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.
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.
All new dispensers need to have under-dispenser containment.
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.