EPA Provides Updated Resource for UST Owners: A Quick Guide to “Musts for USTs”

March 4, 2016

In 1988 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a document to inform owners of underground storage tanks (USTs) about regulations governing their tanks. This document, entitled “Musts for USTs” was incredibly well written and easy to understand, and covered topics like leak detection, overfill prevention and spill containment.USTs

For over 25 years, this document has stood as the definitive guide for tank owners to learn about the basic regulations for operating USTs.  The simple format and diagrams made it easy for even beginners in the environmental industry to understand the standards to which business operations would be held.

As time passed and regulations changed, this longstanding resource became outdated. Thankfully, however, in November 2015, the EPA revised “Musts for USTs” to reflect the latest rules and legislation.

The new handbook is a slightly more condensed version, including 36 tightly written pages that cover many new requirements for both new and existing USTs. The document also clearly notes all requirements and information updated since the last publication.

Pages three and four of the handbook provide an excellent summary of all of these updated requirements. Some of the more important changes include the following:

  • Install under-dispenser containment by April 11, 2016.
  • Notify the appropriate state agency within 30 days of acquiring a UST.
  • Notify the appropriate state agency 30 days prior to switching to an ethanol blend of greater than 10% or to a fuel having greater than 20% biofuels.
  • Test fill buckets every three years beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Inspect overfill equipment every three years beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Test fill buckets and inspect overfill equipment every three years for USTs installed after October 13, 2015.
  • Test containment sumps used for interstitial monitoring for suction or pressurized piping systems every three years beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Test containment sumps used for interstitial monitoring for suction or pressurized piping systems every three years for all tanks and piping installed after October 13, 2015.
  • Test release detection equipment annually beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Keep records of site assessment for facilities using vapor or groundwater monitoring beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Implement 30-day walkthrough inspections beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Designate and train operators beginning October 13, 2018 on existing USTs.
  • Test or inspect components within 30 days following repairs made to spill, overfill or secondary containment areas.

Tank owners must continue to comply with numerous requirements to keep their eligibility with respective state trust funds. For this reason and many others, the updated “Must for USTs” document is a must-read for every UST owner or operator. You may download the document for free at the EPA website.

While resources like “Musts for USTs” can clarify the environmental responsibilities of UST owners, experts like PPM Consultants can offer solutions for your environmental problems. The company has 22 years’ experience in UST remediation, and no one moves a site to the status of “No Further Action” quicker than PPM. If you have questions about updated or existing EPA regulations, give PPM a call. With offices across the Gulf South and service centers nationwide, PPM is ready to shoulder the burden of compliance and remediation so you can focus on your business.

Contributed by Keith Pyron, Principal