EPA sticks to its guns

Oct. 13 UST compliance deadline remains

The Environmental Protect Agency is sticking to its Oct. 13 deadline to meet the 2015 requirements for testing of spill buckets, under-dispenser containment and sumps.

Several industry organizations, 25 U.S. senators and 20 members of the U.S. House of Representatives asked the EPA to delay the Oct. 13 federal deadline for initial testing of sumps, spill buckets and overfill prevention devices, questioning the feasibility of the testing and inspection requirements in the regulations and the availability of qualified contractors to do the inspections on time.

The EPA didn’t budge.

The EPA’s Reasoning
“The new requirements in the 2015 UST regulation were designed to focus on the parts of tank systems most likely to leak or to fail to detect a leak if there were a problem,” Barry N. Breen, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator, wrote in response to the appeal. “A several-year delay in conducting the new requirements could result in releases not being identified and addressed for many years, which ultimately could result in unnecessary environmental damage and more expensive cleanup costs.”

Breen also wrote that the EPA gave stakeholders plenty of time before, during and after the regulation-adoption process, as well as alternative methods to comply. Also, only owners/operators in 16 states and territories without EPA-approved state programs must meet the Oct. 13 deadline.

“CGRS has been working with our customers to prioritize the testing of their facilities by the EPA deadline, especially in Wyoming,” said Kris Quantz, CGRS Compliance Services manager.

While Colorado has its own, EPA-approved program with a Jan. 1, 2020, deadline to meet the 2015 requirements, Wyoming’s UST owners/operators must adhere to the EPA’s October deadline.

“In the other 40 states and territories with SPA, the state regulations apply in lieu of the federal regulation, and states can implement their regulations up to three years beyond the federal compliance deadline,” Breen wrote.

‘Good Faith Effort’ Considered
But the EPA is giving UST owners/operators who haven’t had their facilities checked a little wiggle room. If they have contacted a certified testing provider and scheduled spill bucket and containment testing, the EPA will consider that a “good faith effort to comply with the law when deciding if and how to respond to a violation,” Breen said.

“The EPA encourages tank owners to not wait until the last minute to try to arrange for testing and inspection,” he wrote. “If the required tests/inspections determine that existing equipment is not properly operating to prevent and detect releases, the EPA understands it may take time to get that equipment repaired or upgraded.”

Contact CGRS to get your spill bucket and containment testing scheduled! Let the best in the business work for you.

Contact CGRS at 800.288.2657 to learn how we can help!