Here’s an email we just received from the nation’s top UST regulator on the 9 year anniversary of the Energy Policy Act. Kudos for all the cooperation between inspectors and operators over the years!
Dearest UST colleagues –
Four Score and 7 years ago…. Oh, actually I mean 9 years ago today President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 giving new authorities and new mandates to the Underground Storage Tanks program. What a rollercoaster ride the past 9 years have been!
From the excitement of working through how to put in place things like: requirements for enhanced transparency through public records, reducing releases through secondary containment, strengthening enforcement though delivery prohibition, and increasing vigilance through more frequent inspections….and also the excitement of lots of extra money for cleanups through the Recovery Act….
To the challenges of state budget cuts and furloughs and federal budget cuts and furloughs, wrangling competing interests in the comments received on the proposed new federal UST regulations, overcoming the obstacles to continuing face to face meetings such as the National Tanks Conference in light of federal conference scandals and declining funding for travel….
But through it all, I continue to be so proud to work with each and every one of you in the UST family. The founders of this program had a vision that has served us well from the beginning:
- to work as a team with all stakeholders recognizing that ultimately we all share the 2 main goals of the UST program – to keep product in the tank systems – and when it leaks to clean it up,
- and to embrace a diversity of approaches to achieving those goals through regulations that allow options for compliance, and through allowing states and tribes to take a variety of approaches to shaping and advancing their individual programs.
We have come so very far from 2005 to today – and even further if you look back to 1984. This November we will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the federal UST program, but that’s a message for another day.
For now, happy August 8! Pat yourself on the back for all you have done to keep us moving toward our shared goals.
Hope to see you in person someday soon, but until then,
Yours truly, Carolyn
Carolyn Hoskinson, Director
Office of Underground Storage Tanks, US EPA