EPA Regulations for Underground Storage Tanks

By Michelle Huitt-Megela, Assistant Vice President, PartnerOne Environmental

All tank owners should be familiar with the UST regulation (40 CFR Part 280) because it defines the Financial Responsibility of each tank owner as it pertains to their underground storage tanks (USTs). This regulation was established in 1988 and as the industry has evolved, so has the regulation. In 2015 changes were made to this regulation regarding training, operation, and maintenance requirements.

The original version of 40 CFR Part 280 required that owners and operators have spill, overfill, and release detection for their tanks, however the equipment used to perform these functions was not subject to inspection or review. For example, EPA required spill prevention equipment to capture drips and spills when the delivery hose is disconnected from the fill pipe, but did not require testing of that equipment. The regulation revisions will require that UST equipment is operated and maintained properly.

Additionally, according to the EPA, lack of proper operation is the number one cause of new releases. This is why the new revisions also require that the owners/operators participate in periodic training for operation and maintenance of their tanks. Proper maintenance of this equipment is essential. According to the Semi Annual Report of UST Performance Measures, data show that release detection equipment is only catching 50% of releases it is designed to detect. Per this same report, there are approximately 6,000 releases reported each year.

Commercial Storage Tank Coverage

Storage Tank Liability provides coverage for cleanup costs at a tank owner’s facility due to releases from scheduled tanks on the policy. It provides First and Third Party Clean Up, which will satisfy the requirements of Financial Assurance. We can also quote First and Third Party Site Pollution Liability, Waste Transportation Liability, and Third Party Liability for Non-Owned Disposal Sites on certain types of operations.

Insurance carriers closely align the testing they require with the EPA, however insurance companies may ask for more frequent or stringent testing. Each carrier will set the testing parameters needed to quote and bind. We work with our carriers to ensure we are up to date on any changing regulations or emerging issues within the industry, and we utilize state websites to  confirm we have the most current and accurate information to provide you with a competitive quote.

When submitting your application, we will review it against both state and federal requirements to make sure we are offering you the quote that best fits your insured’s needs. We also have other coverages that can be discussed upon receipt of a submission. For more information on coverage for underground storage tanks and current regulations, please contact us.