EPA Revising USTs Regulation

"These changes will better protect people's health and benefit the environment in communities across the country by improving prevention and detection of underground storage tank releases," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

EPA announced it will publish a final rule that strengthens federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements, with the aim of improving leak prevention and detection and thus reducing groundwater contamination. EPA said its action will strengthen existing requirements and help ensure all USTs in the United States meet the same release protection standards.

"These changes will better protect people's health and benefit the environment in communities across the country by improving prevention and detection of underground storage tank releases," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "Extensive and meaningful collaboration with our underground storage tank partners and stakeholders was vital to the development of the new regulations. The revised requirements will also help ensure consistency in implementing the tanks program among states and on tribal lands," Stanislaus added.

Secondary containment and operator training requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 will apply to USTs on tribal lands. In addition, these requirements improve EPA's original 1988 UST regulation by closing regulatory gaps, adding new technologies, and focusing on properly operating and maintaining existing tanks.

The revised requirements include:

  • adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping
  • adding operator training requirements
  • adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems
  • removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks
  • adding new release prevention and detection technologies
  • updating codes of practice
  • updating state program approval requirements to incorporate these new changes

The rule will be available in docket number EPA-HQ-UST-2011-0301 at http://www.regulations.gov once it is published.

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