As an underground storage tank (UST) owner or operator, your goal is never to have a release to the environment from your tank systems. If you suspect a release, you must be prepared to take the appropriate actions immediately. Following are procedures you need to follow if you suspect you have had a release from your UST system:
- Immediately check your most recent inventory records and Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) records to determine if you have any inventory changes or leak test failures. Do not ignore! Contact a petroleum equipment company to investigate continued inventory fluctuations or ATG leak test failures or leak alarms. A tank system taking on water can also be an indication of a possible release.
- If you suspect a particular UST system may be losing product, immediately shut that system down and bag the dispensers. Contact a petroleum equipment company to assist you in determining the integrity of the system and continue to monitor the inventory levels.
- Always use petroleum absorbents, or cat litter/sawdust, to address ANY surface spills. If you have a surface spill over 10 gallons, or a spill that may have traveled off-site to a sewer or to an adjacent property, call your fire department immediately.
- If you believe a release has occurred, immediately contact the state regulatory agency. Immediately contact PMMIC at 833-826-5467 to verbally report the claim. In addition, a claim form must be completed and submitted to PMMIC.
- Do not make any statements or representations to other parties (besides the state regulatory agency, the fire department for spills, PMMIC, or your petroleum equipment company) that you suspect a release. It is very important to not speak to the media as your comments may be taken out of context. If asked, simply indicate you are investigating the situation, nothing else. Many times, there are other sources of contamination besides your site.
- Do not underestimate the possibility that your site could be the source of contamination even if you do not believe your UST system has had a release. Unreported spills by suppliers, employers or customers may have occurred that you are not aware of.
- Always get the name, address, phone number, and description of vehicles of people that may have been involved in a dispenser drive-off or surface spill at your site no matter how small the spill appears at the time. This includes the fuel transport company and the driver’s name. If you suspect a release may have occurred after a contractor (plumber, landscaper, snow remover, etc.) was working at your site, make sure you have the name and contact information for that firm as well.
- Do not incur any costs (except for emergency response activities required by the state regulatory agency or local authorities) or sign contracts with service providers without previous approval from PMMIC.
By following these procedures, you can reduce the severity and costs associated with any release that may occur. If you suspect a possible release, call PMMIC immediately at 833-826-5467.