Underground Storage Tank Regulation – Is Your Leak Detection Properly Installed?

February 11, 2020
By Freer Consulting

Underground Storage Tank Leak Detector

Underground storage tanks (USTs) are a common way to store petroleum products such as gasoline or diesel fuel. They also are heavily regulated due to concerns over potential spills or leaks. Whether you’re a gas station or an industrial business, adherence to the regulations is important for your business and your bottom line.

USTs are regulated at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and separately by state environmental agencies. In the Pacific Northwest, both Washington and Oregon have EPA approved UST programs making them the sole regulatory enforcers in those states. If you are the owner of USTs, you already know most of this. You also know there are many requirements that you must meet in order to ensure the prevention of leaks and the detection of active leaks, but is your equipment set up properly?

Regulations require leak detection equipment to protect pressurized piping. This means the detection equipment must be able to detect a leak from any portion of the piping that routinely contains a regulated substance. One area of the UST system that is sometimes overlooked in this regard is the portion of the system upstream of the leak detector. Often, the leak detector is only set up (or designed) to detect leaks downstream of it, missing the upstream piping between the detector and the turbine. If your facility undergoes a UST inspection, this failure is likely to result in a citation and related costs to remedy the violation. You may think you have your monitoring equipment set up properly, and this violation may not have been cited during prior inspections, but it remains a violation, nonetheless.

Freer consulting can help you with your UST compliance. If you would like to know how Freer Consulting can help your organization review and ensure regulatory compliance of your USTs, contact us at (206) 285-9044 or info@freerconsulting.com.

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