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MODEL Underground Storage Tanks

Since 1983, NEIWPCC has been deeply involved in local and national underground storage tank (UST) issues. Underground storage tanks are subterranean tanks commonly used to store petroleum at gas stations, car dealerships, marinas, and elsewhere.

Despite noteworthy advancements in UST technology and regulations, tanks will still leak, resulting in contamination of soil and groundwater. These tanks are referred to as leaking underground storage tanks (LUST). Such contamination is expensive to remediate and can be detrimental to ground water quality and drinking water wells.

NEIWPCC’s UST/LUST workgroup, comprised of the directors of tank programs in our member states and EPA, typically meets three times a year to address the many issues surrounding USTs. Discussion covers pertinent UST, LUST, and state fund issues including such topics as Energy Policy Act mandates, backlog reduction, alternative fuels, and compliance. Despite progress in recent years, many cleanups of leaking tank sites have yet to be completed, and state inspectors in New England and New York State continue to find people operating USTs without the equipment, systems, and procedures they are required to have to prevent and detect leaks. This failure by many to comply with state and federal UST regulations has prompted NEIWPCC to take a lead role in an effort to increase compliance in our member states. The workgroup has provided crucial support for this effort.

Since 1985, NEIWPCC has also published LUSTLine, an influential national bulletin covering UST/LUST issues, federal and state programs, activities, and technologies. LUSTLine is published three times a year.

Alternative Fuels

As federal government mandates require an increased use of renewable fuel sources, Underground Storage Tank regulators, manufacturers, and operators are considering the potential effects of this transition on the existing petroleum retail infrastructure. The introduction of higher ethanol fuel blends such as E15 and E85 will require extensive study and testing to determining the compatibility of the current national UST infrastructure with these new fuels. Compatibility with systems that are currently installed will need to be addressed as well as compatibility with new products and upgrades.

See our Information Center for the 2006, 2003, and 2000 State Surveys on MTBE and Other Oxygenate Contamination.

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Quality Management

As federal government mandates require an increased use of renewable fuel sources, Underground Storage Tank regulators, manufacturers, and operators are considering the potential effects of this transition on the existing petroleum retail infrastructure. The introduction of higher ethanol fuel blends such as E15 and E85 will require extensive study and testing to determining the compatibility of the current national UST infrastructure with these new fuels. Compatibility with systems that are currently installed will need to be addressed as well as compatibility with new products and upgrades.

Prevention & Corrective Action

Funded through a cooperative agreement with OUST, NEIWPCC is working with state and EPA staff to develop and provide UST inspector and corrective action training opportunities for state programs nationwide. This website aims to serve as a focal point for all state UST inspectors and LUST employees—a clearinghouse of pertinent inspector and corrective action information. Here you will find information on available online and classroom training, an online forum dedicated to UST inspectors, links to state resources (guidance documents, handbooks, checklists, etc.), and much more.


Additional Resources

Need Help?

For more information on all of our UST programs, contact Drew Youngs, coordinator of our UST/LUST workgroup at dyoungs@neiwpcc.org

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Bulletin 80, June 2016 >