Over the years, underground storage tank (UST) leaks and spills accidents at gas stations have led to environmental damage to soil and groundwater, while also necessitating costly cleanups.
Therefore, regulatory bodies like the EPA have formulated strict requirements to ensure UST fuel leak and spill protection. Here’s a checklist to help you manage underground storage tanks and prevent the need for costly cleanups and legal penalties.
What is an Underground Storage Tank?
An underground storage tank refers to a storage tank at gas stations that’s connected to underground piping with at least 10 percent of its combined volume below ground level. Federal laws heavily regulate these tanks due to the risk of environmental hazards; therefore, gas station owners must create a checklist and take measures to prevent leaks and spills; not doing so could result in harsh financial liabilities.
A Checklist for Managing Underground Storage Tanks
- Perform a leak detection test at least once every 30 days to ensure there are no leaks in the UST to avoid damaging the environment. You can use several leak detection methods, including automatic tank gauging and more. You can also perform inventory checks every week to add an extra layer of assurance. Make sure to keep all the documented records for at least 12 months.
- UST tanks are at prime risk of leaks, but it’s essential to pay equal attention to piping to ensure no fuel loss occurs during the fuel delivery process either. In addition to an automatic line leak detector’s operation test annually, you should perform a leak detection test every four weeks to protect yourself against financial liabilities.
- Underground storage tanks are equipped with a mechanism that offers spill and overfill protection to minimize liability. However, it’s important to perform tests to ensure these components are working correctly. Moreover, the tank surface, joints, and piping must be checked for corrosion protection to minimize oil leakage or spill risk. Therefore, an internal line inspection should be performed and documented.
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