Tag Archives: OUST

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 .

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/.

24th National Tanks Conference & Expo

24th National Tanks Conference & Expo

Come see TAIT in booth #102! We will be next to our training partner UST Training and are happy to discuss training and our many programmatic tank services such as testing and inspections, as well as the full gamete from design and installation, repairs and upgrades through removals and remediation.

The Annual National Tanks Conference and Exposition is produced by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, and the host state, this year it’s Colorado.

The purpose of this event is to provide learning and networking opportunities for federal, state, and tribal colleagues in the underground storage community. The focus is on progress, priorities, and plans for the pursuit of a common goal–to find new and better ways to work together to protect human health and the environment from tank releases.

TAIT enjoys participating in the shows and look forward to them each year. We are giving out an Apple prize again this year. See last year’s winner below.  Come visit us in Booth #102! If you’d like to schedule a time to meet, contact Melanie Nelson.

iPod Winner Chris Plassmeyer

iPod Winner Chris Plassmeyer