ECS Eclipse News

ECS Eclipse News Archives April 2012

MassDEP Discussion Draft of UST Regulations Available

April 27, 2012 (comments: 0)

The MassDEP has been provided a Discussion Draft of the UST Regulations to the UST Stakeholder Group.  The MassDEP hopes to officially propose these regulations but at this time, they are available for review, comments and discussion.  The MassDEP released a UST Vision Statement dated February 7, 2012.  This statement discusses the desire to have the MassDEP, Third-party inspectors (TPIs) and UST owners /operators work together to achieve compliance with UST regulations.  This “three legged stool” described in the vision statement factors into the draft regulations, as well as other regulatory changes.

Some of the key items to note in the draft:

Additions to Compliance Inspection Rules

  • An added requirement for monthly and semi-annual (every 6 months) inspections to be performed by, or under the direction of the Class A or B operator.
  • An added requirement for the UST owner or operator to self-certify compliance, every 3 years.  The owner or operator would complete a compliance certification, to attest to whether or not they have met the requirements for things such as financial responsibility, testing, recordkeeping, completion of the monthly and semi-annual inspections, etc. 
  • The MassDEP will assign due dates for the Third-Party Inspections (TPIs) between August 8, 2013 and August 8, 2016 and this will be the permanent future due date (except in the case of early submittal, which would change the due date).
  • The self-certifications would alternate with the TPIs, so that one item will be submitted to the MassDEP every 18 months.

Changes to Third-Party Inspector Certification and Training

  • The MassDEP will continue the TPI program currently in place. However, the eligibility requirements for inspectors would be more stringent.
  • Individuals that are currently registered as TPIs with the MassDEP would be exempted from the new pre-qualification requirements.
  • In order to be certified as an inspector, an individual would need to take and pass an exam and meet other pre-qualification requirements.
  • To keep certification, the inspector would need to complete annual MassDEP training.

Additions to General Operating Requirements

  • Integrity testing requirement for sumps (every 3 years, by vacuum or hydrostatic testing)
  • Integrity testing requirement for single-walled spill buckets (annually, by vacuum or hydrostatic testing)
  • Change to tank and piping tightness testing method: Until December 31, 2015, must be able to detect 0.1 gallon per hour leak rate; on and after January 1, 2016, must be able to detect 0.05 gallon per hour leak rate.
  • Change to temporary out-of-service requirements: The draft regulations would allow for a temporary out-of-service period of no more than 5 years (increased from the current maximum allowed 2 year period for double-walled UST systems)

The Discussion Draft will be the topic of the next UST Stakeholder Meeting, to be held on May 1, 2012.  To read the draft in full detail or for more information about the DEP UST Vision or where to send comments, please see the link below for the MassDEP UST Stakeholder Group webpage or contact a member of the ECS Eclipse staff at 413-789-3530 or


-          Megan Kazmierczak, Senior Compliance Manager

August 8, 2012 - Are you Ready?

April 6, 2012 (comments: 0)


On or before August 8, 2012 all owners and operators of underground storage tank facilities need to ensure that they satisfy the Operator Training requirements established by the 2005 Energy Policy Act (the “Act”).  This is a National requirement and each state will ultimately have their own requirements with variations in reciprocity, recertification and mode of training (e.g., classroom, multi-language, on-line etc.).


Three distinct classes of operators will exist once the requirements go into effect.  The three types of operators are summarized as follows:  


  • Class A Operator may be the owner/operator, an employee or a contractor with general knowledge and understanding of the UST system(s) for which s/he is designated the operator, as well as the federal and state regulatory requirements that apply to the system(s).
  • Class B Operator may be the owner/operator, an employee or a contractor with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the UST system(s) for which s/he is designated the operator, and how to operate and maintain the system(s), as well as the federal and state regulatory requirements that apply to the system(s).
  • Class C Operator is an on-site employee who is trained by a Class A, B or A/B Operator on UST system(s), emergency procedures, and response to alarms at the facility.

In short, employees from senior management to store clerks are required to undergo some form of training relating to UST operations. The type of training will vary depending on the individual job requirements. In general, all operators must have some understanding of UST systems as it pertains to leak detection, spill prevention, overfill prevention, corrosion protection and emergency response procedures.  For certain station owners, one person may be the designated operator for all three classes.

The Department of Environmental Protection (“MassDEP”) is charged with the regulatory responsibility of implementing the operator training requirements in Massachusetts.  The MassDEP is exclusively administering the exam for Class A and B operators.


Key areas of interest in the MassDEP regulations include:


  • The owner and operator shall ensure that a Class A, B or C operator is present on-site at all times an underground storage tank facility is staffed or open for business.
  • If an UST facility is closed or unstaffed, a Class A, B or C operator does not have to be present at the facility, but the Class A, B and C operators are still responsible for operation and maintenance activities or responding to emergencies and shall be certified in accordance with the regulations.
  • If an individual takes and fails any operator examination three (3) times within six (6) months, s/he shall wait an additional six (6) months from the third failure to re-take any operator examination.


The operator training requirements under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 will undoubtedly impose greater challenges and responsibilities upon UST owners and operators.  Compliance with your state specific operator training requirements is a regulatory requirement that in the end could be your greatest resource for avoiding environmental liability.


- William Alpine, Director of Cost Recovery and Corporate Counsel


New Hampshire SW UST Closure

April 4, 2012 (comments: 0)

Permanent Closure of Single-Walled Underground Storage Tanks in New Hampshire Required by December 22, 2015

If you have a single-walled underground storage tank in the State of New Hampshire, it is important to start planning for the implementation of the regulations set forth in 2005 requiring permanent closure by December 22, 2015.  As of that date, all such tanks containing regulated substance that do not have secondary containment and leak monitoring must be closed.  Those that do not comply with the regulations will be subject to a number of enforcement penalties, including fines, civil penalties , and delivery prohibition, much like the current “Red-Tag” program for facilities that violate spill prevention, overfill protection, release detection, leak monitoring, or corrosion protection requirements.  Not complying will also affect eligibility for state funds.  For further information about the 2015 requirements, visit the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Protection’s Underground Storage Tank Program’s website at .


NH Code of Administrative Rules, Env-Wm 1401.18

“Environmental Fact Sheet: Delivery Prohibition of Petroleum to Regulated Underground Storage Tanks,”  NH DES 2008

“New Hampshire’s Storage Tank Program.”  Power Point Presentation, NH DES, July 23, 2009.


- Melissa Murkette, Compliance Analyst