Tips for Closing Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

Underground Storage Tanks USTMany older underground storage tanks (USTs) need be be closed property to protect human health and the environment.  Contaminated ground water is usually the first sign that you have a problem with a UST. For the best tips on closing a UST we need to first know if you want to close it temporarily or permanently.

Closing a UST Temporarily

You may temporarily close your UST for up to 12 months…

  • Continue to monitor for leaks by maintaining the UST’s leak detection
  • Continue to monitor and maintain any corrosion protection systems.
  • If you are going to temporarily closed the UST for more than 3 months, leave vent lines open, but cap and secure all other lines, pumps, manways, and ancillary equipment.

If a leak is discovered, quickly stop the leak and notify your regulatory authority and take appropriate actions to clean up the site.

Options After 12 Months of Temporary Closure…

  1. Permanently close the UST if it doesn’t meet the applicable requirements for new or upgraded USTs (except for spill and overfill)
  2. Ask your regulatory authority for an extension beyond 12 months (a contamination assessment will have to be done before asking)
  3. Keep the UST temporarily closed as long as the UST meets the applicable requirements for new or upgraded USTs (except for spill and overfill) fulfills the other requirements of temporarily closed USTs

Closing a UST Permanently

  • Notify the regulatory authority at least 30 days before you close it
  • Determine if  there is contamination from your UST in the surrounding environment (monthly vapor or groundwater monitoring, or a site assessment) If there is contamination, you must take the proper actions to clean it.
  • Keep records for three years that demonstrate closure requirements compliance and a record of the excavation assessment you took to determine if there was any contamination.
  • Either remove the UST from the ground or leave it in the ground. In both cases, the tank must be emptied and cleaned by removing all liquids, dangerous vapor levels, and accumulated sludge. These potentially very hazardous actions must be done by professionals who follow standard safety practices. If you leave the UST in the ground, fill it with a chemically inactive solid (ie. sand).
  • Check with your state agency for state-specific closure requirements

Environmental Risk Management can examine your underground storage tanks (USTs) and  help with their temporary or permanent closure .

Contact Us (859-689-9222 – KY, 513-367-4100 – OH) to get more information about how we can help your business.