In June 2015, EPA issued the 2015 underground storage tank regulation and the 2015 state program approval regulation. 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. The revisions will also help ensure all USTs in the United States, including those in Indian country, meet the same minimum standards. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.
2015 Final Regulations For Underground Storage Tanks
- Revising Underground Storage Tank Regulations – Revisions to Existing Requirements and New Requirements for Secondary Containment and Operator Training final rule published in the Federal Register (PDF) (119 pp, 1.5MB, About PDF) on July 15, 2015.
- Regulatory impact analysis (PDF) (167 pp, 2.5MB, About PDF)
- Response to comments document (PDF) (181 pp, 1.2MB, About PDF)
The 2015 regulation changes certain portions of the 1988 underground storage tank technical regulation in 40 CFR part 280. The changes establish federal requirements that are similar to key portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, EPA added new operation and maintenance requirements and addressed UST systems deferred in the 1988 UST regulation. The changes include:
- Adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping
- Adding operator training requirements
- Adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems
- Adding requirements to ensure UST system compatibility before storing certain biofuel blends
- Removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks
- Updating codes of practice
- Making editorial and technical corrections
The 2015 state program approval (SPA) regulation also updates SPA requirements in 40 CFR part 281 and incorporates the changes to the UST technical regulation listed above.
- 38 SPA states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently have 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 16 non-SPA states and territories must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation. In addition, owners and operators will need to follow their state requirements.
- Indian country UST owners and operators must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation.