EPA Releases Wildfire Guidance for USTs and ASTs

The group lists actionable steps on what to do before and after a wildfire.

September 17, 2021

Wildfire Burning

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Wildfires are increasing in size and frequency each year, and convenience retailers with underground storage tanks (UST) and oil aboveground storage tanks (AST) should take special precautions in the event of a wildfire. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with assistance from NACS and other pertinent organizations, have developed a guide as a resource for UST and AST owners and operators.

This guide helps owners and operators prepare for and respond to the catastrophic effects and environmental harm that may occur because of partial or fully burned UST systems or oil ASTs and associated piping and appurtenances. The guide also helps owners and operators return their facilities to service as soon as possible.

The guide lists actions to help UST and oil AST owners and operators prepare should wildfires approach their facilities, as well as steps to recover from potential impacts to their facilities. It includes a table of recommended activities depending on how far away the fire is when the facility is evacuated.

Also included in the guide is information on financial assistance available to UST and oil AST owners and operators, and the appendix contains links to additional industry guides.

The EPA also offers an Underground Storage Tank Flood Guide with suggested practices that may help owners and operators quickly and safely restart UST systems and bring them back into service in the event of a flood.

NACS resources are available to help convenience retailers develop or enhance their disaster planning procedures. The Convenience Store Emergency Planning and Job Aids are designed to help convenience retailers quickly and efficiently determine the best course of action for their teams to plan for an emergency and resume operations quickly and safely.

For more emergency planning resources, NACS Magazine articles and Convenience Matters podcast episodes, visit the Disaster and Emergency Preparedness page.

Register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on preparing for natural disasters and supporting your community, including these sessions developed by retailers for retailers: