House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its proposed rule on underground storage tanks (UST) arguing that due to methodological flaws the agency has inappropriately certified the proposed rule as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Rep. Graves also asked EPA to form a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel and prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis prior to publication in the Federal Register.
Opposition to EPA’s proposed UST rule is growing, with Rep. Graves’ letter marking the third such letter to be delivered to EPA in recent months. In July, a group of 11 Senators sent a letter to EPA opposing the proposed rule. Another was signed in June by 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In April 2012, NATSO recommended a series of changes to the EPA’s proposed revisions to its UST regulations, which mark the first significant revision to the regulations since they were issued in 1988.
Among them, NATSO recommended ways that EPA could structure its new requirements to minimize regulatory burdens on UST owners and operators without any increased risk to human health and environment.
In comments filed with the EPA, NATSO recommended that EPA: refrain from adding a new monthly walkthrough inspection requirement; exempt truckstop and travel plazas that have continuous monitoring of tank sumps from a 30-day tank sump inspection; and move the spill prevention tests to three years instead of annually. NATSO also told EPA that the agency's cost estimates to comply with the changes were understated.
NATSO also asked for greater flexibility in operator training. Proposed regulations require Class A and B operators to be trained by an independent trainer. NATSO suggested that EPA provide flexibility to allow Class A and B operators to be trained by either an independent trainer or by in-house trainers.
EPA’s proposal adds secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping; operator training requirements for UST system owners and operators; periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems; and new release prevention and detection techniques. The proposal also updates codes of practice and makes editorial and technical corrections to the regulations.
This article originally ran in NATSO News, NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NATSO News is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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