U.S. EPA Has Issued Underground Storage Tank Regulations
By Doug Rucker, P.G.
As all underground storage tank (UST) owners and operators should know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued new UST regulations in 2015. Although some incremental changes have been made over the years, including equipment testing and operator training requirements, this is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations contained in 40 CFR Part 280 since 1988. The revised regulations were published in the Federal Register in July 2015 and became effective on October 13, 2015. Implementation deadlines for the new regulations for a particular UST site will depend upon the state in which that site is located. States with USEPA-approved UST programs, such as Indiana, will have three years from the effective date to revise their programs in accordance with the new federal regulations and begin implementation. On the other hand, sites in states without USEPA-approved UST programs, such as Kentucky and Ohio, must begin implementing the new regulations immediately on the effective date and meet the deadlines and time frames specified in the new regulations. A full listing of the states with approved UST programs can be found on the USEPA’s website at the following link:
Some of the revised regulations and the specific dates upon which they became or will become effective in states without USEPA-approved UST programs are listed below:
Effective October 13, 2015:
Effective April 11, 2016:
Effective October 13, 2018:
Complete information on the updated regulations may be found at the USEPA website link below:
The Ohio state agency responsible for USTs is the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations (BUSTR), which is a division of the State Fire Marshal’s office. BUSTR has indicated that it is in the process of reviewing the new federal regulations and updating their own guidelines as appropriate with a goal of having BUSTR’s guidelines finalized and in place by 2017. The link for the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office is below:
In Kentucky, the agency responsible for USTs is the Underground Storage Tank Branch (USTB) of the Division of Waste Management in the Department for Environmental protection. The new USEPA guidelines cannot fully be implemented until approved by the state legislature, which has not happened as of this writing. However, information published by the USTB indicates that its inspectors will make note of any non-compliance issues related to the revised regulations during site inspections and will issue notices of violation (NOVs). The link to the USTB’s website is below:
As Indiana has a UST program approved by the USEPA, all effective dates for the revised USEPA regulations are three years later than those indicated above. However, it is considered likely that the agency responsible for UST programs in Indiana, the Office of Land Quality within the Department for Environmental Management (IDEM), will begin reviewing and revising its guidelines in the near future in order to be fully compliant with USEPA regulations by October 13, 2018. The link to the Office of Land Quality underground storage tank website is below:
http://www.in.gov/idem/landquality/2336.htmTo find out more about this topic, click here.