The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new regulations for underground storage tanks. The new regulations were released in June and are “the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988,” according to the EPA. The new revisions are designed to help prevent and detect releases from storage tanks, which lead to groundwater contamination. The new regulations are also intended to ensure that underground storage tanks across the country meet the same minimum standards. Learn more about the new regulations below.
EPA Issues New Underground Storage Tank Regulations
Here is what the revised requirements will include, according to the EPA:
- 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; and
- updating state program approval requirements to incorporate these new changes.
With regard to updating state program approval (SPA) requirements to incorporate the new changes, the EPA stated that:
- 38 SPA states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently have SPA and have three years to reapply in order to retain their SPA status. 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.
With regard to underground storage tanks on tribal lands, the EPA stated:
- Secondary containment and operator training requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 will apply to USTs on tribal lands.
- Indian Country UST owners and operators must feed the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation.