WASHINGTON – Three years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an update to the Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulation and the state program approval regulation in the Federal Register. The revisions strengthened the 1988 federal UST regulations by increasing the emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment.
There are four major regulatory requirements that all U.S. stations must be prepared for pertaining to new and existing UST systems, according to fueling equipment supplier OPW:
- Testing of sumps and under-dispenser containment systems must be performed every three years if the system uses interstitial onitoring of the piping as its primary form of leak deterrence.
- Spill-bucket testing will be required every three years, unless the UST system is outfitted with double-wall spill buckets where the interstitial space is tested regularly. Some states already require spill-bucket testing every year.
- Compliance testing of repaired components: Whenever any component in the spill-protection, overfill-containment and secondary-containment areas of the UST system needs to be repaired, compliance testing of the repaired system must be completed within 30 days, regardless of whether or not an actual product release occurred.
- Overfill-prevention equipment inspections will be required every three years, except in states where they are already required annually.
According EPA, the 2015 state program approval (SPA) regulation also updated SPA requirements in 40 CFR Part 281 and incorporated the changes to the UST technical regulation listed above. 38 SPA states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had SPA and should have reapplied ahead of the October 13 deadline. 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.
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. SPA does not apply to USTs in Indian country.