As referenced in a previous blog, new Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations 310 CMR 80.00 became effective in Massachusetts on January 2, 2015.

The updated regulations establish new or expand upon the existing requirements with respect to such things as cathodic protection, registration, containment sumps, spill and overfill protection, inventory reconciliation and third party inspections.

One area of the regulations that was NOT changed was the requirement that all single walled steel tanks must be removed by August 7, 2017.

Unlike the upgrade requirements that were in effect in the late 1990s, this requirement may pose a variety of new challenges to UST owners

An area that may not easily come to mind but should not be overlooked is whether building demolition issues need to be incorporated into your 2017 upgrade strategy. The petroleum industry is continuously evolving and competition and economics will dictate whether the choice is to cease operations altogether or rebuild a new state-of-the-art facility. In either case, state, federal and local regulatory requirements will need to be factored into your overall renovation approach.

By way of example, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations under the U.S. EPA Clean Air Act require a thorough building inspection to identify any asbestos-containing material (ACM) that may be disturbed prior to demolition or renovation.  The “pre-demolition” survey must be performed by competent persons using destructive sampling methods to identify visible and hidden ACM. Based on the results of the survey, the owner or operator may be required to notify the appropriate regulatory agencies before disturbance or removal of any ACM identified at the facility.  Removal of ACM must follow work practice standards that control asbestos emissions.

In addition to ACM, a “pre-demolition” survey typically identifies surfaces impacted by lead containing paint.  The OSHA Lead in Construction standard (29 CFR 1926.62) considers any level of lead to be potentially harmful when disturbed during demolition or construction.  Various OSHA work practices and worker protection requirements are mandated depending on the nature of the disturbance.  Sampling of building materials for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may also be recommended, depending on the age and types of materials in the building. Handling and disposal of lead- and PCB-impacted materials are also governed by strict work practices.

As with any regulatory mandate, waiting until the last possible moment to comply may present challenges on available financial resources, equipment supply and demand and contractor availability. To any owner in the predicament of having to deal with the August 2017 deadline, proactively planning now may be your greatest asset.


William Alpine is Corporate Counsel/Director of Cost Recovery for ATC.  He was previously the Executive Director of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 21J Fund.  ATC has served the petroleum industry with its environmental, due diligence and regulatory compliance needs for over 30 years.  Bill can be reached at (781) 246-8897 or via email or LinkedIn.

Joel Hershey is Director of ATC’s Eclipse Fuel System Management Division. He has worked exclusively in the field of petroleum liquid storage systems since 1989. His experience includes compliance testing, diagnostics, petroleum construction, maintenance, and upgrades for both underground and aboveground storage tank systems. Joel can be reached at (413) 789-3530 or via email or LinkedIn.