Is Your Underground Storage Tank in Compliance With TCEQ?

Is Your Underground Storage Tank in Compliance With TCEQ?

Did you know that groundwater is the principal source of drinking water for more than 50% of the United States population? Unfortunately, one of the main contamination threats to that drinking water comes from leaks from the 500,000+ underground storage tanks (USTs) that can be found across the country. Most of these tanks contain petroleum and other hazardous substances. If you have a UST on your property, it is your responsibility to make sure it remains in compliance with the guidelines set out by both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which are designed to prevent leaks and spill which can result in groundwater contamination. As your petroleum services company, PumpTex can help you to stay compliant with these regulations through regular inspections and maintenance at your gas station site. We can also work with you to remove, repair, or replace damaged underground storage tanks as necessary.

Let's examine what you need to know about UST compliance according to EPA and TCEQ guidelines.

Federal UST Requirements

The EPA guidelines establish the federal requirements across the United States for UST safety. These are then used in conjunction with state authorities to finalize more localized requirements. The core guidelines from the EPA in regard to groundwater protection and USTs include:

  • Corrosion Protection - Any metal components of a UST that are going to come into contact with the ground must have some form of corrosion protection, as corrosion is one of the leading causes of UST leaks.
  • Overfill Protection - Devices must be installed in USTs that will either restrict the flow of the product or alert the delivery tanker operator that the tank is almost full. This requirement can be satisfied with an automatic shutoff device. If your UST does not have overfill protection, talk to a petroleum services company like PumpTex.
  • Spill Protection - USTs containing more than 25 gallons are also required to have spill buckets and other containment equipment that will contain any overspill or spillages. As your petroleum services company, PumpTex can repair, maintain, and replace spill buckets and other containment equipment for you.

State Compliance Guidelines

In addition to the EPA guidelines, Texas is one of 38 states that have their own local regulations for USTs. Landowners must meet both sets of compliance regulations. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is charged with enforcing UST regulations in Texas for both the state and the EPA. Some of the main state guidelines include:

  • All USTs must be registered with the TCEQ, even if they are empty and currently not in use.
  • UST operators and owners must be able to validate that they have the financial means to conduct remediation work in the event of a leak or spill.
  • The tank fill pipes for all USTs must be adequately identified with the appropriate clear labeling.
  • Any plan to remove an underground storage tank must be submitted to the TCEQ a minimum of 30 days before any work gets underway.

Underground Storage Tank Decommissioning

If you have an underground storage tank that is currently unused and is not compliant with TCEQ guidelines, you may be considering having it removed instead of bringing it into compliance. As your petroleum services company, PumpTex also offers tank decommissioning and removal. This specialized service requires the appropriate qualifications to meet the necessary industry standards and minimize the environmental impact of the work. We can decommission USTs in situ by emptying the tank of any residual fuel and filling it with an inert material that renders it completely safe. The other option is to remove the tank completely. In this situation, the tank must be made safe before excavation. The most appropriate option will depend on the individual tank, its condition, and the environmental conditions. You can discuss your options with a qualified petroleum services company like PumpTex.

In conclusion, if you own and/or operate an underground storage tank, it is essential that it complies with EPA and TCEQ regulations to protect both the environment and public health. PumpTex can help you to understand and adhere to the regulatory requirements through carefully planned monitoring and maintenance procedures. With the right professional support from a petroleum services company like PumpTex, you can minimize the risk of environmental contamination for your business and avoid the costly penalties associated with non-compliance. Keeping your underground storage tank compliant is not just a legal obligation but an important part of your business's environmental responsibilities.

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