Tag Archives: EPA

EPA UST Office Address Change

Effective January 19, 2016, EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks will be located in the Ronald Reagan Building, which is part of the Federal Triangle Complex in Washington, D.C.

EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) has moved from its Arlington, Virginia location to the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. The new address: Office of Underground Storage Tanks, US EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Mail Code 5401R, Washington, D.C. 20460.  The email addresses of the OUST staff and UST website www.epa.gov/ust, remain the same. You can access OUST employee’s phone numbers through the headquarters contact section on the OUST website http://www.epa.gov/ust/underground-storage-tank-ust-contacts .

TAIT pre-development work

Tait & Associates and Tait Environmental Services (collectively TAIT) both worked on the Standard Pacific Greenwood at Tustin Legacy project. The environmental work that we did prior to the new and vibrant community that is being developed in Orange County included the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, as well as environmental soil sampling to screen areas of the former military base that had been used for agriculture, military uses, and previously contained underground storage tanks to confirm that the soil met residential environmental standards. TAIT also closed an abandoned well that was discovered during construction, and evaluated the environmental conditions of soil to be imported during grading to ensure that it met residential environmental standards. Drive by and take a look at the new models that are now open! Here is a copy of the Grand Opening Announcement.

Contact Us for more information regarding our survey and planning, permitting and environmental services. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your projects!
Standard Pacific Greenwood at Tustin Legacy Grand Opening Announcement

UST regulation history

Do you remember where you were 30 years ago this month when you received word that President Reagan signed amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)? Robert from PEI recaps UST regulation history:

Subtitle I of those amendments specifically provided for regulation of underground storage tank (UST) systems. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) was created the following year (1985) to carry out the Congressional mandate to develop and implement a new regulatory program for USTs. It resulted in the most comprehensive regulatory program PEI members have ever participated in.

Leaking tanks became a problem before 1984. PEI predicted in 1975 that state and federal controls related to tank and piping leaks would proliferate. At about the same time, the American Petroleum Institute’s (API’s) Operations and Engineering Committee recognized that UST leaks presented a growing industry problem and formed a task force to recommend procedures for detecting and dealing with them. By 1981, less than 10 percent of all USTs in the ground were protected from corrosion.

Emphasis shifted in the early 1980s from tank regulations for safety reasons (i.e., fire codes) to regulations for protecting the environment and public health. Pressure to deal with the impact of leaking USTs on groundwater mounted when 60 Minutes aired a disturbing segment on leaking underground service station tanks. Shortly after that, Congress stepped in with the 1984 Subtitle I RCRA amendments.

There were over two million USTs in 1984. Many of them were bare steel that were corroding and leaking fuel into the ground. When President Reagan signed the law, more than 85 percent of the USTs were still made of unprotected steel. By 1988, somewhere from 10 to 48 percent of existing tanks failed a tank tightness test, depending on which study you believed. And when you consider that from 8 to 20 percent of all USTs had releases, UST regulators back then had their hands full.

The U.S. EPA’s UST program has made significant contributions to the environment during the last 30 years. The program’s accomplishments are real, and there is much that regulators and the regulated community can point to with pride.

Part of the reason this governmental program works so well after three decades is because Ron Brand and other founders of the UST program involved everyone in the process of protecting our environment from UST releases. States, territories, tribes, industry, owners/operators, service providers, equipment manufacturers and trade associations were called partners. PEI and its members were treated that way back then and continue to feel that way today. This is a unique program with unique relationships that has produced quantifiable results.

I think successful managers and leaders should continuously focus on what can be, rather than what is. And I also believe that the best leaders are always focused on improving. From the equipment and contractor side of this unique partnership—and in that spirit—this is what I see still needs to be addressed to make a great UST program even greater:

  • Let’s figure out what is causing the metal components of our UST systems to corrode in the presence of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel.
  • Let’s get that last 25 percent of underground tank systems in the U.S. into compliance with release prevention and leak detection requirements. That will reduce the number of newly confirmed releases.
  • Let’s work together to determine why equipment is deteriorating in sumps containing ethanol and/or ethanol vapors.
  • Let’s find ways to clean up the releases in the backlog before state cleanup funds sunset or are diverted.
  • And let’s kick off an inspection and testing program that will identify equipment that no longer works as it was supposed to work.

Here’s to another 30 years. Let’s continue the good work.

TAIT is a longstanding member of PEI. Learn more about the Petroleum Equipment Institute and all they do by visiting their website http://www.pei.org/.

EPA Logo Seal

EPA Pushes Back Final Regulation on USTs to Fall 2014

Looking for updates on the EPA UST Regulations?

We expect to hear more later this year. Here is an article that explains more. Copied from: http://pcmala.org/2014/04/epa-pushes-back-final-regulation-on-usts-to-fall-2014/ TAIT’s 50 year experience with USTs and all fuel system related regulations and work can help answer many questions for you. Reach out to us for additional information.

EPA Logo Seal

EPA Pushes Back Final Regulation on USTs to Fall 2014

By Anthony AdragnaBloomberg ReportApril 17 (BNA) — The Environmental Protection Agency now expects to finalize regulations in fall 2014 expanding monitoring and inspection requirements for certain underground storage tanks, and will take into account comments on the potential impacts on small businesses as it finalizes the rule, the agency has told Bloomberg BNA.

“We consciously developed our 2011 proposed underground storage tank (UST) regulation to avoid provisions that would require costly retrofits to UST systems,” the agency said April 16. “We are carefully considering all of the comments as we develop the final UST regulation.”

Industry groups and members of Congress have consistently and repeatedly criticized the proposed regulation as underestimating the compliance costs and impacts it would have on small businesses (74 DER A-21, 4/18/12).

EPA proposed revisions to underground storage tank requirements in November 2011 and previously said it expected to finalize the regulations in summer 2014. The proposed rule would apply to tanks holding petroleum or hazardous chemicals that are regulated under Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Tanks regulated under Subtitle C of RCRA would not be affected.

According to the agency, there are more than 590,000 underground storage tanks around the country at 210,000 sites. Compliance costs for the proposed rule were $210 million, according to the regulatory impact analysis, but it said the regulation would lead to $300 million to $740 million in annual avoided remediation costs.

The 2011 proposed rule (76 Fed. Reg. 71,708) would create rules for backup containment of the substances in tanks and extend training requirements to more tank operators and owners. EPA says the proposed rule would enable better prevention and detection of leaks in storage tanks, which can cause groundwater contamination.

If finalized, the rule would be the first major revision to federal underground storage tank regulations since 1988.

Longstanding Concerns About Cost

Despite EPA assurances that it had taken into account the impact the proposed rule would have on small businesses, both industry groups and Congress have adamantly disagreed.

The Petroleum Marketers Association of America says EPA’s estimate of $900 in average annual compliance costs per facility is drastically wrong. The group estimates annual compliance costs would actually be $6,100.

Bipartisan groups of 11 senators and 58 House members sent separate letters in July 2013 raising concerns about the cost of the proposed regulation (144 DER A-31, 7/26/13).

“We are concerned that the Agency’s estimated annualized compliance costs of $900 may be significantly underestimated,” the Senate letter said.

EPA Logo Seal

EPA Strategic Plan Charts Direction for Next Four Years

One thing that stood out to me in their five strategic initiatives was Protecting human health and the environment by enforcing laws and assuring compliance. This brings the upcoming underground storage tank regulations to mind. Though in the news and discussions throughout the industry for the past year and a half, the “rest of the country” (outside of CA) is just now beginning to see the effects of local regulators enforcing the Energy Act of 2005.

TAIT’s long history of experience with the stricter regulations in California is one reason we are the trusted advisor to many national clients. More than a knowledge base, TAIT has “boots on the ground” in the form of technicians that perform routine inspections, maintenance, testing and repairs. Our design and construction of new fuel systems begins the process, and we serve until the end, removing, closing permanently in place and remediating fuel system sites. Contact us to learn more about how we can help to educate and assist you in transitioning to be in compliance to avoid NOVs and fees.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2014

EPA Strategic Plan Charts Direction for Next Four Years

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its fiscal year (FY) 2014 to 2018 Strategic Plan today, which provides a blueprint for advancing EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment across the country.

The plan envisions a new era of partnerships with state and local governments, tribes, federal agencies, businesses, and industry leaders to achieve environmental benefits in a pragmatic, collaborative way.

“EPA will address the increasingly complex array of environmental challenges we face by advancing a rigorous research and development agenda that informs and supports our policy and decision making with timely and innovative technology and sustainable solutions,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We are heeding President Obama’s call for action on climate change, the biggest challenge for our generation and those to come by building strong partnerships at home and around the world. We are working to mitigate this threat by reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse-gas emissions and by focusing on efficiency improvements in homes, buildings and appliances.”

The five strategic goals in EPA’s plan include:

• Addressing climate change and improving air quality;
• Protecting America’s waters;
• Cleaning up communities and advancing sustainable development;
• Ensuring the safety of chemicals and preventing pollution; and
• Protecting human health and the environment by enforcing laws and assuring compliance.

The agency will continue to deliver significant health benefits to the American public through improved air quality and reduced emissions of toxic pollutants, and will take action to keep communities safe and healthy by reducing risks associated with exposure to toxic chemicals in commerce, our indoor and outdoor environments, products, and food.

The agency will also continue efforts to improve water quality, given the nation’s significant water infrastructure needs, focusing on common sense, flexible approaches that rely on sustainable solutions, such as green infrastructure, and build resiliency to help us adapt to the effects of a changing climate.

The plan prioritizes environmental justice, continuing to focus on urban, rural, and economically disadvantaged communities, to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, race, economic status, or ethnicity, has access to clean water, clean air, and the opportunity to live, work and play in healthy communities.

To achieve the outcomes articulated in the FY 2014-2018 Plan, the agency outlined four cross-agency strategies:

• Working toward a sustainable future;
• Working to make a visible difference in communities;
• Launching a new era of state, tribal, local, and international partnerships; and
• Embracing EPA as a high-performing organization.

The EPA developed the FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010. Reflecting the agency’s interest in reaching out to stakeholders and communities, the EPA requested input on a draft plan last winter from over 800 organizations and individuals and issued a Federal Register Notice to solicit broad public feedback. As appropriate, the EPA incorporated suggestions and comments received in the final Plan.

More information on the Strategic Plan is available at: http://www2.epa.gov/planandbudget/strategicplan

TCEQ _ Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

TCEQ Issues a New Phase II MS4

TCEQ Issues a New Phase II MS4

The TCEQ – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality‘s publication The Advocate – writing for and about small businesses and local governments affected by environmental regulations published this update:

TCEQ _ Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The new TPDES general permit for Phase II (Small) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems.  TXR040000 became effective December 13, 2013. Operators of small MS4s must apply for authorization under the new permit by June 11, 2014.

Municipalities and other entities such as counties, universities, and special districts may be regulated MS4 operators if their roads, streets, gutters, ditches, channels, drains, or other stormwater conveyances are located within an urbanized area (UA). Maps identifying the urbanized areas are listed by city and state at the United States Census Bureau website.

To obtain permit coverage, submit a new Notice of Intent, a $100 application fee, and a Stormwater Management Program before June 11, 2014. Existing authorizations will remain active until the new applications are approved.

MS4s serving a population of fewer than 1,000 within a UA may qualify for a waiver. Those applications must also be submitted before June 11, 2014. Provisional coverage begins 30 days after the TCEQ receives the application.

The reissued general permit, factsheet, Response to Comments, and a Frequently Asked Questions document are now available on the TCEQ website.

The revised NOI Form No. 20368 and Waiver Form No. 20369 can be found on the TCEQ website. Forms from the previous permit period are no longer valid and will not be processed.

Additional compliance resources are available at Assistance Tools for Stormwater Permitting

For help understanding the requirements or the permitting process, contact the Small Business & Local Government Assistance Section’s compliance hotline at 1-800-447-2827 or the Stormwater & Pretreatment Team at 512-239-4671 or by email.

TCEQ Publishes Changes Coming for Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems

The TCEQ – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality‘s publication The Advocate – writing for and about small businesses and local governments affected by environmental regulations published this update regarding the removal of Stage II Vapor Recovery equipment. The rules are written, but are awaiting approval by the EPA. Removal will not begin until a minimum of 30 days after approval. Even with approval to remove the equipment, costs may restrict many owner/operators of fuel dispensing facilities to retain the equipment they have.

TCEQ Publication "The Advocate" for and about small business and local governments affected by environmental regulationsWhen the Federal Clean Air Act was written, it prescribed stage II vapor recovery systems be used until onboard vapor recovery canisters on vehicles were in widespread use. EPA has determined that onboard canisters on vehicles are now in widespread use, which will allow states to develop a procedure for removing or decommissioning stage II systems. The procedure must be approved by the EPA.

The TCEQ has completed revising the rules and they are being reviewed by the EPA. Decommissioning may not begin until 30 days after the EPA approves the modified TCEQ rules. We have been working closely with EPA in this process and we expect the EPA to approve the TCEQ rules sometime in the first half of 2014. In the meantime, you must maintain Stage II vapor recovery system equipment and testing.

Information will be sent to all owners and operators when the EPA approves the TCEQ rules. The updated information will be available online.

You can receive updates by e-mail: on the TCEQ home page, click on “sign up for e-mail updates” and after logging in, click on “Regulatory Announcements for Small Businesses and Local Governments.”

If you have any questions about Stage II Vapor Recovery requirements in Texas or other states, Contact Us to learn more. Our Regulatory Affairs Manager, Brian Harmon is a subject matter expert and will be happy to help answer questions or address scenarios where you may want to make changes at your facilities. TAIT has experience at all levels with Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems.

Previous Blogs:

TCEQ & Decommissioning Stage II

TCEQ Proposing to Decommision Stage II Vapor Recovery

Has Your State Waived Stage II Vapor Recovery Requirements?

EPA Proposes Public Comment Period for RFS – Renewable Fuel Standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2013

EPA Proposes 2014 Renewable Fuel Standards

Proposal Seeks Input to Address “E10 Blend Wall,” Reaffirms Commitment to Biofuels

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed for public comment the levels of renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel as required by Congress under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Developed with input from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the proposal seeks public input on annual volume requirements for renewable fuels in all motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported by the United States in 2014. The proposal seeks to put the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program on a steady path forward – ensuring the continued long-term growth of the renewable fuel industry – while seeking input on different approaches to address the “E10 blend wall.”

“Biofuels are a key part of the Obama Administration’s “all of the above” energy strategy, helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution and create jobs,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We have made great progress in recent years, and EPA continues to support the RFS goal of increasing biofuel production and use. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to develop a final rule that maintains the strength and promise of the RFS program.”

The proposal discusses a variety of approaches for setting the 2014 standards, and includes a number of production and consumption ranges for key categories of biofuel covered by the RFS program. The proposal seeks comment on a range of total renewable fuel volumes for 2014 and proposes a level within that range of 15.21 billion gallons. Specifically, EPA is seeking comment on the following proposed volumes:

Category

Proposed   Volume a

Range

Cellulosic   biofuel

17 mill   gal

8-30   million gallons

Biomass-based   diesel

1.28   bill gal

1.28   billion gallons

Advanced   biofuel

2.20   bill gal

2.0-2.51   billion gallons

Renewable   fuel

15.21   bill gal

15.00-15.52   billion gallons

aAll volumes are   ethanol-equivalent, except for biomass-based diesel which is actual

 

Nearly all gasoline sold in the U.S. is now “E10,” which is fuel with up to 10 percent ethanol. Production of renewable fuels has been growing rapidly in recent years. At the same time, advances in vehicle fuel economy and other economic factors have pushed gasoline consumption far lower than what was expected when Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2007. As a result, we are now at the “E10 blend wall,” the point at which the E10 fuel pool is saturated with ethanol. If gasoline demand continues to decline, as currently forecast, continuing growth in the use of ethanol will require greater use of higher ethanol blends such as E15 and E85.

The Obama Administration has taken a number of steps to allow or encourage the use of these higher ethanol blends. In 2010, EPA approved E15 for use in vehicles newer than model year 2001 and developed labeling rules to enable retailers to market E15. In addition, since 2011, USDA has made funding available through the Rural Energy for America Program to support deployment of “flex-fuel” pumps that can dispense a range of ethanol blends. The 2014 proposal seeks input on what additional actions could be taken by government and industry to help overcome current market challenges, and to minimize the need for adjustments in the statutory renewable fuel volume requirements in the future. Looking forward, the proposal clearly indicates that growth in capacity for ethanol consumption would continuously be reflected in the standards set beyond 2014. EPA looks forward to further engagement and additional information from stakeholders as the agency works in consultation with the Departments of Agriculture and Energy toward the development of a final rule.

The renewable fuels program was developed by Congress in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector while reducing reliance on foreign oil. The standards determine how much renewable fuel a refiner or importer is responsible for, and are the standards designed to achieve the national volumes for each type of renewable fuel.

Today, in a separate action, EPA is also seeking comment on petitions for a waiver of the renewable fuel standards that would apply in 2014. EPA expects that a determination on the substance of the petitions will be issued at the same time that EPA issues a final rule establishing the 2014 RFS.

Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, it will be open to a 60-day public comment period.

More information on the standards and regulations: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm

More information on renewable fuels: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/index.htm

 

From the Petroleum Equipment Institute:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on November 15 proposed for public comment the 2014 levels of renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel as required by Congress under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The proposal would lower the 2014 renewable biofuel mandate from 18.15 billion gallons to a range of 15 billion to 15.52 billion gallons. EPA’s recommended target of 15.21 billion gallons is within the proposed range. That includes 13.01 billion gallons of corn ethanol and 2.20 billion gallons of biodiesel and advanced biofuels.  The corn ethanol target of 13 billion gallons represents almost exactly 10 percent of the gasoline consumption forecast by the U.S. Energy Information Administration for next year. EPA also proposed changes for cellulosic biofuels, with a range between 8 million and 30 million gallons and a recommended target of 17 million gallons.

The proposed 2014 biofuels blending mandate of 15.21 billion gallons is down from the 16.55 billion gallon target finalized for 2013, and 14 percent lower than the original 2014 goal envisioned by Congress. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requires annually increasing amounts of biofuels to be added into U.S. transportation fuel supplies, to a total of 36 billion gallons in 2022.

This marks the first time in the history of the RFS that EPA has proposed to scale back the government’s overall biofuel blending target for the forthcoming year. If the proposed targets become law, the biofuels markets will stagnate with no growth expected in the foreseeable future. The bottom line for petroleum marketers is that E10—the blend sold in almost all gasoline stations in the U.S. today—will not be tampered with, but that 15-percent (E15) and 85-percent (E85) ethanol blends primarily will be sold as niche or regional products.

The proposal is subject to a 60-day comment period, and could later be changed.

New Hawaii UST regulations

New Hawaii UST regulations

Program’s new UST rules went into effect on August 9, 2013

The State of Hawaii’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program’s new UST rules went into effect on August 9, 2013. Some of the changes are specified below, and many more are listed on the Summary of Changes. If you have any questions about the regulations, Contact Us now to ensure you are and will be staying in compliance.

Class A, B, and C operators need to be trained, certified, and designated by December 9, 2013. Hawaii UST Regulation HAR 11-281-46 requires owners and operators to submit the Initial UST Operator Designation Form which lists the Class A and B Operators designated for each UST site within 120 days of December 9, 2013.

Hawaii Department of Health and State Seal logos

The New regulations include:

  • Annual sump testing must be conducted during your next scheduled annual maintenance.

  • All USTs or UST systems installed on or after the effective date of the rules must be provided with secondary containment (be double walled) AND use interstitial monitoring for release detection on the tank(s) and piping. If a portion of single walled piping is replaced, the replaced portion must be provided with secondary containment and interstitial monitoring. If you have any questions regarding these requirements, contact us – TAIT provides tank services and consulting and we are happy to help explain this in more detail.

  • Permits for UST Systems will be required within three years for those facilities that still do not have one yet. Permits for operating shall be submitted on the Application for an Underground Storage Tank Permit form with a $150 fee and will be effective for five (5) years, then will require renewal.

  • Retraining for Class C Operators will be required annually. Retraining for Class A and B operators will be required every 5 years. TAIT and UST Training offer these training courses online and can offer classroom courses as required for large groups. Contact us for more information.

Additional resources: Summary of Changes, Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 11 Chapter 281, the letter from Steven Y.K. Chang, Hawaii’s Chief of Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch regarding the Energy Policy Act of 2005, upcoming requirements and Summary of USTs in HI. More information about the training, the regulations and UST forms  can all be found on the UST page of Hawaii’s DOH website. The Solid & Hazardous Waste Branch website contains additional information such as their Mission Statement, as well.

In preparing for the test, it will be very helpful to review the Technical Guidance Manual for UST Closure & Release Response which can be viewed and some sections can be downloaded. Be aware that revisions are expected to be made.

TAIT has been installing, working on, testing, repairing, removing and closing tank sites since the 60’s and we do projects in Hawaii on a regular basis. If you have any consulting or contracting needs, Contact Us today. We’d love to help answer questions and/or direct you to any other resources you may need.

 

2013 PEI/NACS Show

2013 PEI/NACS show

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Dennis Tweedy, Billy Watroba and Melanie Nelson attended the NACS show this year, and were joined by a close subcontractor of ours, Katie Seaborn from American Containment Services, Inc.

The 2013 PEI/NACS show, the biggest exposition of fuel handling equipment in the world, lasted from October 12-15 in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the largest NACS show in their history, with 1,050 companies in a attendance making it the 48th largest trade show this year. Over 20,000 people gathered to view and buy the latest advances not only in the convenience store industry, but also in the petroleum business. Every year PEI members convene to discuss, display, and market innovative technologies and services, keeping the industry on the cutting edge. As a bonus, the connections made throughout the convention help to expand and improve businesses, which leads to a greater, more efficient petroleum industry, and where better to have it than in the middle of the #1 buying show in the country. The educational sessions at the NACS show provided extensive information about the highly competitive and illustrious convenience industry. Topics covered in these sessions included:FPImage(10)

  • traditional vs. digital marketing
  • cyberespionage
  • good financing
  • data-driven product positioning
  • the impacts of health care reform
  • customer engagement
  • social media, and much more!

To read more about the topics covered in these sessions visit NACS Educational Sessions, and to learn more about the PEI/NACS Show visit their website. Click here to learn more about the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI). For those who are interested, the  following is a video preview of what the PEI/NACS show is all about:

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