Environmental Consulting & Remediation

UST Regulations: What You Need to Know

If you have an underground storage tank or are buying a site with a storage tank it’s important to understand the changes to UST regulations announced this past summer.  These are the first changes since 1988 and are scheduled to go in effect on October 31st, 2015. The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements will apply to the “1.1 million federally regulated USTs1” nationwide that either store petroleum or hazardous substances. The goal of the new rule is to decrease occurrence of UST release with a focus on proper operation and maintenance. The new regulations clarify language about interstitial monitoring, reaffirm vapor and groundwater monitoring as release detection and correct errors in the 1988 documentation among other changes.

2015 UST Regulation Updates

Changes to be implemented immediately:
  • Owners and operators are required to notify authorities at least 30 days prior to switching to certain biofuel blends, demonstrating compatibility.
  • All new and replaced USTs are required to implement secondary containment and interstitial monitoring. This change is to be implemented within 180 days.
  • Owners and operators will no longer be able to use flow restrictors to meet overfill prevention requirements.
  • Tanks using internal lining that fail periodic inspection cannot be upgraded and must be taken out of service.
  • Owners must notify authorities within 30 days of UST system ownership change, even if UST is in Indian country.
  • Testing is required within 30 days of a repair to spill equipment, overfill equipment and secondary containment areas even if the repair was not linked to a release.

Changes to be implemented within three years:
  • The changes to the operator training requirements will now require all states to adhere to EPAct policies. States that already have training programs, like Georgia, will not be effected. The regulations also clarify that the operator does not have to be an employee.
  • Because of new technology operators of emergency generator tanks will be required to perform release detection.
  • To ensure proper maintenance walkthrough inspections and proper documentation of release detection equipment is now required.
  • Testing required for spill prevention equipment every three years.
In addition to the new federal changes owners will still need to meet there state and local guidelines. For more information about the changes please visit epa.gov.

Speak to a Environmental Professional
If you would like to speak to a UST specialist please contact us. Our team will ensure you are in compliance with current regulations and prepared to meet future implemented changes.

1: Source: Environmental Protection Agency

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