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Leaking UST Close to Home

Leaking UST Close to Home

August 12, 2013

This fuel tank, shown here dug up, leaked an estimated 7,000 gallons in Freeland.  - Photo courtesy of the Washington State Department of Ecology

Leaking UST systems seem less common in the headlines than they did in the 1990s during the heyday of upgraded and closures. Better equipment, more frequent inspections and operator training should be making our universe tanks less of a public concern. But sometimes you see a headline about a local business and it drives the point home: UST systems still leak. Here’s the story about a local leak on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Freeland fuel spill worries experts from the South Whidbey Record

Come See Us in September in Denver

August 8, 2013

tanksFlagBkgrd13If you haven’t already made your travel plans, you should strongly consider attending the 2013 National Tanks Conference and Expo at the Denver Sheraton this September 16-18. You can meet hundreds of UST professionals including policy makers, inspectors, operators and contractors from all over the US. We’ll be at Booth #100 so stop by and say hi. If you’d like to know what’s happening nationwide on the operator training front, or if you want expert advice on how make training count in your organization, Ben will be happy to chat with you.

Ben Thomas will also be moderating a session called Then and Now about where we’ve come from, what’s hot now, and what might be happening tomorrow in the world of UST regulations.That’s Monday. September 16 at 3:30 PM at the Governor’s Square Room.

 

 

Musing on UST Operator Training by Ben Thomas

August 8, 2013

Ben Thomas had an article published in NEIWPCC’s BensMusings and below is the article as well.

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Corrosion in STP Sumps article published in PEI Journal

August 7, 2013

Here’s an excellent article about what the industry is learning about corrosion in containment sumps of UST systems. The article, authored by EPA, highlights the impacts of ethanol on portions of the UST systems historically not prone to impact due to corrosion and offers some ideas how to address this.

For our trained Class A/B UST operators out there, please pay attention to this important part of the puzzle to keep your UST system safe from unexpected failure.

PMAA’s Position on Proposed EPA UST Rule Changes

August 1, 2013

Note the large crack in the bottom of the spill bucket: A trained Class A/B operator would know this is bad.

Note the large crack in the bottom of the spill bucket: A trained Class A/B operator would know this is bad.

The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) has published their opinion of the proposed changes to the Federal UST rule changes and it’s not exactly supportive.  According to the PMMA article published below, the changes are essentially cost-prohibitive. PMAA provided a breakdown of estimated annual cost per location (plus the whole nation, $1,553,172,720 annually) but a quick look shows many of the supposed costs are either already being done by operators or already required by state law or both. For example:

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On-Site Training for Remote Locations

July 29, 2013

UST at Stehekin Lodge

UST at Stehekin Lodge at the top of LakeChelan, WA

It’s not every day you drive 170 miles to a remote town, to take a half-hour float plane to get to a training site but last week Ben Thomas traveled to the Stehekin Lodge in the North Cascades National Park in Washington state and train the A/B operator who could not otherwise get out to a class during their busy summer season. It is probably one of the more remote regulated USTs in the lower 48.

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Custom Class C UST Operator Training Now Available

July 29, 2013

Trimet-ScreenUST Training has just released a customized online class C UST operator training course for TriMet, the Portland Oregon mass transit group.TriMet is not the typical UST operator; for instance, bus drivers only fill buses with diesel. Also, TriMet has some in-house spill response requirements that are above and beyond the Oregon DEQ rules.

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Does Your UST Operator Training Include How to Store Records?

July 16, 2013

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Someone’s Class A/B UST Operator training didn’t include housekeeping tips. Thanks to Spruce Wheelock from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for this gentle reminder to pay attention to your tank gauge.