Proposed Guide for Investigation of Releases from Underground Storage Tank Equipment Now Being Developed
ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management, and Corrective Action is seeking participation in the development of a proposed new standard, WK15256, Guide for Investigation of Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Equipment Problems and Releases. The proposed guide, which is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E50.04 on Corrective Action, will be a collection of information and options for industry, regulators, consultants and the public that is intended to assist with the development of investigation protocols for underground petroleum storage tank facilities.
A petroleum equipment specialist examines the condition of the sacrificial anodes on a steel underground petroleum storage tank that was excavated to determine if it was the cause of a petroleum release.
Dennis Rounds is the chair of Subcommittee E50.04 and executive director of the South Dakota Office of Risk Management, Public Entity Pool for Liability and Petroleum Release Compensation Fund. Rounds says that, despite a 1998 deadline for owners and operators of regulated underground petroleum storage tanks to upgrade their tank systems, new releases are still occurring.
“Few of the new releases are actually from the tank itself, but rather from other components of the tank system, such as the piping distribution system, fill spouts, dispenser and flex connectors,” says Rounds. “There was not a consistent or standardized way to properly identify the cause of the release or what equipment failed.”
Rounds notes that being able to tell which part of a tank system failed and why is important because root-cause analysis can help identify the major causes of releases. Once these causes are known, steps can be taken to minimize the risk of new releases occurring. “It is also important to have standardized methods for evaluating the cause of petroleum releases to determine if it was due to faulty equipment, improper installation or operator error,” says Rounds. “This can be important if or when cost recovery actions are initiated.”
WK15256 will be useful to owners and operators of underground storage tank systems because it will provide a consistent and standardized approach to identifying the cause of a release and preserving the failed equipment involved so that it can be properly investigated. The regulatory and insurance communities will also benefit from WK15256 because it will help identify problem areas with tank systems that pose a high risk of future releases.
Rounds encourages participation in the standards developing work of E50.04, particularly from state cleanup fund managers, regulatory personnel and petroleum tank owners and operators. //
Technical Information: Dennis Rounds, South Dakota Office of Risk
Management, Pierre, S.D.
ASTM Staff: Daniel Smith
Oct. 30-Nov. 1
October Committee Week