Tag Archives: UST Regs

Overview of the EPA’s 2015 Changes to UST Regulations

Here are Some of the Significant Changes to 40 CFR part 280

The EPA’s 2015 Final Regulations for USTs changes certain portions of the 1988 underground storage tank technical regulation in 40 CFR part 280. The changes establish federal requirements that are similar to key portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, EPA added new operation and maintenance requirements and addressed UST systems deferred in the 1988 UST regulation. Some major changes include:

  • Requiring secondary containment for new and replaced tanks and piping
  • Requiring operator training
  • Requiring periodic operation and maintenance requirements, mandatory equipment inspections/testing that is focused on the parts most likely to leak: 30-day walk through (look at spill prevention equipment and release detection equipment), annual testing/inspections (containment sumps and hand held release detection, release detection equipment testing – including LLDs testing) and triennial testing/inspections (spill prevention equipment testing, overfill prevention equipment inspections, containment sumps used for piping interstitial monitoring)
  • Requiring proof of UST system compatibility with certain fuels and biofuels
  • Including emergency power generator tanks (now requires owners and operators to perform release detection)
  • Making technical corrections to disregard older technologies and recognize new ones like clad and jacketed tanks, non-corrodible piping, continuous in-tank leak detection and statistical inventory reconciliation (SIR)
  • No more ball floats/flow restrictors in vent lines as a standalone method of overfill prevention
  • Close tanks using internal lining as the sole method of corrosion protection when the lining fails
  • Requiring Testing 30 Days after Repairs to spill or overfill equipment and secondary containment areas
  • State programs need to be re-approved

Contact us with questions you have about the new regulations and how they’ll affect you/your company.

How much time do you have to implement these changes?

There’s still time while we wait for them to be published in the Federal Register. Once they are, they will be required to be implemented at different time increments:

  • some will be required quickly – Secondary Containment (180 days), Elimination of ball floats/flow restrictors in vent lines as standalone overfill prevention (immediately) Close tanks using internal lining as the sole method of corrosion protection when the lining fails (immediately), 30 day Notification of UST Ownership Change (immediately) proof of compatibility of UST and product when storing >10% ethanol or >20% biodiesel (immediately), Testing 30 Days after Repairs to spill or overfill equipment and secondary containment areas (immediately)
  • some in a year, and
  • some in three years – Operator Training, 30-Day Walkthrough Inspections, Annual Inspections of Containment Sumps and Hand Held Release Detection equipment, Spill Prevention Testing, Overfill Prevention Equipment Inspection, Containment Sumps used for Piping interstitial monitoring, Emergency Generators require release detection, state programs have to be re-approved

More detailed blog entries will address each of these issues, and you can ask us any questions in the meantime. We have over 50 years experience with fueling systems – USTs, ASTs and piping and have a good understanding of how the regulations will be implemented and what that means to the UST owner/operators. Here are some related previous blogs:

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

2015 Revised Underground Storage Tank Regulations

2015 Revised Underground Storage Tank Regulations

We’ve been waiting for years for the update to finally be announced, and here it is: The requirements implemented on the effective date of the final UST regulation are those that either do not require significant education and outreach or apply to new installations, repairs, or releases. EPA is allowing up to three years for owners and operators to implement the requirements that require significant outreach, equipment to be upgraded or installed (such as for previously deferred UST systems), or scheduling and testing. During those three years, the regulatory/implementing agencies shall educate owners and operators about today’s new requirements and allow owners and operators to schedule testing. The exception to implementing the requirements immediately or in three years is that EPA is implementing the secondary containment requirement 180 days after the effective date of the UST regulation.

Keep in mind, we do not have the effective date, yet. We do know it will be soon, maybe tomorrow!

Here are the Implementation Time Frames for the New Requirements in an easy to read chart – Immediately, 180 days or Three Years

Chart of Implementation Time Frames for New Requirements

9 Note that EPA is requiring owners and operators to also submit a one-time notification of existence for these UST systems within 3 years of the effective date of today’s final UST regulation.

States with Approved UST Programs are going to have to incorporate the changes to the UST technical regulations.  They will have three years to reapply in order to retain their SPA status. Owners and operators in these states must continue to follow their state requirements until the state changes its requirements or until the state’s SPA status changes.
Map showing states with EPA State Program Approval

That means there will be three years grace period before we start seeing enforcement/NOVs for some of the required changes.

The owners and operators in 16 non-SPA states and territories must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation. In addition, owners and operators will need to follow their state requirements. Indian country UST owners and operators must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation.

Here is a Comparison that shows the 2015 Revised UST Regulations versus the 1988 UST Regulations. It’s a 10 page PDF Spreadsheet showing the highlights of the full 468 page document, called the Prepublication version of the final UST regulations. Some forms you may want to review are the New Ownership Change Notification Form and the Updated Notification Form. TAIT recommends all Owners and Operators download and read the updated MUSTs for USTs which provides a nice straightforward explanation of requirements when owning and working with underground storage tanks.

TAIT is an expert in and has been working with fueling systems and Underground Storage Tanks for over 50 years. Our Regulatory Affairs Manager Brian Harmon focuses on the regulatory environment and upcoming changes and his comments are integral to regulation changes such as this. ASK US your questions. Allow us to bid on your tank projects. Before making any quick decisions, let’s discuss your situation and your tanks and we can provide guidance on the most cost effective way to move forward to get you in compliance with the current and new regulations.

Visit the EPA’s Underground Storage Tanks 2015 Revised Underground Storage Tank Regulations page for all the details

In June 2015, EPA issued the 2015 underground storage tank regulation and the 2015 state program approval regulation. The revisions strengthen the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations by increasing emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment. The revisions will help prevent and detect UST releases, which are a leading source of groundwater contamination. The revisions will also help ensure all USTs in the United States, including those in Indian country, meet the same minimum standards. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.