EPA Updates Rule for Underground Storage Tanks (UST)

Posted on 7/1/2015 by Roger Marks

Update: US EPA published a Final Rule to revise the requirements for underground storage tanks (UST) in the Federal Register on July 15, 2015. Read the Final Rule here. 

The US EPA announced on Monday, June 29, that it will soon publish a Final Rule to update its underground storage tank (UST) regulations. While many states have kept their UST rules up-to-date with changing technology and environmental requirements, this is the first major change to the Federal standards since the rules were originally written in 1988. Hundreds of thousands of US facilities rely on underground storage tanks—because they either sell petroleum products or use the tanks to store gasoline for their own vehicles.

EPA regulates underground storage tanks, or USTs

In addition to closing regulatory loopholes by addressing systems originally deferred in the 1988 rule, the new UST requirements include:
  • Added secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping
  • New training requirements for UST operators
  • Operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems
  • Incorporation of new release prevention and detection technologies
  • Updating the state approval program to incorporate these changes.
The new rules implement some provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require operator training and secondary containment for underground storage tanks. The goal of these new EPA regulations is to prevent a release of petroleum and hazardous substances into the environment. According to EPA data, about 6,000 releases—mainly caused by improper maintenance and operation of UST systems—are discovered each year.

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Tags: hazardous, new rules, RCRA, UST, waste

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