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EPA Denies Lawmaker’s UST Compliance Deadline Extension Request


Lawmakers who requested that EPA extend the compliance deadline for the testing of sumps, spill buckets and overfill prevention devices until October 2024 received word from EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) that their request was respectfully denied. Click here to read the House letter and here to read the Senate letter.

PMCI worked closely with PMAA and members of the PMAA Underground Storage Tank Task Force to make the request to EPA to extend the compliance deadline.  This effort resulted in the support of familiar industry partners like the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the Food Marketing Institute, and 25 United States Senators and 20 United States Representatives.  Finding regulatory relief  for PMCI members remains a priority for PMCI.

PMAA Regulatory Counsel has drafted a regulatory report on what that means for the states with program approval and the states without program approval. While EPA won’t extend the compliance deadline, they have agreed to delay its enforcement in the event there is a shortage of contractors or equipment. EPA said enforcement discretion would be given to those tank owners showing a “good faith effort” to comply by the deadline but are unable due to equipment or contractor shortage. Evidence of a good faith effort would be having a contract for compliance work in place by the October 13, 2018 deadline. It is important to understand that the October 13, 2018 deadline only applies in some states. Most states adopted a compliance deadline after October 13, 2018. EPA’s UST regulations allow states to adopt the October 13, 2018 federal compliance deadline or establish their own deadline any time thereafter, but no later than October 13, 2021.

PMAA will continue to work with EPA and industry standard groups to develop guidance that offers additional compliance flexibility to states that choose to adopt them.

Keep in mind that EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) issued guidance for alternative low-level hydrostatic testing for UST containment sumps used as secondary containment for piping that PMAA pushed earlier this year. The guidance helps state UST program regulators implement EPA’s 2015 underground storage tank regulatory amendments requiring periodic testing and inspection. PMAA developed this test as an inexpensive alternative to EPA’s hydrostatic test method for containment sumps which requires costly high-level liquid testing. Publication of the EPA guidance is important because it clears the way for PMAA’s alternative test method to be approved for use by state UST program regulators.

PMCI is in the process of working with the Iowa DNR UST Section to finalize implementation of EPA’s UST amendments in Iowa.

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