Underground Storage Tanks

As fuel retailers, most NATSO members own and operate underground storage tanks (USTs) for motor fuels, and thus have an interest in the regulatory obligations associated with this ownership.  In June 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued new final regulations regarding UST system testing and inspections, marking the first significant revision to the regulations since they were issued in 1988. 

To view NATSO’s detailed summary of the updated regulations, read EPA's Final Rule Revising Underground Storage Tank Regulations. 

Relatedly, there have been concerns in the retail fuels community in recent years regarding reports of corrosion occurring in petroleum equipment systems storing and dispensing ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD).  The refining community has consistently tried to blame retailers for ULSD equipment corrosion.  NATSO and others in the retail community have argued that there is no single cause of corrosion, but rather a variety of factors at various points in the supply chain, thereby necessitating a comprehensive examination rather than a focus solely on retailers.  The issue has manifested in recent years at the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), where refiners have sought to require retailers to install 10 micron filters at slow-flow diesel pumps.  NATSO and other fuel retailers groups successfully defeated such a proposal before the NCWM in 2016.

Also in 2016, the EPA released a study stating that many underground diesel fuel tanks may be at risk of leaking due to high corrosion levels. EPA discovered moderate or severe corrosion at a significant majority of USTs storing diesel that they evaluated. EPA recommends UST owners check for corrosion in their tank systems storing diesel fuel. If the owner finds corrosion, EPA advises owners repair or replace the equipment as necessary to make sure the systems are operating as intended.

NATSO is actively working with the fuels and vehicle community to conduct research to better understand the causes of ULSD corrosion and identify appropriate solutions. 

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