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Academic Institutions: Do You Still Have a Single-Walled Steel Underground Storage Tank?

Massachusetts state regulations require that all single-walled Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) be removed or closed-in-place by August 7, 2017. Most tanks installed prior to 1970 (and in some cases later) were single-walled steel tanks.  Such tanks corrode over time and are likely to leak if left in place.  As a result, MassDEP is phasing out use of such tanks.  There are many types of replacement tanks including double-walled jacketed steel tanks and metal tanks with cathodic protection.

If your academic institution uses USTs to fuel vehicles or to store chemicals, it is essential that your facilities manager or environmental, health and safety officer be aware of the UST regulations now enforced by MassDEP, 310 CMR 80.00.  These regulations tighten the requirements for USTs through a series of deadlines.  The next deadline is the requirement to remove or close-in-place single-walled steel USTs by August 7, 2017.  However, MassDEP has stated that, so long as MassDEP is notified, it will exercise enforcement discretion in situations where a tank is taken out of service and a contract for removal or closure of the tank is executed prior to August 7, 2017, but the actual removal or closure of the tank does not occur until July 1, 2018.

When removing or closing a UST, you are also required to conduct an assessment, including sampling, to determine if the tank has leaked. If a release is identified, notification and remediation may be required under the state cleanup regulations known as the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, 310 CMR 40.0000.

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 88


About this Author

Jeanine L.G. Grachuk Environmental Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Boston, MA

Jeanine is a top-rated Massachusetts environmental lawyer with extensive experience in air, water, and waste issues arising within a variety of industrial sectors.

Solving puzzles is what Jeanine enjoys most about environmental law. She likes taking a complicated set of facts hidden in environmental reports and unpacking the information until the key legal issues are revealed.

When providing advice to clients, Jeanine listens for what they need—whether it’s a quick and actionable answer, a trusted counselor, or a gut check—in addition to their legal questions. She also...

Heidi P. Knight Environmental, Health & Safety Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Boston, MA

Heidi counsels companies nationwide on federal and state environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance, auditing, and due diligence. 

Heidi has significant experience advising clients across a range of industry sectors on federal and state EHS regulations. She applies her diverse expertise in EHS regulations to help companies comply with requirements in a practical manner, mindful of the companies’ objectives and costs.

EHS Audits, Risk and Compliance Program Assessments

Heidi is a leader of the firm’s EHS Audits, Risk and Compliance Program Assessments practice. She advises a diverse range of companies with planning and conducting comprehensive and targeted compliance audits and managing related federal and state disclosures. She also advises companies on the development and implementation of management systems for environmental compliance.

Heidi was the Compliance Assurance Manager for a manufacturing company for several years. She managed their nationwide EHS audit program, including coordinating facilities and third-party auditors, advising on legal compliance questions, and advising on corrective actions necessary to improve operations, prevent a recurrence, and minimize the risk of potential enforcement actions or other liabilities. 

Heidi also counsels clients on the environmental aspects of acquiring industrial facilities, including identifying and evaluating actual and potential environmental liabilities and identifying permit transfer requirements. 

Occupational Safety and Health

Heidi regularly advises companies on compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and its state equivalents, including compliance with a broad range of health and safety regulations and consensus standards. She also advises clients on preparing for and responding to OSHA investigations and resolving OSHA citations.

Enforcement Defense

Heidi defends companies in federal and state environmental enforcement actions. Among her cases, Heidi and her colleagues successfully defended a manufacturing plant in a Clean Air Act enforcement action resulting in the entry of a consent decree and denial of intervention and defended an administrative action challenging that plant’s air permit.

Professional Involvement

Before joining Beveridge & Diamond, Heidi interned with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, and the Maryland Office of the Attorney General at the State Highway Administration. Earlier in her career, Heidi worked for an environmental consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Heidi is a frequent speaker on auditing and EHS issues. She is also an appointed member of the Northborough Cultural Council in Central Massachusetts, which works to promote the arts and help develop cultural and science programs throughout the Northborough community. She resides in a historic home in Central Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.