Six Steps to Decrease UST Risk

Owners and operators of underground storage tank systems are the first line of defense in preventing releases to the environment. These easy-to-implement steps are a surefire way for UST or AST owners and operators to reduce risk and help prevent leaks or spills.

1. Always Have a Trained Operator on Site

Not including unattended sites, most states require that at least one trained operator be on site during all hours of operation. Class C operators are most commonly used to fill this requirement and are trained to respond to emergency situations, including an alarm going off, a release, or a spill. Having a trained operator on site will lessen the chances of something being missed.

2. Run Through Emergency Procedures With Staff Monthly

Practice makes perfect! Make it a point to quiz your staff on what they should do in the event of a spill or release. Your team should know exactly where to find your spill kit, who to contact, and what actions to take.

3. Keeps Records Organized & Current

One of the easiest things operators can do to decrease leak potential is to keep all leak detection records organized and up to date. Test your tanks when they are full and save your monthly tests in a binder or folder. Keep a calendar that reminds you when you need to collect a passing test or have a component re-inspected. Missing records or certifications may add to your operation expenses and you may be penalized for non-compliance.

4. Conduct Regular Walkthrough Inspections

Operators that conduct routine walkthrough inspections significantly lower their risk of experiencing a leak or release by identifying potential issues before they grow into big problems. Check out our Walkthrough Inspection Checklist for more information. 

5. Post Emergency Contact Information

Unattended facilities are required to post emergency contact information and procedures, but that doesn’t mean that attended facilities can’t do the same. Signage should be posted in the dispensing area and be easy identifiable. If the class C operator is unavailable, your customers should be able to contact the designated contact in the event of an emergency.

6. Take an Active Role in Fuel Deliveries

Most owners and operators have a tried and true delivery driver. However, complacency is the enemy of risk management. Although your delivery driver has been trained in safety procedures for delivering fuel to a UST, it is ultimately the responsibility of the owner or operator to ensure spills or overfilling do not occur.

2894 106th St. Ste. 220 Urbandale, Iowa 50323