to Bismarck from Plymouth, Indiana, and has two younger siblings.  His hobbies include listening to music, playing sports of any kind, and good movies.

Jill Lonnee –Marketing and Business Development Assistant, Santa Ana, California

Tom Traviss – Surveyor – Bismarck, North Dakota

Please welcome them on LinkedIn or send them a direct message by clicking their name and emailing them here: Justene, Robert, Jill, Tom. For inquiries about employment opportunities at TAIT, you may search our Current Openings or email Nancy.

TAIT works with NDDOT and the City of Bismarck to Increase Service and Improve Safety on Highway 83

TAIT works with NDDOT and the City of Bismarck to Increase Service and Improve Safety on Highway 83

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), working closely with the City of Bismarck (City) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), evaluated proposals from several reputable firms and awarded the State Street Project to Tait & Associates, Inc.

From project concept through design plans, TAIT will focus on engineering solutions to achieve this project’s purpose:

  • Improve Intersection Capacity & Safety
  • Reduce the high number of Rear-end and Angle type Crashes
  • Increase the Level-of-Service

Eleven intersections along State Street are being improved, form Divide Avenue at the Capitol to Calgary Avenue on the north side of town.  Additional turn lanes and modifications are being designed to accommodate future growth.  Beyond obvious traffic safety concerns, pedestrian connection and environmental protection are also high priorities of this project.

TAIT,  a family company with 50 years of civil engineering history, is an expert at these types of projects. Tait has chosen HDR Engineering to help provide Traffic Engineering and Environmental Consulting.  This team has proven success on prior DOT engineering. The TAIT team brings an inherent knowledge and understanding of public infrastructure improvements, drainage, rights-of-way impact, and utility design.

“Having been an employee of NDDOT while I worked my way through school at NDSCS and UND makes this award that much more important” said Tracy J. Letzring, PE, Principal at TAIT and Project Manager for this project.  He went on to say, “With our company so rooted in ND, we opened our Bismarck office last year specifically to serve these needs.”

Contact Tracy Letzring for information on our work in North Dakota.

TAIT has  12 offices across the country, including offices in ND, CO and TX in the “Oil Corridor” and have boots on the ground across the US.

Other articles on North Dakota:

TAIT’s Newest Office – Bismarck, ND has Opened!

Encouraging North Dakota Business Climate

Highlighting the Importance of SPCC and Response Plans

Highlighting the Importance of SPCC and Response Plans

“Companies storing large amounts of fuel must be prepared to prevent and respond to fuel spills to protect people’s health and the environment,” said Jeff KenKnight, manager of EPA Region 10 wastewater permits compliance unit. “With strong spill prevention and response plans in place, accidental fuel spills are far less likely to occur.”

The the Clean Water Act is intended to protect people and the environment. When the EPA inspects facilities and finds multiple violations of federal spill prevention rules and spill response requirements under the Clean Water Act, large fines and costs to get facilities into compliance may occur.

  • One company that failed to install sufficient containment to prevent and contain fuel spills at two of its facilities and failed to develop a federal Facility Response Plan at one facility, then spilled nearly 300 gallons of diesel fuel at one facility, some of which reached a river will pay a $27,920 federal fine, a $2,080 state fine, and complete $200,000 in secondary containment system upgrades to their transload facility that had the spill.
  • Another company that failed to install sufficient containment to prevent and contain fuel spills at one of its facilities spilled 29 gallons of diesel fuel, some of which reached another water source – a bay. That company will pay a $29,843 federal fine and complete $35,000 in stormwater control upgrades to their facility. 
  • A fuel network that failed to install sufficient containment to prevent and contain fuel spills at its facility will pay a $28,200 federal fine.

SPCC Plans

These are just a few examples that show the importance of having a strong SPCC Plan. Federal law requires that facilities with the potential for oil spills take every possible step to prevent discharges to rivers, lakes, or oceans by implementing Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure plans.

Facilities with more than 1,320 gallons of aboveground fuel storage capacity must have plans to prevent and contain spills, such as installing secondary containment around fuel storage tanks and transfer areas. There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and II. To determine if you have a qualified facility you need to know the total capacity of aboveground oil storage containers at the facility and information on oil spills from the facility for the past three years.

Facility Response Plans

Facilities are also required by federal law to minimize environmental damage if oil spills do occur. Facility Response Plan rules under the Clean Water Act require facilities that store and distribute oil be prepared for containing and cleaning up spills. To safely respond to a spill, a facility must have adequate employee training, spill response equipment, and a contingency plan for containing and cleaning up a release. For more information on Facility Response Plans, please contact the Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP & Oil Information Center.

Tank Inspections

If you are the owner or operator of a qualified facility with aboveground oil storage containers, you must inspect these containers for integrity on a regular basis in accordance with industry standards. For more information on tank inspection requirements see Chapter 7 of the SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors. It is a good idea to know what the inspectors will be looking for.

The SPCC Inspection Checklists in Appendix G of the guidance have been updated to reflect multiple regulatory amendments. These checklists are designed to assist EPA inspectors in conducting a thorough and nationally consistent inspection of a facility’s compliance with the SPCC rule at 40 CFR part 112.

TAIT is a Resource for Your SPCC and Response Plans

Tait Environmental Services creates, reviews, and updates SPCC and Facility Response Plans across the country. Whether you are a national client with hundreds of sites, or are someone with one facility, TAIT can help to ensure your compliance. Review our website, and read more about of TAIT’s qualifications. Not sure about your facility’s existing plans? Perhaps you know you need a new or udpated plan? Contact Us for more information.

 

UST Regulations Update: It’s been 25 years —are new regulations really coming?

In December 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued regulations to protect public health and the environment from the effects of leaking underground storage tank (UST) systems. These regulations required UST systems installed after December 1988 to have leak, spill, overfill, and corrosion protection.  40CFR Part 280 was a big deal across the country, defining regulations around leak detection, overfill/spill prevention and cathodic protection.  However, there really weren’t significant changes between 1988 and the 2005 Energy Act – which is still being implemented today.

However, in the past few years there has been a significant increase in activity for UST Regulation, with a draft released in 2011, and comments period closing in 2012.  Now we are expecting final language around these regulations to be released sometime this year.

Independent of the 2005 Energy Act, TAIT expects these regulations to have a much bigger impact, with some changes taking place this year, and others with a multi-year phase in.  Although not finalized, TAIT recognizes that the changes detailed below will have a significant impact on the business operations of UST owner throughout the country.

 

  • Monthly Inspections:  The proposed changes mandate monthly inspections of UST systems.  Some states are already doing this; however others with a quarterly or biannual schedule will need to step-up their frequency. It does remain to be seen what certifications will be required for inspections and how detailed those inspections will need to be.

 

  • Annual Monitoring/ATG Certification:  Monitoring system manufacturers currently recommend an annual functionality check.  Some states require this as well, but it is not consistently enforced.  The new regulations take this requirement to a whole new level of inspection.  A thorough certification of the system’s functionality would need to be completed by a certified technician on an annual basis.

 

  • Spill Bucket Testing:  While already in force in California and a few other states, this annual testing would be  required across the country.

 

  • Triennial Secondary Containment Testing:  Probably THE hot topic in the proposed regulations, this testing will be very costly due to repairs that may potentially stem from the testing.  We expect that the draft language will allow for a phased-in approach based on the age of the containment systems.

 

  • Release Detections Deferral for Emergency Generator Systems:  As of today, only thirty percent of emergency generator tanks have release detection systems.  But the exemption for these systems is expected to go away—effecting 70 percent of emergency generator systems.  With the availability of remote monitoring systems and best practices, the EPA would now require monitoring.

 

  • Operator Training: A new requirement involves annual refresher training for all operators. www.PSTinstruction.com

TAIT’s ability to conduct field inspections, testing and repairs, while also providing comprehensive compliance management, means we are poised to help all of our clients comply with these new regulations.  We are working diligently to ready our clients for the challenges associated with these proposed regulatory changes and look forward to sharing more information with you as it becomes available.

 

TAIT Continues Partnership with TFFA – Texas Food and Fuel Association

TAIT Continues Partnership with TFFA – Texas Food and Fuel Association

TAIT continues their partnership with TFFA, the Texas Food and Fuel Association. After working together to create the first approved UST Operator Training course in Texas, now they are expanding their training capabilities well beyond tanks. TFFA’s new website redesign will include a TAIT-produced interactive c-store graphic, with detailed store and tank information. TAIT and the association are exploring other interactive features that will be used on the “member only” side of the website and public side of the website.  As an example, a visitor will be able to use the mouse to “point” to particular area of the store or fuel island to learn where to find  more information about the  regulatory issues related to that equipment or area of store operation. Here are some of the early draft pictures. The development is underway and should be unveiled in Spring of 2013!

Following the Renewable Fuels Standard? House Committee Seeks ‘Blend Wall’ Responses by April 5th

House Committee Examines ‘Blend Wall’ Challenges

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released its first in a series of white papers that examines a number of issues emerging with the Renewable Fuels Standard and is asking for input from interested stakeholders.

WASHINGTON – Launching a bipartisan review of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), the House Energy and Commerce Committee released last week its first in a series of white papers that examine a number of issues emerging with the current system and solicit input from interested stakeholders.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and other committee members are leading the effort to review the law and its implementation.

In the 112th Congress, Fred serves as co-chair of the House Energy Action Team, a working group of GOP members focused on communicating positive energy solutions including those encompassed by the American Energy Initiative. He held a similar role in the 111th Congress serving as co-chair of the House Republicans’ American Energy Solutions Group, which focused on lowering energy prices for American families and small businesses through the development of domestic energy sources. Fred strongly supports an “all of the above” approach with a greater emphasis on domestic exploration, the advancement of breakthrough technologies, and the development of nuclear power. Fred has also been a leading opponent of cap-and-trade legislation and needless EPA regulations that stifle growth, destroy jobs, and raise energy costs.

“It has been more than five years since the RFS was last revised, and we now have a wealth of actual implementation experience with it,” the white paper explains. “In some respects, the RFS has unfolded as expected, but in others it has not. Several implementation challenges have emerged that received little if any consideration prior to passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Furthermore, the overall energy landscape has changed since 2007. It is time to undertake an assessment of the RFS.”

The white paper addresses the so-called “blend wall,” the point at which adding the required volume of ethanol to gasoline supplies would result in ethanol blends that exceed 10%, which is the maximum ethanol content approved for sale for use in all vehicles. As gasoline demand has declined in recent years, and ethanol targets have continued to rise, the blend wall is approaching much faster than anticipated. The required volumes of ethanol as set by the RFS must now be added to a smaller-than-expected pool of gasoline, and many experts predict the 10% blend wall may be reached as soon as this year. While blends containing up to 10% ethanol (E-10) have long been used, refiners may need to start producing E15 to stay in compliance. Four subsequent white papers with questions will address other economic, environmental, and policy issues.

The approaching blend wall raises a number of issues for producers, refiners, auto manufacturers, and fuel retailers. The Renewable Standard Assessment White Paper examines these issues and poses a number of questions for discussion. The committee is requesting interested stakeholders to send responses to these questions by April 5, 2013.

Questions for Stakeholder Comment

  1. To what extent was the blend wall anticipated in the debate over the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of expanded use of E-15 to automakers, other gasoline powered equipment makers, refiners, fuel retailers, and others involved in the manufacture and sale of gasoline and gasoline-using equipment?
  3. What are the risks of the introduction and sale of E-15 to the owners of pre-2001 motor vehicles, boats, motorcycles, and other gasoline-powered equipment not approved to use it? Are there risks to owners of post-2001 vehicles? How do these risks compare to the benefits of the RFS?
  4. What is the likely impact, if any, of the blend wall on retail gasoline prices?
  5. What is the timing of the implementation challenges related to the blend wall? Will some entities face difficulties earlier than others?
  6. Could the blend wall be delayed or prevented with increased use of E-85 in flexible fuel vehicles? What are the impediments to increased E-85 use? Are there policies that can overcome these impediments?
  7. Is E-15 misfueling unavoidable? Are there lessons from the labeling and dispensing of diesel, E-85 and other fuels that prevent their misfueling that can also be applied to E-15? What specific actions are companies taking to address potential misfueling concerns under MMPs?
  8. Can blend wall implementation challenges be avoided without changes to the RFS? Is the existing EPA waiver process sufficient to address any concerns? If the RFS must be changed to avoid the blend wall, what should these changes entail? Should any changes include liability relief or additional consumer protections for addressing misfueling concerns?
  9. Have the 2017 and Later Model Years Light Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks changed the implementation outlook of the RFS?
  10. What other methods, including the use of drop-in fuels, are available to industry to ease the challenge posed by the blend wall?
  11. What are the impacts on renewable fuel producers if the RFS is changed to avoid the blend wall?

Please send responses to rfs@mail.house.gov by April 5, 2013.

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week this March 3-9, 2013

National Severe Weather Preparedness Week is this March 3-9, 2013

As received from FEMA and NOAA:

FEMA and NOAA Invite You to Be a Force of Nature

Severe weather knows no boundaries. Just last year, there were more than 450 weather-related fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries. Each time this happens we hear stories of ordinary Americans who do the extraordinary to save loved ones – a mother protecting her children by shielding them from flying debris, a homeowner opening up his storm shelter to neighbors, neighbors helping a senior in a wheelchair get to a safe shelter, individuals ensuring friends are aware of the current watch or warning in their area.

We [FEMA] are proud to partner with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and bring you National Severe Weather Preparedness Week that will run March 3-9, 2013. Leading up to and during this week we invite each of you to Be a Force of Nature and better prepare for severe weather threats. We have a series of actions you can take below. Please read on!

Know Your Risk

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Every state in the United States has experienced tornadoes and severe weather, so everyone is exposed to some degree of risk. Visit ready.gov/severe-weather to learn more about how to be better prepared for weather in your area, and what you can do before and after.

Take Action

Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and check to see if your cell phone is equipped to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials. Stay informed by having multiple sources for weather alerts – NOAA Weather Radio, Weather.gov, and Wireless Emergency Alerts. Subscribe to receive alerts at http://www.weather.gov/subscribe.

Download and Share the Sever Weather Toolkit

Once you have taken action share your story with your family and friends. Create a YouTube video, post your story on Facebook, or send a tweet. Studies show that many people use social media in the event of a disaster to let relatives and friends know they are safe. This is an important trend because people are most likely to take preparedness steps if they observe the preparations taken by others. Social media provides the perfect platform to demonstrate preparedness actions for others.

Looking for a Be a Force of Nature widget or severe weather banners for your website? Want to know what hashtags or sample tweets to use on Twitter? You can find this and lots of other social media tips in our Severe Weather Week Toolkit. You’ll also find a press release, blog post, and op-ed template for use on your website or social networking pages. These tools are designed to be used as part of an individual-based approach to preparedness to build a Weather-Ready nation.

Finally, tell us what you are doing to Be a Force of Nature! Sign in to Community.FEMA.gov and Join the discussion.

 

How The Visa/Mastercard Class Action Antitrust Litigation Affects Petroleum Marketers

How The Visa/Mastercard Class Action Antitrust Litigation Affects Petroleum Marketers

Many petroleum marketers are now receiving settlement information concerning the Visa/Mastercard class action antitrust litigation. Marketers have the choice to accept the settlement, opt out or object. Here is a summary of the situation, courtesy of PMAA President, Dan Gilligan. Dan’s diverse career as a lobbyist and association executive has spanned 22 years. PMAA’s most important mission is to collectively represent 8,000 independent petroleum marketing companies on matters pending before the U.S. Congress and the federal regulatory agencies.

Tait Environmental Services is a proud member of PMAA through the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association.

TAIT is a longstanding member of the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association

 

Information on the Settlement

The proposed settlement offers marketers money damages. The exact amount of money to be received is unclear at this time, however attorneys estimate that retailers could receive approximately three months’ worth of interchange. In addition, the settlement provides for limited modifications to Visa’s and MasterCard’s surcharging rules, by which, under certain circumstances, marketers will be allowed to surcharge customers who pay with Visa or MasterCard. The settlement offers merchants no changes to the interchange or “swipe fee” rules that are the centerpiece of the case.

On November 27, 2012, the federal court preliminarily approved the proposed settlement. Now Judge John Gleeson must decide whether to grant final approval to the settlement. Between now and May 28, 2013, class members can let Judge Gleeson know what they think of the settlement, including by opting out and submitting written objections to it. Marketers who do not opt out or object will automatically accept the settlement and will be viewed by the court as affirmatively supporting its terms. Marketers who wish to accept the settlement do not need to take any action now. If and when the judge gives final approval to the settlement, all merchants in the class will receive claim forms. Details are available at www.paymentcardsettlement.com.

Most retailer trade associations oppose the settlement because it does not bring any meaningful relief to retailers. While it will bring some monetary payments to marketers who accept credit cards, there is nothing to prevent Visa and MasterCard from hiking rates in the future to recoup the settlement costs. In addition, the settlement will bar retailers– whether they object, opt out or participate in the settlement– from ever suing the Visa and MasterCard over futureinterchange fees and the other issues raised by the lawsuit. Though this settlement is unfair, retailers who opt out of the settlement will not receive any of the settlement funds, and they may never realize any monetary relief through future actions. It is impossible to predict whether retailers opting out of the settlement will have the wherewithal to file a new lawsuit over past damages, on their own, or collectively with others. Even if they did so, it would likely be many, many years before it is resolved. Marketers will not risk losing their share of the settlement funds if they object to the settlement, but do not opt out.

Each marketer who accepted Visa and/or MasterCard at any time between January 1, 2004 and November 27, 2012 or accepts those cards today needs to decide on its own how to respond to the settlement

If you independently conclude that the settlement is bad for you and/or for marketers  generally, you can (i) opt out of the money damages (only) portion of the settlement and object to it, or (ii) object to the settlement, but not opt out of it. Either of these choices, which are explained more fully below, must be exercised by May 28, 2013. Regardless of whether you opt out or object, you will be subject to the injunctive relief and the release if the proposed settlement is finally approved in September (subject to any appeals).

Details on Objecting to the Settlement

What does it mean to object to the settlement?

Objecting to the settlement means telling Judge Gleeson and the proponents of the settlement why you oppose it. Even if you opt out to preserve your right to seek past damages, you will still be bound by the release and the various purported rules changes (offered in lieu of swipe fee changes). If you do not object, you will have relinquished your only opportunity to make your opposition known to Judge Gleeson and have it noted in the record for appeal. Therefore, if you think the deal is bad overall, you should consider opting out and objecting (explained below).

What is the benefit of objecting?

The benefit of objecting is that you (along with other objectors) may persuade Judge Gleeson that the settlement is unfair, thus it should not be finally approved. You may also be able to file or join an appeal if Judge Gleeson decides to grant final approval. Further, if you do not object, you will have relinquished your only opportunity to make your opposition known to the court and noted in the record for appeal. Therefore, if you do not accept all of the settlement’s terms, you should consider objecting (as well as opting out).

What are the costs or risks of objecting?

We are not aware of significant costs or risks of objecting. It is your right to let Judge Gleeson know how you feel about the settlement.

What are the benefits of opting out and objecting together?

Opting out and objecting is the most complete way to express your opposition to the settlement.You will put the most pressure on Judge Gleeson to reject the settlement. You will also get the best protection from any argument that you have accepted the settlement’s release terms. And you will be entitled to sue for past damages.

Can I object and not opt out?

Yes. However, as noted below, if you do not opt out you will lose your right to sue for more damages for conduct that occurred before November 27, 2012.

How do I object?

You object to the settlement by submitting a Statement of Objections to Judge Gleeson and the lawyers for the proponents of the settlement at the addresses below by May 28, 2013. Two sample objections are available – one for retailers who opt out and one for retailers who do not opt out. You can complete the appropriate sample and submit it, or use it as an example to draft your own objection. If you draft your own objection, be sure to include all of the information in the sample

As mentioned earlier, each marketer must make a decision on what they determine to be their best course of action. There very well may be a follow-up class action lawsuit suing for damages for years prior to January 1, 2004 but it is not a certainty.

For more information, contact:

Dan Gilligan, President
Petroleum Marketers Association of America PMAA
1901 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 500
Arlington, Virginia 22209-1604