Tag Archives: New UST Regs

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.

 

New UST Regs for Protection from Groundwater Contamination

EPA’s updated underground storage tanks (UST) regulations are final and will be published soon in the Federal Register

The U.S. EPA has strengthened the Underground Storage Tank (UST) requirements to protect us from groundwater contamination with better prevention and detection of leaks from UST systems. The UST program changes, revisions to the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations, strengthen UST prevention and detection practices, increase emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment, and ensure parity in implementing the national UST program. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.

Check out the Comparison Chart overview of the 468 page document– it points out major changes to the 1988 UST regulations with the new 2015 UST regulations. You can see the actual differences in a redline strikeout version showing the final 2015 regulations imbedded into the existing regulations. I’ve found both of these documents very helpful. The 10-page chart is a great quick review and the strikeout is a good resource.

EPA created a specific website for the Revised UST Regulations so you can access links to a pre-publication version of the signed regulations, regulatory impact analysis, and response to comments document as well as the comparison and additional resources. Once published, a link to the Federal Register version of the regulations will also be listed there.

I really liked that Carolyn Hoskinson, the head of EPA’s UST program shared

At all times we based our decisions on these strong values:

  • balance important environmental protection with the reasonableness of the cost and complexity to our regulated community
  • focus on the highest priority areas that appear to continue to lead to ongoing releases from UST systems
  • allow flexibility whenever possible
  • rely on industry standards whenever possible
  • consider the implementation of these requirements and strive to make the requirements as straightforward as possible by things like aligning due dates and writing in plain, easy-to-understand language

While these changes may be difficult and expensive for people/companies, I understand that the underlying purpose is to protect us from groundwater contamination and appreciate the values Carolyn pointed out they operated under as they considered their revisions. The EPA granted a 3 year grace period for many of the significant changes. If you have any questions about your UST compliance, please ask. We’re here to help.

Melanie

View from one of TAIT's projects in Alaska

View from one of TAIT’s projects in Alaska