Revisions to EPA’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations were published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2015 [40 CFR Parts 280 and 281]. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.
The revisions strengthen the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations by increasing emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment. The revisions will help prevent and detect UST releases, which are a leading source of groundwater contamination. Additionally, these changes will help ensure all USTs in the United States meet the same minimum standards.
The new requirements include:
- secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping
- operating training requirements (different class levels for designated operators)
- periodic operation and maintenance requirements
- requirements to ensure UST compatibility before storing biofuel blends
- removes past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems and field-constructed tanks, which all of these now require release detection
- spill equipment testing requirements at least every three years, includes overfill prevention and sump pumps
38 states plus DC and Puerto Rico have a State Program Approval (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 the 16 non-SPA states must meet the federal requirements according to the 2015 UST regulation.