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EPA Issues Secondary Containment Guidelines To Help Reduce Underground Storage Tank Releases

Release Date: 11/16/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(11/16/06) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued the final secondary containment grant guidelines for states, which will implement a key provision of the underground storage tank amendments of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Secondary containment provides a barrier between an underground storage tank and the environment by holding the leaking petroleum between the tank and the barrier so that the leak is detected. EPA provides funding to states through grants to regulate underground storage tanks. EPA worked with states and regional tank offices to develop the secondary containment grant guidelines.

The secondary containment grant guidelines describe the minimum requirements states must meet in order to comply with the secondary containment provision contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The guidelines provide compliance requirements, detailed definitions, and examples for states choosing to implement the secondary containment provision. The guidelines do not require owners or operators to retrofit existing equipment. Instead, the guidelines only apply when owners or operators choose to replace existing equipment or install new equipment. By Feb. 8, 2007, states receiving federal funds under Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act must implement either these guidelines or the financial responsibility and certification grant guidelines EPA plans to issue in the next few months. To ensure the grant guidelines are implemented with minimal disruption, EPA is giving states considerable flexibility to establish their own secondary containment programs. EPA recognizes that the law's Feb. 8, 2007 deadline is only a few months away and that some states may find it a challenge to implement the secondary containment requirements by that date. For states demonstrating good faith efforts toward meeting the requirements, EPA has the flexibility to continue assisting those states as they implement their programs.

Information on the secondary containment grant guidelines: epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/epact_05.htm#Final