ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Keeping USTs Underground Where They Belong,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, discuss how fuel retailers can prepare for disaster with Mark Barolo, deputy office director with the Office of Underground Storage Tanks at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In 2015, EPA came out with new requirements to make sure the existing equipment functioned properly. “The original regulations were from 1988, which focused on making sure everyone had the right equipment but not that it functioned properly,” Barolo explained.
Underground storage tanks are crucial with retailers that sell fuel. Barolo said that the federal regulations are broad, and that the “day-to-day implementation is at the state level. … For much of the country, many of the requirements went into effect in the fall of 2018, with other states phasing in through the fall of 2020.”
Barolo reminded listeners that www.epa.gov/ust has a ton of regulatory data, as well as information on each state. “USTs are always evolving, … but these systems tend to stay in the ground a long time. In fact, more than half the systems in place today are more than 25 years old,” he said. “Checking to make sure [tanks] continue to be in proper condition is critical.”
Barolo also highlighted how many groups have partnered on the program. “It has created great partnerships between the various levels of regulators, the tank owning community, the servicing community and the equipment industry,” he said. “There’s been a lot great collaboration and a common goal of making sure that there are not release in the systems.”
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