Underground Tank Storage Requirements

Underground Tank Storage Requirements

It’s a topic you may not often think of, but it’s an important one… the maintenance and storage of underground tanks and keeping in compliance is key. Once they’re in the ground, it becomes an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ topic.

Maintaining compliance with underground storage tanks can become daunting and overwhelming. PumpTex is available to help you wade through the compliance requirements so you can rest easy knowing we’re handling your tanks correctly.

We service clients in both Texas and Louisiana. Regardless of where you are, we have you covered. There are various components to be aware of when it comes to your underground storage tanks (USTs). The purpose of these rules is to keep everyone safe. The rules help with making sure accidental releases of petroleum don’t escape into the environment. They protect both the environment and everyone’s health. Installations, removals, and even repairs of these tanks need to be professionally handled by a company like PumpTex to assure it’s all done safely.

General Underground Storage Tank Information

If you think about how many gas stations sit scattered across the US, you can only imagine how many underground storage tanks sit below the surface holding fuel. According to the EPA, “Approximately 542,000 underground storage tanks (USTs) nationwide store petroleum or hazardous substances.” That’s a lot of tanks and all of them are subject to rules and regulations.

An underground storage tank consists of a tank as well as connected piping to the tank that has a minimum of 10 percent of its combined volume underground. Nearly all of these units contain petroleum. Many of the tanks lay below the surface at gas stations.

Throughout the US, there are some consistent requirements for USTs. PumpTex knows what the requirements are regardless of your location. Some universal requirements include –

  • Release prevention – owners and operators of underground storage tanks are responsible for properly installing the systems and protecting them from corrosion, spills, and overfills.
  • Release detection – This can be covered in one of three categories -
    • Interstitial, internal, and external (click here for more info)
  • Financial responsibility – this falls on the owners and operators of the underground storage tanks.

Beyond universal considerations in the US, there are also guidelines to follow within each state. Let’s take a look at some details regarding Texas and Louisiana.

Texas Requirements

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality site outlines a ton of information regarding underground tank storage.

Here are some examples (please see the TCEQ site for the full requirements) –

  • The tanks must be registered with the TCEQ regardless if it’s empty or not being used.
  • Delivery certificate must be renewed annually 30 days prior to the certificate’s expiration.
  • Proof of Financial Assurance must be included with all of the Self-Certification Forms.
  • If you’re going to be engaging in any construction work, you’re required to notify the TCEQ.
  • The TCEQ also must be notified if there will be any ownership changes.

This barely brushes the surface of what you’ll need to do if you’re dealing with an underground storage tank. PumpTex will be happy to discuss the details with you and make sure you’re checking off all of the necessary mandates

Louisiana Requirements

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality also contains a bunch of information when it comes to USTs. PumpTex can help walk you through the confusing process of maintaining compliance. As an example, some requirements for USTs in LA include,

  • Monthly and annual walkthrough inspections.
  • Annual shear valve testing is also required.
  • Release detection equipment operation and maintenance testing need to occur.
  • UST-REG form will be necessary in various instances -
    • Before placing a product into a UST
    • Within 30 days of an ownership change
    • Within certain thresholds of ethanol storage

Many requirements have different effective dates with the state. Make sure consult the Louisiana Government site for all of the thresholds. Give PumpTex a call to help address the regulations.

There’s no question that dealing with underground storage tanks can be quite daunting and confusing. Each state has different requirements and there are countless rules to take into account. After you’ve reviewed the Texas and Louisiana government sites, you’ll see that working with an experienced company who knows USTs and regulations will make your life a lot easier. There’s no need to stress and lose sleep over what you need to do to keep your UST setup safe and compliant. Take it one step at a time and let PumpTex lead the way for you.

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PumpTex, Inc. was founded in 1997 in the back of a garage with the dream of bringing a new level of customer service to the retail petroleum service industry. Over the years, we have grown to become a valuable resource to our customers. Many consider us to be the first responders of the retail petroleum service industry!


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