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Regulations tighten up for above-ground storage tanks

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The best way to describe above-ground tank regulations in Missouri is to compare them to Missouri's weather: Hard to figure out, and if you don't like it now, just wait awhile.

Today, the Missouri Department of Agriculture regulates above-ground storage tanks (ASTs) if they contain petroleum products that will be offered for sale. If you have small tanks containing products that are for use only by your business, they are not regulated at all.

Although the Missouri Department of Natural Resources proposed rules in 1997 to regulate tanks, the rules were not adopted. However, if you have a single tank whose capacity is 660 gallons, or multiple tanks whose capacities add up to 1,320 gallons, you are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, even if the products are for your own company's use. You must follow provisions of the:

?Federal Oil Pollution Prevention Regulation (40 CFR Part 112).

?Spill prevention control and countermeasures plan.

?Facility response plan.

?Local fire codes.

If all of this hasn't confused you, just wait awhile. New regulations are due out this year.

If you fall under the Agriculture Department regulations, (tanks of any size with petroleum for sale) the tanks must meet certain requirements for construction, testing and venting. The tanks must be free of leaks and their contents accurately identified.

Records of a leak detection program and inventory must be maintained. Tank supports must be adequate and tanks must be minimum distances from buildings, property lines and other tanks. Tanks, piping and valves must have corrosion protection.

The tanks must have impervious spill containment that will hold the contents of the largest tank, plus additional volume for precipitation (generally an additional 10 percent). An approved double-walled tank meets these requirements. Compacted earth usually does not.

If you fall under the EPA regulations (one tank greater than 660 gallons or multiple tanks greater than 1,320 gallons) you must have a spill-prevention control and countermeasures plan. This plan must be prepared by a registered professional engineer and approved and signed by company management. The plan must include:

?Tank containment calculations.

?Tank construction information.

?Tank testing plans.

?Truck loading/unloading containment descriptions.

?Predicted flow directions.

?Emergency response materials location.

?Security provisions.

?Tank and piping inspection records.

?Training records.

?Contained water inspection and discharge records.

If you have more than 1 million gallons of storage, your facility response plan must describe even greater training and emergency response capabilities.

(Neal Calton, PE, DEE, is an engineering consultant with Sunbelt Environmental Services.)[[In-content Ad]]

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