Comments by the ASTSWMO Tanks Subcommittee regarding US EPA’s Proposed Rule for E15 Fuel Dispenser Labeling and Compatibility with Underground Storage Tanks (86 FR 5094) provided to EPA on April 15, 2021.
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, in partnership with ASTSWMO, conducts a survey of all State Financial Assurance Fund programs and provides results on their design characteristics, funding, and fund activity each year. Summary and results from 2020 are provided below.
Table 1: Design Characteristics of State Financial Assurance Funds 2020
Table 2: Funding for State Financial Assurance Funds 2020
Table 3: Level of Activity in State Financial Assurance Funds 2020
Table 4: Cost Control Measures/State Fund Updates 2020
For archives of previous State Fund Surveys visit the Annual State Fund Survey Archives page.
On January 19, 2021, EPA published a proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to modify E15 dispenser labels and revise UST system compatibility requirements. A summary of the proposal and links to the notice and Federal Register are available here.
During this meeting on February 16, 2021, ASTSWMO hosted leadership from EPA OUST to provide a short briefing on the proposed rulemaking – focusing on the UST provisions.
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with ASTSWMO, developed UST Finder, a flexible web map application containing a comprehensive, state-sourced national map of underground storage tank (UST) and leaking UST (LUST) data. Using publicly available information, UST Finder provides the attributes and locations of active and closed USTs, UST facilities, and LUST sites from states as of 2018-2019. UST Finder contains information about proximity of UST facilities and LUST sites to: surface and groundwater public drinking water protection areas; estimated number of private domestic wells and number of people living nearby; and flooding and wildfires. UST Finder can import additional data layers and export UST facility and LUST site information for use by other software programs.
During this webinar Alex Hall and Fran Kremer from EPA’s Office of Research and Development introduced UST Finder to participants and highlighted the web application’s features and available data. UST Finder is accessible to the public here.
Several States have developed programs to safely remove these tanks and discover whether contamination has occurred. The State Fund-Financial Responsibility Task Force compiled these information sheets from State programs to highlight their efforts and to provide examples for other States who wish to develop similar programs. The compendium also identifies States with programs in place to help fund closure of abandoned underground storage tanks.
In March 2020, ASTM released E3225-20, Standard Practice for Performing a Liquid Test of Spill Prevention Equipment and Containment Sumps Used for Interstitial Monitoring of Piping by Visual Examination. ASTM E3225-20 provides a practice for inspection of spill prevention equipment and containment sumps by visual examination (“naked eye”) that does not use vacuum, pressure, or liquid testing.
In efforts to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, many states across the US issued “Stay at Home” orders and other travel restrictions. As a result, demand for transportation fuels declined significantly in March and April. It is likely that many states will see 50 to 70% reductions in gasoline fuel consumption during this time.
According to the US Energy Information Administration reports released on April 23, 2020, the COVID-19 mitigation efforts resulted in the lowest U.S. petroleum consumption in decades. The most significant declines in the last four weeks (March 13 through April 17) were in motor gasoline and jet fuel.
The focus of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was leak prevention and included a provision for States to annually report the sources and causes of UST releases. The average percentage of unknown release sources was approximately 40% and the average percentage of unknown release causes was approximately 60% based on most recent available EPA Public Record reports posted on State websites.
The ASTSWMO Tanks Subcommittee is hosting this webinar to discuss the currently available source and cause information nationally, the impacts of source and cause at the State level, and corrosion/degradation related issues internally and externally for UST systems. The webinar will also present a State example of how we can document source and cause more thoroughly for future national leak prevention analysis efforts.
Alex Hall (EPA ORD) will discuss his analysis of the EPA National Database for UST and LUST. His analysis includes a review of specific States’ data looking at causes of releases, tank construction, tank age, and some broad national trends.
Therron Blatter (UT DEQ) will discuss their analysis on source and cause of releases covered by Utah’s Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Fund, which includes an evaluation of cleanup costs and release discovery method and key points for data collection in their evaluation of source and cause impacts.
Chris Marks (AZ DEQ) will discuss corrosion and degradation that has been observed internally and externally in UST systems in relationship to source and cause.
Zach Barrett (FL DEP) will discuss Florida’s process for determining and recording release source and cause information, which has helped decrease their percentage rate of unknown release source and cause information.
Working with State partners, EPA has developed the first comprehensive national database on underground storage tank facilities, underground storage tanks, and leaking underground storage tanks. This data, including geospatial data, will assist States and stakeholders in identifying facilities that may be prone to flooding and assessing potential risk to ground water and vapor intrusion from LUST sites as well as in prioritizing cleanup efforts. Additionally, this database provides key data on the tanks infrastructure nationally, including the tank age and type.
On October 10, 2019, ASTSWMO hosted a webinar to share the application with States. EPA will make the database publicly available at a later date.