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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.

© 2019 Beveridge & Diamond PC


About this Author

Jeanine LG Grachuk, Environmental Litigation Lawye, Beveridge Diamond, Energy Permitting Attorney

Jeanine Grachuk’s practice includes environmental compliance counseling, environmental permitting of energy and brownfields redevelopment projects, and advice on managing environmental risk in complex transactions such as through environmental risk insurance.  Ms. Grachuk has experience with environmental issues arising within a variety of industrial sectors, including power generation, chemical production, and solid waste disposal. 

Heidi P. Knight, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge Diamond Law Firm

Ms. Knight focuses her practice on regulatory compliance, environmental transactions, and due diligence, with particular emphasis on the Clean Air Act and its state equivalents.  She regularly counsels coke producers, petroleum product manufacturers, chemical companies, automotive part manufacturers, and other industrial clients on air and other environmental and safety matters.