U.S. EPA: UST Program Provisions – Impact on Business

The 2005 Energy Policy Act contains amendments to Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, which created the underground storage tank (UST) program. These amendments were enacted to reduce UST releases to the environment and will significantly affect State UST programs.

The amendments add requirements to State programs in regard to, among other things, inspections, operator training, delivery prohibition, secondary containment, and financial responsibility. Therefore, if you have underground storage tanks (UST) regulated by the Ohio State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR), be prepared to commit additional resources to meet the new requirements.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is currently in the process of reviewing BUSTR regulations and amending, if necessary, the UST program to comply with EPA guidelines and changes in Federal law.

U.S. EPA required several additions to State UST programs as summarized below:


States are required to inspect regulated UST’s based on EPA guidelines.

1. UST’s that have not been inspected since December 22, 1998 must have an on-site inspection conducted by August 8, 2007. (Note that BUSTR is beyond this date.)

2. Once all UST’s have been inspected, on-site inspections of each UST must be conducted at least once every three years. The State must complete first three-year inspection cycle by August 8, 2010.

An on-site inspection by a licensed inspector includes inspection of each UST, inspection of associated equipment, and review of applicable records to determine compliance with the UST requirements in Subtitle I and 40 CFR 280.

At a minimum the on-site inspection must assess compliance with notifications, corrosion protection, overfill and spill prevention, tank and piping release detection, recordkeeping, financial responsibility, and secondary containment (if required).

Operator Training

States are required to develop state-specific training requirements based on EPA guidelines for three classes of operators:

1. Manager of resources and personnel responsible for achieving and maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements (Class A Operator).

2. Person responsible for implementing the day-to-day operation, maintenance, and recordkeeping (Class B Operator).

3. Individual responsible for responding to alarms or other indications of emergencies caused by spills or releases (Class C Operator).

States must develop specific training requirements by August 8, 2009. By August 8, 2012 all UST operators are required to be trained at the appropriate level.

Delivery Prohibition

Using guidelines established by EPA, states are required to develop criteria and timeframes for prohibiting the delivery of product to ineligible UST’s by August 8, 2007. A state must classify a UST as ineligible based on the following conditions:

  • Required spill prevention equipment is not installed;
  • Required overfill protection equipment is not installed;
  • Required leak detection equipment is not installed;
  • Required corrosion protection equipment is not installed; or
  • Other conditions a stat deems appropriate.

The state must establish mechanisms for identifying ineligible UST’s and for providing adequate notification to owners, operators, and suppliers that a UST has been determined ineligible for delivery.

Secondary Containment

State UST programs must meet, at a minimum, one of the following:

1. Each new or replaced tanks and piping within 1,000 feet of an existing community water system or an existing potable drinking well must be secondarily contained including interstitial monitoring. In addition, new motor fuel dispenser systems installed within 1,000 feet of any community water system or any existing potable drinking water well must be equipped with under-dispenser containment.

2. Evidence of financial responsibility for UST and UST system manufacturers and installers. Installers are also required to be certified or licensed.

States must implement secondary containment or financial responsibility requirements by February 8, 2007.

Published by Stephen Kovatch

Senior Client Manager  Stephen J. Kovatch focuses on assisting clients in establishing corporate regulatory compliance programs in the areas of air, water, and waste management. Mr. Kovatch also provides direction to industrial facility owners who are active in the transaction of contaminated property by defining objectives, coordinating soil and water sampling protocols, risk assessment, and remedial / cleanup activities. He frequently represents clients in property sales negotiations and regulatory agency and insurance proceedings.

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