"New England Interstate
 Water Pollution Control
Boott Mills South
1OO Foot of John Street
Lowell, Massachusetts
Bulletin 37


 A Report On Federal & State Programs To Control Leaking: Underground Storage Tanks
 Setting  Our  Sights on Operational Compliance

 by Ben Thomas

    any regulators still define the universe of underground storage tanks (USTs)
    according to the erstwhile two-part model that focuses on those tanks that are
    upgraded and those that are not. Under that model, new or upgraded tanks
are, more or less, resistant to failure. Conversely, nonupgraded tanks are an inherent
risk to human health and the environment. Prior to December 22,1998, this either/or
model helped drive 1.5 million tanks into compliance or closure. However, two full
years after .the deadline, if s just not that simple any more.            ^    . ^
   Like it or not, UST programs are in transition from a simplistic model-of theJtank
universe (upgrade) to a more complex and real-world model (operatip'n'al cojrfplSance).
The sooner states start doing the groundwork to move in this new^directiorirthe better off
both regulators and tank operators will be—not to mention theenAdronrrtent.
   The "1998 deadline" had a fearsome and somewhat tantafizing^atu^Mtd a nice, neat do-or-die endp'oint, but it is his-
tory. Now regulators are tasked with energizing the USEprogram witfeafnew long-term target that is fraught with behav-
ioral implications for the UST operator—"Significant;©perational^g.ompliance."
   I'd like to offer a recipe for how states can ii
lowing key ingredients:
       •, achievg^Snd maintain this new target. The recipe contains the fol-

       Epcget the'98 deadline.
       Admit that operational compliance is a national problem.
       Define new goals, change old endpoints.
       Explore new incentives.                B continued on page 2

                                        ska's Third-Party Inspection Program

                                      Tank-nically Speaking: Plugging the Holes in Our UST Systems
                                      •Taking the Pulse of Maine's CP Tanks      	

                                      Getting a Hand on Facility Compliance Inspections
                                      Mew California Document Highlights the UST-LUST Connection
                                      A Circle Vicious: What Do We Know About the Other Oxygenates?

                                      Is MNA Appropriate for Remediating MTBE?

                                      Gasoline Oxygenates and Private Wells

                                      E-Commerce at the Dispenser

                                      MTBE Survey Sheds Light on Where States Are and Aren't

                                      Iowa Makes Transition from State Fund to Marketer-Owned Insurance

                                      An Expedited Site Assessment CD

LUSTLine Bulletin 37
m Operational Compliance...
continued from page 1	

Forget the '98 Deadline
It may seem heretical to ask someone
to disregard a historical marker like
the 1998 deadline, but let's face it,
some of us are still thinking of the
UST program with a pre-1998 mind-
set. This is dangerously short-sighted.
From the big-picture standpoint, we
can assume that basic equipment-
based compliance is  pretty  much
achieved.  We must now  set our
sights on ensuring that those envi-
ronmental safeguards function. For-
    Not only is the '98 deadline irrel-
evant to  our  goal of preventing
future fuel releases to the environ-
ment, it is actually getting in the way
of how we look at the future  of the
UST program. I've seen this time-
warp mentality manifested in a num-
ber of ways:
•  A state regulator says his program
   is not ready to embrace operation
           Ellen Frye, Editor
          Ricki Pappo, Layout
I    Marcel Moreau, Technical Advisor     ;
S   PatriciaEllis.Ph.D., Technical Advisor   "'
tRorudd PolM, NEIWPCC Executive Director ~
i    Lynn DePont, EPA Project Officer     .
        Lela Bijou, OUST Liaison        *
^ LUSTLine is a product of the New England
^Interstate Water Pollution Control Commis- *
  sion (NEIVyPCC). It is produced through a ;
T cooperative agreement (SCT825782-01-0)  \
i	'	oetween!
;   Enx'lronmental Protection Agency.
*     	'""	"!"-"	'	«"	 ' ' ' ' ' I
           ; issued as a communication
~  Hazardous _& Solid Waste Amendments  s
ff     ...ml **tilrt r\f/^rYinlnfnfTr*Ti nr/~»rlocc
_    	    r is produced to promote
^Information exchange on UST/LUST issues.;
|".Tjhe opinions and information stated herein
I are those of the authors and do not neces-  :
i	sarily reflect the opinions of NEIWPCC.
«     This publication may be copied.
E:;V::ll:::,?teasegivecreditJoNEIWjPCC.     ~m
I  NEIWPCC was established by an Act of  '
"  Congress in 1947 and remains the oldest
s   agency in the Northeast United States
I concerned with coordination of the multi-  ^
;     media environmental activities
i    of the states of Connecticut, Maine,
-    Massachusetts, New Hampshire,     ,
|  New York, Rhode Island, ana Vermont.
-     "'  '   NElwfcC '"""'*"' "v"":',
  Boon Mills South, 100 Foot of John Street
         Lowell MA 01852-1124
;       Telephone: (978) 323-7929
^         Fax:(978)323-7919
•        lustline@neiwpcc.org
1   4J& LUSTLine Is printed on Recycled Paper
  and maintenance outreach efforts
  yet because of the number of non-
  upgraded tanks still in existence.
• A federal inspector speaking at a
  national conference belabors his
  concerns  about  pre-1998  leak
  detection  methods that are no
  longer valid for most tank  own-
• A number of states have Web
  page  headlines  with  outdated
  1998 logos, deadline descriptions,
  and warnings.

    Not that all regulators are living
in the past. How many of you, in the
early winter months of 1999, were
wondering   where   the  program
would go after the deadline? Some of
you must have wondered: What hap-
pens after all the tanks are upgraded,
after  closures trickle down to  the
occasional,  and  when risk-based
decision making brings the lion's
share of the LUST sites under con-
    Fear not, fellow visionists.  For
better or worse,  the national spot-
light on MTBE  has raised  some
pretty pointed concerns about the
fundamental effectiveness of the UST
program as a whole. Sure we got rid
of 60% of  the nation's USTs. Sure
there are 300,000 LUST sites with
cleanup  underway. And  sure  the
nation's tanks are mostly upgraded.
So  why is  MTBE  showing up in
water supplies?
    Echoing the prophetic incanta-
tions of a number of astute UST afi-
cionado are  a number of excellent
MTBE studies that ask some hard
and fundamental questions.

• Does  leak  detection  actually
  detect leaks?
• Do a majority of operators under-
  stand leak detection requirements
  at a basic level?
• Do operators know what to do if
  they suspect a release?
• Are the  upgraded tanks being
  adequately maintained?
• What can we do  to  minimize
  future releases from "upgraded"
• How often must an UST system be
  inspected? And how thoroughly?
• What parts of the UST system are
  most susceptible to releases in the
  post-deadline world?
    The biggest problem with  the
1998 deadline is that we put so much
effort into showcasing this important
date that we failed to see that we
were creating a perception that the
program would be over after Decem-
ber 23,1998. The deadline turned into
an artificial endpoint, when, in fact,
1998 was  only the beginning of the
An ATG in alarm mode during inspection,
Haines, Alaska, June 2000.

    We need to focus our efforts on a
new level of detail. Instead of settling
for the presence of an automatic tank
gauge (ATG)  on  the compliance
checklist, regulators need to be ask-
ing the salient questions concerning
that gauge—Is the ATG currently
third-party approved? Is the monthly
test run for the proper time duration
and with enough product for a valid
test? Are there 12 months worth of
records available to prove a history of
leak detection? How  does the ATG
console  indicate when  a release
occurs, and will the  owner  know
what to do?

Operational Compliance
A November 2000 report prepared by
the Alaska Department of Environ-
mental Conservation (ADEC) shows
that operational compliance is  a
major problem in the state. Expanded
to a national level, we may have sev-
eral hundred thousand malfunction-
ing or mismanaged USTs that are
accidents waiting to happen. Indus-
try representatives will tell you this
scenario is not possible, but they can't
prove operational compliance on a
wide scale  any more than most states
    Enter the new mindset—signifi-
cant operational compliance. U.S.
EPA, working with states, developed
a concept meant to be  a yardstick by
which states can measure problems
and successes  in the post-deadline

                                                                                           LUSTLine Bulletin 37
                       P/pe sump before and after rusty water was removed, Juneau, Alaska, August 2000.
world. Behind the concept is the need
for states to prioritize prospective
violations because, in reality, a state
inspector can go to virtually any UST
facility in America and find at least
one violation.
    EPA claims that 85% of UST sys-
tems in the United States are achiev-
ing operational compliance.  This
percentage is based on numbers that
are handed over to  the agency  by
each of the states. These numbers are
based on projections, not systematic
studies. I contend that most states
have not taken enough of a represen-
tative sample' to extrapolate to a
meaningful percent. Also, we may
never know the real national picture
because EPA developed only a con-
cept and not guidance. Essentially,
EPA is allowing states to come  up
with their own definition of signifi-
cant operation compliance.
    Are all UST regulations of equal
weight or significance? Is it realistic
to try to enforce all regulations for all
USTs equally? If  not, what is the pri-
ority scheme? How do we determine
which requirements  are  "mission
critical" and which we, well, over-
look for the time being? Having a
consistent,  national  guidance  on
significant operational compliance
would help us answer these ques-
    Alaska, with its meager  1,100-
tank  population,   completed   its
first- ever sweep  of operational com-
pliance in 2000 by having third-party
inspectors inspect one-third of all the
tanks. And, big surprise—most tanks
failed significant operational compli-
ance. Our finding is exactly opposite
the delusional compliance rate that
states are theorizing. And Alaska has
achieved almost 100% with regard to
equipment-based compliance, which
means that a mostly new population
of USTs is highly susceptible to oper-
ational compliance failure.
Invalid (INVL) test results fromATG at small
service station in Juneau, Alaska, August 2000.

    So  how bad off is operational
compliance in your state? Until you
have done some systematic inspec-
tions, or until you mandate routine
operational inspections, you may
never know.

Define New Goals, Change
Old Endpoints
While  the federal UST regulations
have been effective at helping tank
operators achieve compliance, they
are not necessarily effective at help-
ing tank operators maintain compli-
ance.   What seem to be  entirely
absent from any tank program are
protocols for addressing  repairs,
fixes,   alterations,  additions,   or
enhancements of UST systems. If
you've ever tried to guide an opera-
tor through  the  requirements  on
repairing an UST system, you will
know what I mean.
    Getting unstuck from the 1998
deadline also means that regulators
are forced to burrow into a deeper
layer of unanswered questions that
have persisted over the years but that
have  been relegated to the  back
burner. Until now. Will somebody
please tell me:
•  How often an UST system should
   be inspected for operational com-
•  How do you assess compliance on
   UST  systems with  multiple  or
   redundant leak detection types in
   place? Does the owner  have to
   meet the requirements  for one,
   some, or all?
•  Does a double-walled, pressur-
   ized pipe need to have an auto-
   matic line-leak detector as well as
   a sump alarm?
•  How does an owner document
   compliance with leak detection
   methods that produce no paper?
   For example, what do you tell the
   owner of an UST with continu-
   ously monitored double-walled
   piping who has no monthly print
   out of leak detection status? Does
   he have to upgrade to a printer? Is
   an "idiot light" enough?
•  Why must automatic line leak
   detectors be tested annually for
   functionality and not flow rate? I
   have unnamed  sources that say
   many ALLDs   don't meet the
   3 gph leak rate out of the box and
   may not be working.
•  Does the "power on" light on an
   ATG console need to be working
   in order to be in compliance?
                • continued on page 4

 LUSTLine Bulletin 37
 m Operational Compliance...
 continued from page 3

 •  What is an  acceptable national
   standard  for   performing   a
   cathodic protection test?
 •  What standard do we  use for
   adding sacrificial anodes to  an
   existing STI-P3 tank that has low
   CP readings?
 •  Does an UST with double-walled
   piping that has  a  continuous
   sump-sensor alarm need monthly
   recordkeeping? Is monthly check-
   ing required if it is continuous?
 •  Is a piping sump alarm okay if ihe
   UST is an unstaffed, 24-hour sta-
 •  What method do you use to test a
   spill bucket for tightness? Hydro-
   static? Visual?
 •  How do you confirm that a ball
   float valve is both present and set
   to trip when the tank is 90% full?
 •  How do you test the functionality
   of a drop-tube overfill device once
   it is installed?
    These questions must be  an-
 swered as more and  more  states
 focus on the operational end of UST
 compliance. And if they cannot be
 answered easily in the OUST techni-
 cal compendium, it may be time to
 open the hood of the UST regulations
 and make some changes. Many peo-
 ple are concerned that revisiting the
 national UST regulations is the envi-
 ronmental equivalent of Pandora's
box, but I think the program will be
 forced to move in this direction even-
 tually. We can approach it clearly
 and with intention, or we can  be
 dragged to it kicking and screaming.

 Explore New Incentives
In the big picture, we shouldn't fool
 ourselves into thinking that our prob-
 lems are over—far from it. I believe
 that the real work of leak detection
has not even begun. So what are the
best incentives we can use to pro-
mote a continuous vigilance that will
result in better release prevention?
How do you promote a "release pre-
vention attitude"?
    Like  UST   specialist  Marcel
Moreau said at the EPA UST/LUST
conference last year, tank operators
are generally more interested in how
potato chips are displayed than how
to do monthly leak detection. This is
because they know they make money
on potato chips, but they don't see
the economic return of release detec-
   It helps to  remember that we,
regulators and  regulated alike, all
share a common goal of preventing
releases to the environment from
USTs. Some of you more weathered
field inspectors may smirk at this
lofty assessment but it's true: With a
common goal we can continue to
make common ground. So again,
what can we all do better?

Here are some specific recommenda-
tions for states to consider.

• Voluntary operator certification
  Currently there is no method that
  states are using to test the compe-
  tency of UST operators, although
  Florida and California are headed
  in this direction.. I would like to
  see a method to promote educa-
  tion and testing of UST operators.
  I am not convinced that another
  regulation mandating operator
  certification is the most effective
  way, so we  need to consider
  incentives to encourage operators
  to the plate.
• Compliance tags
  A number of states, Alaska now
  included, rely on compliance tags
  to document compliance at UST
  sites. The tags help motivate oper-
  ators to think about compliance,
  especially in states that have fuel
  bans for noncompliant tanks. UST
  operators as well as the fuel-con-
  suming public need a simple way
  to identify operational compli-
  ance. Compliance tags should not
  be an indication that a tank has
  met the 1998 deadline—they must
  indicate  operational compliance
  and be renewed periodically.
 DEC   %* I** V*. 1  Ug
  "MM  Gas 10000991    -
• Frequent mandatory inspections
   These are not a bad thing if they
   motivate tank operators to contin-
   uously assess and maintain their
   USTs.  Alaska  has  used  this
   method with great success over
   the past year.
• Continuous training
   Don't put away your training
   brochures  yet. High  operator
   turnover  (400% at convenience
   stores) should be enough to tell us
   we need to plan on training opera-
   tors as long as tanks lie beneath
   the  ground.  States need to  de-
   velop a whole new repertoire of
   material to address operation and
   maintenance  of UST systems. The
   more available the training,  the
   more operators have an incentive
   to attend.

• Rewards
   Good prevention practices trigger
   behavior  modification  through
   rewards.  Remember   Pavlov's
   dog? Regulators need to think cre-
   atively on how to offer reward-
   like  incentives   to  motivate
   employees to do a good job look-
   ing for problems.

• Enforcement/Outreach blend
   The big stick approach works
   sometimes, but it must be accom-
   panied by a solid education and
   outreach effort by states.

New Programs Mean
New Frontiers
In the future, a clean sump and a
well-maintained sensor, such as the
one shown on page 5, will be much
more exciting to a regulator than an
STI-P3 versus a fiberglass tank. As
regulators we need to shift our focus
to the more subtle and  complex
details of the UST program.
   States are shifting or eventually
will  have to shift to compulsory
programs that focus on operational
compliance. Routine, mandatory in-
spections offer a great framework for
tying lots of loose programmatic
ends together.
   The longer we wait to implement
this new directive, the harder it will
be for our UST operators to make the
shift. In Alaska, we believe that our
move to third-party inspections went
smoothly  because UST  operators
barely got through the rigors of the
'98 deadline  requirements  before

                                                                                      LUSTLine Bulletin 37
Well maintained interstitial sensor sump, Juneau,
Alaska, June 2000.
                                    launching into the next campaign.
                                    UST operators will perceive any
                                    lag time between what the state
                                    expects before and after 1998 with
                                    suspicion and reluctance. "I spent
                                    all this money to upgrade my tank
                                    and now you want what?"
                                        Let's avoid this trap and  get
                                    busy working on a long-term plan
                                    to prevent another generation of
                                    leaking USTs. •
                                   Ben Thomas, Environmental Specialist
                                   for the Alaska Department of Environ-
                                    mental Conservation, developed and
                                   now administers the third-party UST
                                      inspection program in Alaska.
                                         He can be reached at
                                   ben thomas@envircon.state.ak.us.
                      Privatizing UST Compliance Inspections
                      Alaska's Third-Party  Inspection
by Ben Thomas

       How do you protect ground-
       water, promote environmen-
       tal responsibility, increase
compliance to nearly 100%, and not
hire any new staff? Simple, you pri-
vatize the inspection of UST systems.
All USTs  in Alaska must now be
inspected  every 3 years for opera-
tional compliance by  a licensed
third-party inspector and tagged in
order to receive fuel.  Between May 1
and November 1, 2000, one-third of
the active USTs in  the state were
inspected in this manner.
    Alaska is the third state to adopt
third-party inspection regulations—
the other states are Pennsylvania and
Montana. Inspection includes exam-
ining, assessing, testing, and docu-
menting  leak detection, spill and
overfill prevention,  and corrosion
protection systems. Our program is
unique in that inspectors can also
repair UST systems to bring them
into compliance to pass inspection.

Results of the First Year
One-third (423), of Alaska  tanks
required inspection in 2000. By early
November, 2000, 99%, or 419 tanks,
were inspected. Alaska tank owners
rose to the challenge of paying for
and setting up third-party inspec-
tions. ADEC received no formal com-
plaints from tank owners. The cost of
inspections ran from around $300 to
$1,200 per site. Any required repair
work was an additional cost. Here's
what we learned:
• Eight out of every  10 tanks had
  problems. Eighty-two percent of
  the USTs that passed inspection
  did so only after one  or more
  problems were identified and cor-
  rected. Six hundred fifty-six prob-
  lems   were  discovered   and
  corrected at 317 tanks.
• While inspectors found  a  few
  cracked spill buckets, there were
  no  "real" petroleum  releases
  found in the summer of 2000. Or
  put another way,  one-third of
  Alaska UST systems were not
  leaking this summer. Realistically
  speaking, this could mean: (a)
  inspectors are not documenting
  releases properly, (b) leak detec-
  tion may not be working  and
  some tanks are  leaking, or (c)
  Alaska's  UST population is in
  good shape at the moment.
• Over  60% of all problems found
  and corrected were associated
  with leak detection. One-third of
  all inspected UST systems did not
  have  adequately  documented
Bill Tatsuda (left) receives Alaska's first UST
Compliance Tag from Bob Fultz of the Alaska
DEC, Ketchikan, Alaska, May 2000.

  proof of leak detection for the last
  12 months.
• Most problems were not caused
  by the absence or failure of proper
  equipment. Eighty-seven percent
  of the problems identified were
  related to operations or record-
  keeping. Thirteen percent were
  equipment-related problems.
• There were 397 individual leak
  detection problems noted, versus
  92 spill/overfill problems and 167
  corrosion  protection problems.
  The types of leak detection prob-
  lems vary widely. The high num-
  ber  of leak detection problems
  indicate that operators still don't
  understand leak detection very
  well. Or it is simply not working
  in the way it was intended.

               • continued on page 6

LUSTLine Bulletin 37
m Third-Party Inspection
Program... continued from page 5

• While  some  spill  and  overfill
  devices were missing, the biggest
  problem was keeping spill buck-
  ets clean and free of debris and
  water. Inspectors also discovered
  a few  UST systems that were
  reported  to have spill/overfill
  devices but did not.
• The major deficiency for steel
  tanks was the lack of any history
  of CP  testing. Roughly  85%  of
  Alaska's  USTs are  steel. Many
  tanks received their first-ever CP
  test as  a  mandatory part of the
  third-party inspection.

Inspectors Performed Well
ADEC, with help from U.S. EPA,
found  no  violations when auditing
inspectors in the fall of 2000. Rigor-
ous qualification requirements, train-
ing, and communication probably
attributed to this achievement. We
made  our  requirements  difficult
intentionally to avoid the hassle of
attracting "fly by night" inspectors.
    ADEC trained over 90 people in
1999 and 2000, 26 of whom became
                 • continued on page 9
  Elements of Alaska's Third-Party Inspection Program
      Inspections are required every 3 years starting in 2000.
      One-third of all tanks are inspected each year.
      Licensed third-party inspectors perform the work.
      The inspection is a total UST system check for presence and functionality of
      leak detection, spill and overfill, and corrosion protection.
      The inspector can make repairs.
      Owners have 150 days to complete inspection, make corrections, and file
      The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) issues a per-
      manent tag for all tanks that pass inspection.
      An UST may not receive fuel unless it is tagged.
No ATG documents
Water In tank interstitial space
ATG not rated for 20K tank, only 15
Interstitial sensor alarm on or not working
Doing IC+TTT but not allowed
Check valve in wrong location on suction piping
Not enough product in tank to run valid test
ATG broken
. ATG in alarm mode
ATG turned off each night
No leak detection records
Dispenser meter not calibrated
Inventory Control and/or reconciliation not being done
No Annual ALLD functionality test
No annual line tightness test
Fuel "dampness" in interstitial space
No maintenance of interstitial sensors
No documentation of interstitial sensors
No ALLD present
ALLD installed wrong
ALLD Leak rate unknown
ALLD not set to run 0.2/0.1 ggh leak rate monthly
Water in containment sump
Product in containment sump, pipe loose
Leak Detection Spill/Overfill Cathodic Protection
28 ....
4 -
9 ' ......... ,
10 .
3 ' '-.•-.'"•
1 • • • ' i
1 .'.•••' .
137 ;
1 '. " • . i
4 . - ;
23 . .
2 '-•-.' . • '
62 ']
4 . i
2 "• ' • '
3 : ' - ' i
2 ' .:
Sump sensor positioned too high to detect a release. Product in sump. 3
Sump sensor networking
Overfill alarm not audible to driver or not working
Overfill alarm disabled
No Overfill device
Spill bucket damaged, cannot hold liquid
No spill bucket
Spill bucket full of product or water or dirt
CP failed
CP current low. Rectifier needed adjustment
Impressed current rectifier turned off
Records of last 6 moTSj/ear tests not present
60-day log not present
2 ' - i
.. . 3 . , ' .• • • ';
10. : . .
4 • -|
3 i
• ' 6
397 92 167

                                                                                             LUSTLine Bulletin 37
  Leak Prevention
                                     pT£:-  Marcel Moreau is a nationally     „'
                                     ^recognized petroleum storage specialist
                                                 , Tank-nically Speaking,
                        -)n/ca//y Speaking
                             by Marcel Moreau
                                     p.vfs a regular feature o/LUSTLine. As  ;
                                     yalw.ays, we welcome your comments and J
                                     jj. questions. If there are technical issues  ^
                                     i"   that you would like to have Marcel   .
                                     p     discuss, let him know at       ]
                                     f, -  marcel.moreau@juno.com.     1

    J'vejust returned from an exhausting week spent representing the interests of a city whose water wells are threatened by a
    release ofMTBEfrom a service station. The situation is similar to one I described a few years ago. (See "The Holes in Our UST
    Systems," LUSTLine #30.) A "state-of-the-art" storage system was the source of significant MTBE contamination. The storage
 system owner claimed that there could not have been a release from the double-walled system, that some wayward customer must
 have caused the problem by spilling a few gallons of gasoline.
    My analysis of the situation included the possibility of customer spillage as a
 contributing factor but also pointed out the likelihood of vapor releases, overfills,
 and failure of the secondary containment to capture every drop of product.
    One of the questions addressed to me by the city was, "What could be done to
 prevent any future contamination from this facility?" While it is clear to me that
 the only guaranteed way to prevent future discharges is to remove the facility,
 this seems to be an unacceptable alternative. Given that the facility is to con-
 tinue operations, what requirements could the city impose to provide maximum
 protection to its water supply?
    As I pondered the answer to this question, it occurred to me that over the
 next few years quite a number of communities may be seeking answers to this
 same question. What follows is a preliminary list of measures that I believe could
 be effective in minimizing contamination from UST facilities. These measures are
 intended to supplement double-walled systems. The first and most important measure to take
 if you have a single-walled system is to upgrade to secondary containment.
    Clearly, not all measures would need to be implemented at all sites. A site-specific evaluation would be needed to determine which
 measures would be most effective for a given location. I present this list here to stimulate thought and promote discussion.
Some Leak Minimizing
[NOTE: This list assumes that the UST
facility is in full compliance with all exist-
ing regulatory requirements concerning
corrosion protection, leak detection, spill
containment, and overfill protection. The
issue I am  addressing is that regulatory
compliance does not provide assurance
that releases of gasoline will not occur
from operating UST systems.]

• Ensure that secondary containment
 is tight.
We learned long ago  that primary
containment systems do not remain
tight forever, yet we blithely assume
that this will be true for secondary
containment systems. The integrity of
secondary containment systems must
be verified periodically. This includes
the outer wall of tanks and piping as
well as piping sumps and dispenser
sumps. Florida and California have
headed down  this road  and it is
something that is well worth doing.

• Ensure that secondary containment
catches everything.
A facility I inspected recently showed
evidence of a liquid release (staining)
from vapor recovery piping in  the
dispenser cabinet. Following the trail
of the stain, it became apparent that
the liquid release flowed down into a
crack between the dispenser contain-
ment and the concrete of the pump
island  into the soil. Secondary con-
tainment systems must be designed
so that they reliably capture releases
from both liquid and vapor handling
components of the storage system.

• Replace pressurized pumps with
Though my evidence is admittedly
anecdotal, I believe that pressurized
pumping systems are responsible for
better than 90 percent of the liquid
releases  that  occur   from  newly
installed, corrosion-protected storage
systems. A simple change of technol-
ogy  could virtually eliminate this
source of product releases.  Argu-
ments that suction pumps will not
work in America are specious. Suc-
tion pumping systems are still domi-
nant in Europe. If they can work in
Europe  they can be made to work

• Replace permeable pipe with
impermeable pipe.
An industry estimate of the likely
releases due to permeation from flex-
ible  piping systems  states  that 8
grams per day (about a gallon per
year) of liquid can escape from these
                 • continued on page 8

 LUSTLine Bulletin 37
 m Tank-nically Speaking...
 continued from page 7

 double-walled systems ("Compatibil-
 ity and Permeability of Oxygenated
 Fuels to  Materials in Underground
 Storage and Dispensing Equipment,"
 Paul A. Westbrook, Ph.D., Shell Oil
 Company, January 1999). While this
 is a small quantity, it is sufficient to
 cause contamination when MTBE is
 present in the gasoline. Piping sys-
 tems  susceptible to  permeation
 should not be allowed in sensitive

 • Provide secondary containment for
 vapor piping.
 While Stage II vapor return piping
 handles vapors primarily, there is no
 question that it also  carries  small
 quantities of liquid product. Pressure
 decay tests that  are conducted to
 meet air quality requirements are not
sufficient to detect small defects in
vapor  piping. Secondary  contain-
ment of this piping seems like the
best way to assure that liquid and
vapor releases do not occur.

• Do not allow pressurization of the
tank vapor space.
Vapor releases into the environment
are exacerbated by vacuum-assist
vapor recovery systems that pressur-
ize the  tank ullage  and force product
vapors out of the storage system. The
California  Air  Resources Board
(CARB) has recognized this weak-
ness and will require  that future
vapor recovery systems maintain the
pressure inside the storage tank at or
slightly below atmospheric pressure.
Until such technology  is commer-
cially available in this country, vac-
uum-assist Stage II vapor recovery
systems should be  replaced with the
traditional balance  Stage II systems.
• Isolate tank backfill from ATG and
Stage I vapor recovery risers.
Vapor releases and possible liquid
releases resulting from overfill inci-
dents that occur at automatic tank
gauge (ATG) risers and Stage I vapor
recovery risers typically pass directly
into the tank backfill. The installation
of  spill  containment 'manholes
around these openings would pro-
vide a barrier to vapor and liquid
penetration into the soil.

• Video tape deliveries.
We desperately need to rethink our
overfill  prevention strategy  (see
LUSTLine #31,  "Hmmm...If Only
Overfill Prevention Worked!"), but
this is not on the horizon as far as I
can  tell. As  a  stopgap measure,
install video surveillance cameras to
monitor the delivery process. Deliv-
ery drivers would need to be notified
that  their  activities  are being
     Potential Sources
   of Leaks from Tanks
              That Are
        in  Compliance
  1 Delivery spills
  2 Leaking spill containment manholes
  3 Liquid and/or vapor releases from tank risers
    (ATG, vent, spares, etc.")
  4 Leaking submersible pump manifolds and/or product piping
  5 Leaking piping sumps
  6 Liquid and/or vapor releases from Stage II vapor recovery piping
  7 Leaking dispenser sumps
  8 Customer spillage

                                                                                            LUSTLine Bulletin 37
watched and that their jobs depend
on spill-free deliveries.

• Do not allow any exposed backfill
around fill pipes.
The backfill around the perimeter of
some below-grade spill-containment
manways is exposed, providing an
all-too-convenient avenue for drips of
fuel from the hose (or even an entire
hose full of fuel) to enter the environ-
ment. Though these types of spill con-
tainment manways are effective in
keeping  precipitation  out of  spill
buckets, as a contamination pathway
they pose too much of a risk.

• Require 15- to 25-gallon capacity
spill containment manways.
Until such time as effective overfill
prevention hardware  is in  place,
install spill containment equipment
that can hold the entire contents of
the delivery hose in case of  a tank

• Seal the pavement around the
To deal with customer spillage, seal
the surface around the dispensers
with petroleum-proof sealant, and
grade the pavement so that all liquid
runoff runs to an oil-water separator
that discharges to  a holding tank.
The holding tank  contents  would
need to be periodically and properly
disposed of. The sealant would need
to be maintained to ensure its effec-

• Seal tank-top manway covers.
If tank-top manways are in an  area
where surface spillage could occur,
they should be slightly above grade
or have liquid-tight covers to prevent
surface runoff from infiltrating the
tank backfill.

• Do not allow self-serve gasoline
Though messages on most dispens-
ing nozzles warn against it, topping
off when refueling automobiles is
still a common occurrence that leads
to spillage. By allowing only trained
attendants to dispense gasoline, this
problem could be reduced.

• Install automatic subsurface
Though it never proved popular for
UST leak detection, a  device  was
developed in the mid-80s that had
the ability to sample soil vapors at
numerous points on a daily basis and
monitor for the presence of gasoline
vapors. With today's communication
technology, such a system could eas-
ily be monitored remotely. Such a
system could provide early warning
of releases from any portion of the
storage  system  or  even  surface
spillage and overfills. In conjunction
with a preinstalled remediation sys-
tem (see next item), subsurface moni-
toring could be very effective  in
detecting and intercepting contami-
nation before it can migrate off site.

• Preinstall a soil-vapor extraction
A preinstalled network of slotted
pipe in a permeable backfill under-
laying the dispensing area and over-
laying the tank pit would make it
possible for remediation efforts  to
begin within a very short time of the
discovery of a release (via the  auto-
matic subsurface monitoring). Truck-
mounted,   self-contained  vapor
extraction and treatment units could
simply drive up, plug in to the prein-
stalled piping, and deal  with small
releases in a few days or weeks time
if releases  are promptly identified
and addressed.

• Implement periodic groundwater
Conduct  monthly   or   quarterly
groundwater monitoring in  areas
adjacent to storage system  compo-
nents to provide early warning  of
contamination. Monitoring well loca-
tion and construction would have to
be carefully considered so that the
wells would provide effective  early
detection without posing the undue
risk of becoming a conduit for conta-
mination into the subsurface.

Are  all these measures  necessary?
Would any of these measures really be
effective? Could a regulatory agency or
municipality ever realistically impose
any of these measures as requirements,
either across the board or at specific
facilities? Do you have better ideas? If
you could  implement any three  of
these  measures, which would you
pick?  Why? Send your two cents  to
marcel.moreau@juno.com. •
 • Third-Party Inspection
 Program... continued from page 6

 certified UST inspectors. There was a
 ratio of about 17 tanks for  every
 licensed inspector, which seemed to
 be sufficient. ADEC met with most
 inspectors after the 2000 season and
 discussed ways to improve reporting
    Veteran regulators who pooh-
 pooh the mere concept of privatizing
 inspections are apt to worry that
 inspectors will fabricate problems in
 order to perpetuate business. Indeed,
 when I was a gas station attendant in
 1982,1 was told by my supervisor to
 get under the hood and sell as many
 engine  fluid products as humanly
    What makes Alaska inspectors
 different from my situation is the fact
 that they are petroleum contractors,
 by trade  and can easily lose their
 license (i.ev professional livelihood) if
 they are caught cheating. Second,
 inspectors must review the inspec-
 tion form with the operator, and both
 parties  sign every page. This forces
 the inspector to explain everything
 he did, reducing the opportunity for
 hiding anything. Third, UST opera-
 tors can and do contact the state if
 they want a second opinion.

 Troubling Theme
 One goal for our third-party inspec-
 tion program was to simultaneously
 reduce enforcement while increasing
 compliance. Given the percentage of
 inspections completed and the high
 number of  corrections made, this
 goal has been achieved for  at least
 one-third of the state's USTs. How-
 ever, the variety and number of prob-
 lems found in 2000 all point to a
 troubling theme—that Alaska UST
 systems are  not being adequately
 maintained, and without periodic,
 mandatory inspections, UST opera-
 tors have no incentive to prevent fur-
 ther releases. •
g~[ For more information about
^Alaska's third-party inspection
  yrogram, contact Ben Thomas at

LUSTLinc Bulletin 37
 by W. David McCaskill
 David McCaskill is an Environmental Engineer with the Maine Department of Envi-
 ronmental Protection. Tanks Down East is a regular feature o/LUSTLine. David
 can be reached at David.Mccaskill@state.me.us. As always, we welcome our readers'

 Taking the Pulse of  Maine's

 CP Tanks
      There was a time when cathodic
      protection (CP) was relegated to
      preventing  major  engineering
projects such as bridge pilings or inter-
state pipelines from rusting to pieces. On
the consumer side, cathodic protection
zvas used to prevent outboard motors or
hot water heaters from rusting to pieces.
The former CP systems were project-spe-
cific designs for high-risk projects, while
the latter were pre-engineered systems
for consumer uses. Major structures
were usually monitored carefully by pro-
fessionals over the life of the structure,
while the consumer  goods—let's face
it—were sold, and that was that. In the
case of cathodically protected USTs, we
have some sort ofCP hybrid—high-risk
structures with pre-engineered systems
that generally get little attention.

The Life and Times  of CP
in Maine
In Maine, we have 1,812  cathodically
protected steel USTs—roughly one-
third (31%) of our total population of
5,900 active USTs.  Most of these
tanks were installed with pre-engi-
neered galvanic CP systems, where
the number and size of the sacrificial
anodes (zinc or magnesium bars that
provide the flow of electrical currents
around the tank and protect the tank
from  corrosion) have been selected
and connected  directly  to the tank
rather than installed in the field.
    Galvanic CP systems are rela-
tively simple in construction  and
operation, but it is widely acknowl-
edged that their effectiveness must be
monitored over time. This monitor-
ing is relatively easy to accomplish
by measuring the electrical potential

(voltage) of the tank relative to a
standard reference cell (usually a
copper/copper sulfate reference elec-
    Since 1985, Maine has required
that  cathodically  protected  steel
tanks be tested annually by certified
tank  installers  (CTIs),  who  are
required to demonstrate a minimal
competency in CP by passing a certi-
fication exam that includes some
questions concerning CP. (Corrosion
professionals who  are not CTIs but
want to test tanks can obtain separate
cathodic protection tester certifica-
tion.) CTIs must periodically attend
   With ourCP data suspect, our CP
   testing requirements suspect, and
 , ourCP compliance rate unknown,
   we decided it was time to stop the
   madness and take the pulse of our
 ] CP tanks and the way in which we
        assured compliance.
industry-sponsored refresher semi-
nars on CP testing and troubleshoot-
ing as a part of maintaining their
    For the past six years, the Maine
Department of Environmental Pro-
tection (DEP) has mailed annual CP
test reminders to tank owners. This
mailing includes a log sheet to help
remind tank owners that records of
their CP test results must be kept on
file for a minimum of three years.
Because tank owners are not required
to submit the results of this monitor-
ing to DEP, little data has been avail-
able  to the agency on how the CP
systems or the storage tanks were far-
ing. However, as the tank owners got
around to contacting  the CTIs and
having their CP systems tested, the
DEP began to see some problematic

Stop the Madness
For years we have grappled with a
number of issues  associated with
cathodically protected tanks—conti-
nuity problems with leak detection
devices and electrical conduits; CTIs
looking all over the site for that elu-
sive passing reading; and even plain
old falsification of CP readings.
   Finding a qualified and inter-
ested contractor has become a rarity.
Many times the CTIs just aren't inter-
ested in getting involved with in-
depth  troubleshooting  for  a  CP
problem (or the owners aren't willing
to pay for the work),  or they don't
feel that they have the expertise to
properly troubleshoot failing sys-
tems. Added to this is  our suspicion
that a large number of tank owners,
especially "consumptive use" tank
owners, have never had their tanks
   With our CP data suspect, our CP
testing requirements suspect, and our
CP compliance rate unknown,  we
decided it was time to  stop the mad-
ness  and take the pulse of our CP
tanks and the  way in which  we
assured compliance.  We hired an
engineering consulting firm to test a
sample population of CP tanks in the

                                                                                            LUSTLine Bulletin 37
    We set out to answer the follow-
ing questions:
•  What is the compliance rate for
   the annual CP testing require-
•  Are our current test procedures
   adequate to determine the CP sta-
   tus of these tanks?
•  Are any categories of tanks (e.g.,
   size, age,  manufacturer) more
   prone to CP failure than others?
•  Should the state's annual CP mon-
   itoring procedure be modified to
   improve its effectiveness?

The  Methodology
From a practical  point of  view—
travel,  logistics, cost—we decided
that testing  75 randomly selected
sites would be "doable" in a single
field season. As it turns out, the study
involved a total of 134 tank tests at 73
facilities. In terms of tank  types, we
had 68% motor fuel, 30% fuel oil, and
2% new/used oil. Because most of
these facilities did not have cathodi-
cally protected steel piping, the study
was limited to CP tanks.
    Our current regulations allow for
a single-point CP reading. For the
purpose of the study, however, we
decided to evaluate the tanks using a
multiple  measurement protocol—
taking a reading along the  top of the
tank at the middle and both ends.
This method would provide a better
measurement of the  protective cur-
rent around   the whole tank  and
thereby address dead spots in the CP
    Past industry practice has been to
take a single measurement in the
middle  of the tank over the center-
line. This location is  considered the
most  conservative  because it is
equidistant from the anodes on the
end of the tank and thus the farthest
from their protective current. How-
ever,  recent information from trade
journals and the National Association
of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) sug-
gests  that multiple readings are a
more  prudent way of determining
the adequacy of CP readings.
    Multiple readings meant that our
consultant had to find additional
access to the  soil over the tank. At
times, small holes (V6-inch diameter)
would have to be drilled in pavement
and concrete to access the soil (using
a thin "pencil" reference electrode).
    We've heard stories about con-
tractors in other states, who when
faced with the soil access problem,
simply take a reading through con-
crete over the tank.  Readings through
the concrete pad, rather than the soil,
almost always gives a false reading in
favor of passing the tank.

The Results

•  Of the 134 tanks tested, 78 tanks
   (58%) met the study criterion of
   three readings; 17 additional tanks
   (13%) met the less stringent DEP
  criterion of one passing reading.
  Thirty-nine tanks (29%) did not
  meet any criterion for cathodic
• Using DEP's single-reading crite-
  rion, CTIs passed 91% of the tanks
  they tested. Using the same crite-
  rion,  the pass rate for the study
  was only 71%.
• Many of the manufacturers of the
  tanks tested during the study
  were unknown, so no relationship
  could be drawn between CP per-
  formance and manufacturer.
• There was no significant relation-
  ship between the age of the tank
  and cathodic protection status.
 • Only 44% of the tanks that passed
   the study criterion were 6,000 gal-
   lons or greater; 73% of tanks less
   than  6,000  gallons  passed the
   study criterion.
 • Limited electrical continuity test-
   ing was performed on 42 failing
   tanks. Thirteen  (31%) of  these
   tanks had continuity problems.
 • As far as compliance is concerned,
   20 (27%) tanks had no CP testing
   records, 14 (19%) had one year of
   records, 24 (33%) had  two  years of
   records,  and only  15 (21%) had
   the required three years of CP

 What to Do?
 Our study made it clear that  more
 effort is needed to ensure compliance
 with the annual CP test requirement.
   One way we could do this would
   be to make successful CP testing
     (as well as the annual leak
      detection spill and overfill pre-
      vention testing) a condition for
       receiving fuel. We currently
        have a bill in the legislature
         to address this. We'll see
          how far that goes.
               Regarding   testing
           requirements, we agree
           with the study  recom-
          mendations that the three
         tests over the  top of the
       tank (one reading  on each end
      and  one in the  middle)  be
      incorporated into  our  regula-
      tions. The next step would be
      to   also   include   specific
      requirements that spell out
       the  corrective actions and
      timetable for  repair of tanks
   that have failed the CP test.
     Regarding CP testers, the report
recommends that those still inter-
ested in dealing with CP tanks go
through a separate  certification
process with more rigorous training
on testing, troubleshooting,  and
repairing  CP  systems.  Training
should be hands on.
    One of our greatest  concerns is
what to do about the 29% CP systems
lurking out there that are  likely to fail
the test. Some CP systems may be
fixed  easily by  adding additional
anodes  (see STI publication  #R972-
98), but others may require the instal-
lation of an impressed current system
to protect the tanks.
                • continued on page 12

LUSTLine Bulletin 37
• Maine's CP Tanks...
continued from page 11
   Because  the  price tag for an
impressed current system, could run
up to $7,000, a  financial package
should be developed to assist mom
and pop businesses faced with the
sticker shock. We have already pro-
posed a change to  our statute that
would allow the Finance Authority of
Maine to make such loans for CP as
well as leak detection, spill, and over-
fill repairs and retrofits.
   Finally, the study recommends
that we undertake a long-term study
of CP tanks that are removed to per-
form, in essence, a tank autopsy.
With more and more CP tanks being
removed this could prove to be an
interesting study. The implementa-
tion of this recommendation is still
uncertain  because of the logistical

What Did We Learn?
Our CP study provided us with the
basis for making some key improve-
ments in how  we regulate  and
enforce our CP tanks. In a nutshell,
this is what we learned:
• We need to tighten up compliance
  so that all CP tanks are tested rou-
• We need to tighten up our testing
  protocol so that we can rely on the
  testing data.
• We need to  teach CTIs  more
  about CP testing, especially trou-
  bleshooting techniques, so that
  they can be more helpful to tank
  owners with failing tanks.
• Galvanic  CP  systems are rela-
  tively simple. If tank owners and
  CP testers are having trouble with
  these systems, we can only wince
  at the thought of them having to
  deal with impressed current sys-
  tems, which may become more
  common as the galvanic systems
  are repaired. •
I Tlte complete report can be found
1       on our homepage at
•-   http://janus.state.me.us/dep/
, rwm/publications/cpreporthtm.
Getting  a Hand  on Facility
Compliance  Inspections
by Russ Erauksieck and David Bernstein

        Without leaving his or her
        desk, the typical inspector
        is surrounded by informa-
tion—tank registration applications,
closure reports, site assessments,
information request responses, spill
reports, and (sometimes) self-audits.
However, even with all this informa-
tion available, the best single mea-
sure of the compliance status of a
facility is a comprehensive, on-site
inspection by a trained inspector. An
on-site inspection is the best way to
determine if the correct equipment is
installed,  operational,  and used
properly by the operator.
   Yet, there are problems with site
• They are resource intensive and
• The  inspector must travel to the
  site, document site information,
  and  determine whether the tanks
  and  associated equipment are in
  compliance with  the  require-
• The  information gained from the
  inspection must be taken back to
  the  office  where an inspection
  report is generated from the raw
• After the inspection is completed
  and the report written, the inspec-
  tor files the report with all of the
  other reports and tank-related
  documents—where it  typically
  remains underutilized and some-
  times forgotten or lost.
• Any effort to use inspection data
  beyond writing up  the. report
  relies on the tedious entry of the
  information into a database sys-
  tem—a task that wastes valuable
  inspector or support staff time
  and is  subject to transcription
  errors. Meanwhile, the ability to
  analyze the data gathered from all
  those inspections might have pro-
  vided the  program as a whole
  with meaningful insight. It might
  have helped program managers
  track the progress of the program,
  identify trends and areas of con-
  cern, and determine where addi-
  tional  resources are  needed in
  terms of additional inspections or
  outreach efforts.

An Easier Way
While little can be done to improve
the resource-intensive and time-con-
suming nature of visiting a site to
perform  an  inspection,  overall
improvements in efficiency are possi-
ble. With this goal in mind, the New
York State Department of Environ-
mental Conservation (NYSDEC) in
conjunction with EPA Region 2 has
initiated  a project that will enable
inspectors to collect inspection infor-
mation on-site using a hand-held
computer and transfer this informa-
tion into  a statewide database. This
technology will provide managers
and staff with up-to-date compliance
statistics  with a minimum of effort
after the initial inspection.
    The concept of using a computer
for inspections is not  new. UST
inspectors in a number of states use
computers in the field,  most often
laptops.  There are,  however, two
major problems with this approach:
(a) cost—a quality system can cost
thousands of dollars for the equip-
ment, software, and programming,
and (b) true portability—it is easy to
carry a laptop computer around in a
carrying case; it is close to impossible
to walk around and enter data into
the laptop during an inspection.
    The early hand-held computers
were no  better. Early handwriting
recognition software did not work
well, and the operating systems and
software were not  sophisticated
enough to handle the detail required
of a compliance inspection.
    The  introduction of the Palm
Computing Platform changed all
that. Finally, a system was developed
that combined low cost, system sta-
bility, a usable handwriting recogni-
tion  system,  and   development
software capable of handling  the

                                                                                             LUSTLine Bulletin 37
demands of a compliance inspection.
    With the NYSDEC project, we set
out  to  streamline the  inspection
process in the following ways:
•  Program  a standard inspection
   form into the  hand-held  com-
•  Prior  to  going  into  the field,
   enable the inspector to download
   the basic facility information from
   the state database  and use the
   hand-held computer to collect and
   enter the on-site inspection infor-
•  Once back in the office, upload the
   inspection  information  to the
   database, where it is analyzed for
   violations by the computer.
•  Produce  a  computer-generated
   draft inspection report (notice of
   violation) that opens on the inspec-
   tor's desktop computer, where it
   can be edited and finalized.

The Long- and Short-Term
NYSDEC's inspection streamlining
project has been under development
over the past several years. Although
the hand-held computers have not
yet been used in the field, we have
already realized or will soon realize
many benefits associated with this

•  Standardization
   We developed and implemented a
   standard inspection checklist. As a
   prelude  to  implementing the
   hand-held computer systems, all
   inspectors were instructed to use
   the same form and ask the same
   questions at each inspection. Pre-
   viously, inspectors used different
   inspection forms and asked differ-
   ent questions.

•  Trend Analysis
   All of NYSDEC's inspection infor-
   mation is collected into a single
   database. This allows the state to
   analyze the data for trends, such
   as  outdated  or  inappropriate
   release  detection  methods  or
   types of equipment used. Once a
   particular trend is noted, we can
   then devise a plan to address that
   particular issue.

•  Compliance Analysis
   Consistent information allows us
   to look at our database and assess
   overall  compliance  with  our
   requirements.  This is especially
   important  in   light  of  recent
   changes  to EPA  Performance
   Measures,  requiring states  to
   report  operational  compliance
   with the  upgrading and  leak
   detection requirements. The level
   of detail in our improved database
   allows  us  to  show compliance
   rates for upgraded versus  new
   tanks, or ATG versus interstitial
   monitoring systems.

•  Data Correction
   When inspectors visit sites,  they
   often discover that the owner reg-
   istered the tank system using
   incorrect information or has modi-
   fied  the  facility  and failed  to
   update the registration informa-
   tion. Using a hand-held computer,
   inspectors can make changes  to
   the registration information in the
   field. This information is uploaded
   to the desktop computer, the facil-
   ity is flagged as having incorrect
   registration information, and a let-
   ter is generated and sent to the
   owner requesting that an updated
   registration form with corrected
   information be submitted.

•  Task Automation
   Our new system allows us to  gen-
   erate  and  automatically track
   inspection reports, notices of vio-
   lation,  other  letters, and  pre-
   designed database queries.  This
   automation allows the inspector
   to spend less time at the desk and
   more time in the field conducting

On the Horizon
There are additional enhancements
to  our system that are still being con-
sidered for the future. These include:

•  Ask more detailed questions  dur-
   ing an inspection to gather model-
   specific data. This  can be done
   through linked drop-down  lists
   designed so that data is gathered
   with little impact on  inspection
   time. Information  can  also be
   added to prompt the inspector on
   what  to  look  for during  the
   inspection (e.g., reference infor-
   mation for all release detection
•  Use  hand-held   computers  to
   download data off  the Internet.
  With registration
  and inspection databases avail-
  able on the Internet, an inspector
  can download information while
  in the field. This gives the inspec-
  tor flexibility to identify a facility
  for inspection in the field, down-
  load current registration informa-
  tion  and  previous inspection
  information for the facility, and
  perform the inspection. Informa-
  tion from other databases can also
  be downloaded (if available) and
  uploaded from the  field  so that
  the inspection report is waiting in
  the office upon the inspector's
• Use this  application as  a spill
  response  and  remediation staff
  tool. Staff can be in the field, be
  notified of a spill, and download
  the information on the site where
  the spill has occurred. Information
  on the facility, such as registration
  and inspection information, can all
  be useful during a spill event. •

   The Palm Pilot program has been
  developed in New York by the DEC
 and U.S. EPA Region 2. The program
 will be field tested this spring. Once it
  is operational in New York, a federal
  work group has been established to
 develop the program for use in enforc-
 ing federal UST regulations. For more
  information on this project, contact
   Russ Brauksieck, NYSDEC, at
  rxbrauks@gw.dec.state.ny.us or
  David Bernstein,  EPA Region 2, at


LUSTLine Bulletin 37
                    Leak	Prevention
                   The Missing Link Can Be Found in Appendix D
                   New California Document Highlights
                   the UST-LUST  Connection
by Shahla Farahnak
    \ I Ihe missing link is finally
      I  noticed!" That  thought
     JL crossed my mind when I
was asked to prepare Appendix D of
California's "Guidelines for Investi-
gation and Cleanup of MTBE and
Other Ether-Based Oxygenates." The
principal author of this document,
Kevin Graves, Senior Engineer with
the State Water Resources Control
Board, explained to me that the pur-
pose of the guidelines was to assist
managers and staff at state and local
regulatory agencies with the task of
overseeing the investigation and
cleanup of sites where there have
been releases of MTBE-blended fuel.
We talked about how an appendix
with the title of "Finding Leaks in
Tank Systems" would be an appro-
priate element of this
document — and    the
work  began.  Many
thanks  to those,  espe-
cially Marcel Moreau,
who  reviewed it and
provided helpful com-
   What do I mean by
"missing link"? I mean the communi-
cation and team effort between those
who  work on the leak prevention
side of the UST programs and those
responsible for the corrective action
oversight. Traditionally, these two
groups, whether working for the reg-
ulatory agencies or the consulting
world, rarely get together and evalu-
ate contaminated UST sites. In Cali-
fornia, with the discovery of MTBE at
new and upgraded UST  sites, we
have been forced to attempt to bridge
that gap. Although the thought of
doing so may elicit groans from both
camps, the time for using teamwork
in site investigation is long past due.

A Game of Clue
After all, isn't one of the key elements
of site  investigation finding the
"guilty"? Yes, if s a game of "Clue"!
There are many clues at an  operating
UST site that could lead to the source
of a release. While these clues may
not be apparent  to the corrective
action experts, they would be easily
recognized  by  those  intimately
involved with UST system design
and leak detectionjaquipment opera-
tional details.
   The purpose of "Finding Leaks in
Tank Systems" is to identify potential
activities that can be performed at
suspected release sites to confirm and
determine the source of a suspected
release from an UST  system. The
appropriate level of effort for this
task is interrelated with the results of
groundwater monitoring, extent and
type of the release, and other site-spe-
cific characteristics.
   This investigation may be an iter-
ative process, and it is important that
all data and findings be maintained
and properly documented. A team of
cleanup and leak prevention staff
must make a unified effort to oversee
activities and analyze the findings.
The subsurface contaminant distribu-
tion may point to a leak source (e.g.,
relatively clean tank pit but high con-
taminant levels around a specific dis-
penser or near specific piping joints).
   Keep in mind, this document is
not a flow chart, there is no start and
end button. It is all inter-linked with
the site investigation information you
have gathered, the extent of the prob-
lem at the site, and the time factor. At
some sites it may make sense to move
quickly and perform an external full-
          system evaluation -for
          vapor and liquid releases;
          at other  sites you may
          want to  start  with the
          basics  and work  your
          way toward a full-system
          evaluation, if needed.
               The theme here is
          to be proactive. Don't just
continue to track quarterly ground-
water  monitoring data and wonder
where  the  elusive  "MTBE" will
appear next, or hope that its concen-
trations will start going down at some
point in time. Get in there and work
with the UST experts to either rule-in
or rule-out the existing UST system at
the site of the source.
            Finding Leaks  in  Tank Systems (Appendix D)
I. Preliminary Site Evaluation -
The local  inspector may perform
these  activities. All activities and
findings should be documented item
by item.

A.  Conduct a visual evaluation and
• Check surfaces around UST sys-

  tems for any visible signs of spills.
  Evaluate and document the condi-
  tion of the concrete and asphalt—
  look for cracks, stains, etc. Pay
  particular attention to  the area
  around fill pipes and dispenser
• Interview  the  operators  with
  respect to unusual operating con-
  ditions, known spills and leaks,
  inventory reconciliation, etc.
• Check monitoring  equipment
  (e.g., all sensors, line leak detec-
  tors, ATGs) control panel for pres-
  ence of alarm lights, trouble lights,
  and power  lights. Power lights
  should be on; trouble and alarm
  lights should be off.

                                                                                            LUSTLine Bulletin 37
B. Review records.
• Review  records  of  any  water
  pumped out from the tanks.
• Review  records of product or
  water removed from the sumps,
  spill containment boxes, and dis-
  penser containment boxes.
• Review records of product spills
  by customers filling their gas tanks
  or gasoline delivery trucks and the
  action taken to clean up the spill.
• Review inventory records and the
  results of any Statistical Inventory
  Reconciliation (SIR) test reports. In
  the SIR reports, pay attention to
  the product-gain and inconclusive
  test results. A quick method of
  checking inventory records is to
  count the number of positive and
  negative daily variances  in a
  month. The number of positives
  and  the number of  negatives
  should be almost equal (e.g., in 30
  days of recording there  should be
  15 positives and 15 negatives; 18 of
  one and 12 of the other is suspi-
  cious; 10 of one and 20 of the other
  indicates a problem of some kind).
• Review any past tank and piping
  tests performed at the site. Verify
  that tests were conducted prop-
  erly. Review the test results closely
  to determine  if the tester did any
  system "fixes" (loose valves and
  connections and loose fill pipes) to
  make the  test  pass. Determine
  what follow-up action was taken
  at the site for reported fail results.
• Check the spill containment box
  for the presence or indication of
  product spills from product deliv-
• Check all sumps for the presence
  of product, corrosion, or indication
  of product releases.
• Check under-dispensing piping
  for any visible signs of product
  releases (e.g.,  drips, tarnished pip-
  ing). This  check should be done
  both while the dispenser is idle
  and during dispensing.
• Dipstick the tank to  check for
  water and  product, allowing for at
  least a 24-  to 48-hour time period.
  Use the tank chart and tank instal-
  lation information to determine
  the rate of any losses or gains from
  the tank (same concept as manual
  tank gauging). The tank should be
  locked up  and not used during
  this time. Note tKat the tempera-
  ture should be stable and deliver-
  ies should not be allowed for a few
  days prior to the start of the test.
  The longer the test the better. A
  test should run for 48 hours unless
  the tank size is small. This test may
  not be appropriate if it  signifi-
  cantly interferes with the daily
  operation of the facility.
  What do I mean by "missing link"?
 I mean the communication and team
 "--:- effort between those who work on
     leak prevention side of the UST
 ^programs and those responsible for
 IF7- the corrective action oversight.
         -.  .  •	-..*   J
• To the extent possible, document
  the type, model, and brand of all
  major UST system  components.
  This   information  should  be
  reviewed and compared with any
  data  on manufacturer recalls or
  any  other  frequently  reported
  manufacturer defects.

II. Detailed Site Evaluation and
Data Collection - A qualified and
authorized contractor should per-
form these activities with oversight of
the local inspector. All hands-on
work on equipment must be per-
formed in accordance with the manu-
facturer's  instructions  and  test
procedures, findings should be docu-
mented in detail, and all  system
reports printed.

A. Check for potential overfill events.
• Check  the  overfill prevention
  device and report whether it is
• If the tank is equipped with an
  automatic  tank gauging (ATG)
  system, have the contractor check
  the  system  for overfill  alarms,
  review product delivery records,
  and cross  check deliveries with
  ATG system inventory records for
  consistency to verify proper deliv-
• If possible, contact the company
  that delivers product to the facility
  to find out if there were any over-
  fills (this may be just a nice try!).
  The ATG may  also have a record
   of overfills. If delivery invoices are
   available, check to see if they con-
   tain before and after stick read-
   ings.  Look  for  after  delivery
   readings that are above the tank 95
   percent  level. Document results
   and file.

B. Check functional equipment.
Verify that leak detection equipment
is functional before reviewing past
test reports and using the equipment
to test the UST system components.
All work  must be  performed in
accordance with the manufacturer's
instructions provided in the equip-
ment maintenance manuals.
•  Print and check system set up for
   any programming errors.
•  Verify that all monitoring equip-
   ment and sensors are functional by
   testing all sensors.
•  Review  the system  diagnostic
   information to identify any system
•  Perform a quantitative test on line
   leak  detectors (mechanical  and
   electronic) to determine that they
   can detect a leak of at least 3 gal-
   lons per hour. This is a test where
   the contractor simulates an artifi-
   cial leak and the system response
   to  that  leak  rate is  evaluated
   and compared with the system
   requirements and the setup infor-

C. Check alarm history, system failure
history, and leak test history reports.
•  Review  the history  of  system
   alarms including system func-
   tional alarms.
•  If the tank is equipped with an
   ATG, review the records of in-tank
   water and the history of high
   water alarms.
•  Review  the history of leak tests
   performed by continuous in-tank
   leak detection systems (CITLDS),
   ATG systems, and electronic line
   leak  detectors. Analyze the test
   results closely by comparing the
   test information  with  the  test
   method specifications listed in the
   National Work Group on  Leak
   Detection  Evaluation's  "List of
   Leak Detection Evaluations  for
   UST Systems" (NWGLDE's List).

                • continued on page 16

 LUSTLine Bulletin 37
 m UST-LUST Connection...
 continued from page 15
 D. Test all secondary containment.
 • Perform a hydrostatic test of the
   spill containment box. (This is a
   very crude test method that is cur-
   rently only performed at the time
   of installation.) The containment
   box is filled with water, then the
   water level is marked or measured
   and checked again in 24 hours to
   verify that the box is liquid-tight.
   Document the results.
 • Perform a hydrostatic test of all
   sumps (see above) and document
   the results. Also verify that all sen-
   sors are functional.
 • Check all piping penetrations and
   fittings for proper seal, verify sec-
   ondary containment piping termi-
   nates in the sump, and verify that
   any potential releases from the pri-
   mary piping into the secondary
   piping will  drain into the sump
   (i.e., see that the reducer that was
   used to isolate the secondary pip-
   ing during  the installation tight-
   ness test has been removed or if a
   drain port was installed, that the
   outlet is not plugged).
 • Conduct a  tightness  test  on the
   secondary piping and the intersti-
   tial space of the tank using an
   approved test method.
 • If there is dispenser containment
   present, perform a hydrostatic test
   (see above) and verify that the
   leak-sensing mechanism is func-

 E. Activate leak detection tests using
 on-site equipment.
 • Put the ATG system in a leak test
   mode (preferably 0.1 gph mode if
   available) and  review  the test
   result. Note that there should be
   no product  dispensing from the
   tank until the test is  completed.
   Evaluate the test results, not just
   for pass/fail. Review the mea-
   sured leak  rates and, if needed,
   extrapolate the number to a full-
   tank leak rate to determine if there
   may be a release from the tank.
   Also, make sure that in-tank water
   is recorded before and after the
   test and look for water ingress
   during the test.
 • Activate the mechanical line leak
  detector test mode  (3gph) and

   electronic line leak detector test
   modes (3.0  gph,  0.1 gph,  and
   0.2 gph), review the test results,
   and make note of  any alarms or
   slow-flow or product pump shut-
   downs. Note that there should be
   no product dispensed from the
   piping system until the test is com-

III. Tank and Line Tests - These
tests must be performed by a licensed

A. Have  the  product lines  tightness
tested by a licensed tank tester, using
an approved test method.
Be present during the test if possible.
Compare the test  information with
the test method specifications in the
NWGLDE List. Make sure the tester
performs the test before doing any
repairs or system fixes. If the test
fails, any fixes should be done before
a second test is conducted. All activi-
ties, including any repairs need to be
documented and reviewed.

B. Have the  ullage space of the tank
tightness tested  by a licensed tank
tester, using an approved test method.

C. Have the product-filled portion of the
tank tested,  using  an approved test
Do not require the addition of any
product to the tank for this test. In the
event that the tank is leaking, the con-
tamination may get worse if more
product is added to the tank. Evaluate
the test results, not just for pass/fail.
Review the measured leak rates and if
needed, extrapolate the number to a
full-tank leak rate to  determine if
there may be a release from the tank.
Also make sure that in-tank water is
recorded before and after the test and
look for water ingress.

IV. External Full-System Evalu-
ation  for   Vapor  and  Liquid
Releases - Perform an external eval-
uation. •

   Shahla Farahnak, P.E., is a Senior
 Engineer with the California SWRCB.
       She can be contacted at
  farahnas@cwp.swrcb.ca.gov. The
 read the entire "Guidelines for Investi-
   gation and Cleanup ofMTBE and
 Other Ether-Based Oxygenates,"go to
 www.swrcb.ca.gov and click on the
           MTBE link.
         A note from Dennis Rounds,
     Executive Director of the South Dakota
Petroleum Release Compensation Fund.

     Thank you for the many terrific
     articles in the November 2000
     issue of LUSTLine. In particu-
lar, I appreciated the timely GIS arti-
cle "The Future is Coming."   It
contains good, basic information on
GIS and many examples of its appli-
cations. The author, Ann Carpenter,
also addressed many of the up-front
issues   that managers  should  be
aware of when considering the use of
GIS in environmental applications.
    Those readers of LUSTLine who
are interested in GIS may want to
know  that ASTM subcommittee
E50.01 has initiated action on the
development of a new guide for the
use of GIS in environmental applica-
tions. The purpose of this guide will
be to address the crucial factors that
should be considered when develop-
ing, constructing, and maintaining a
GIS for environmental applications.
It  may also provide guidance for
determining the applicability of GIS
for an environmental project.
    ASTM  is  the  world's  largest
voluntary consensus standards orga-
nization. Anyone interested in work-
ing on the development of this new
GIS guide or other ASTM standards
can contact me for information. •

  Dennis can be reached at (605) 773-
3769, or dennis.rounds@state.sd.us.
 Washington UST Owners
   Urged to Check Tanks
      After Earthquake
    The Washington Department of
    Ecology wasted no time getting
  information out to tank owners after
  the recent earthquake in the Seattle
  area. Ecology prepared a one-page
   inspection checklist for owners of
   underground tanks. It is available
         over the Internet at
   http://www.ecy. wa.gov/programs/
       Check it out, because...
          ya never know.

                                                                                         LUSTLine'Bulletin 37
A  Circle Vicious
What Do We Know About the
Other Oxygenates?
by Patricia Ellis
       On January 18, 2000, then-Act-
       ing Director of EPA's Office
       of   Underground  Storage
Tanks  (OUST) Sammy Ng wrote to
regional and state UST/LUST pro-
gram  managers  urging them to
"begin monitoring and reporting of
MTBE   and other  oxygenates in
groundwater at all UST release sites
nationwide." He also recommended
that if MTBE or other oxygenates are
detected during monitoring  activi-
ties, that states take "immediate and
aggressive   remeoiaT"'"• a£tiffrCi to!
address the contamin^Mn."yL^^  I
   Ng went on to state-that, .while;
MTBE has received most of the pub-
licity recently, it is by no means the
only chemical  of concern for which
states  should  be monitoring  and
reporting. Tert-butyl alcohol (TEA)
can be  both a  degradation product
and a fuel additive in its own right. It
is also  potentially more toxic than
MTBE.  States were urged to consider
assessing for other oxygenates, such
as tert-amyl methyl ether (TAME),
diisopropyl ether (DIPE), ethyl-tert-
butyl ether (ETBE), ethanol,  and
   According to  results  of  the
NEIWPCC   survey  conducted in
August 2000, most states were not
assessing for the presence of fuel oxy-
genates, other than'MTB"~~
require sampling and
MTBE in groundwater
and 29 require such sampling in soil).
Maybe in the time since  the NEIW-
PCC survey was completed, this pic-
ture  has   changed.  Maybe  the
majority of states are now looking for
all  of  the   oxygenates,  as  OUST
strongly urged. Riiiight,  and if you
believe that, I've got a nice bridge to
sell you. Kudos to the 4 or 5 states
that are looking for most of the oxy-
genates most of the time.
   I'd like to propose that we all
start paying a bit more attention to
the other oxygenates, because as you
will read, they may already be pre-
sent at your friendly neighborhood
LUST site.  And, because I get this
uncomfortable feeling that history is
threatening to repeat itself.
    A recent abstract by Andrew
Gray  and Anthony Brown for the
National Ground Water Association
Petroleum Conference in Anaheim,
California neatly sums it up: "Many
within the petroleum industry have
suggested that it was overemphasis
on benzene in the 1980s and early
       y|t  paused them to neglect
       ''^appears that we may not
        tiedjfrom this oversight, and
the pattern may be repeating itself.
Where there is now an emphasis on
MTBE, in many places they are not
looking for or evaluating the poten-
tial impact  from the other fuel oxy-
genates."               -g-~a  ffr&l
                        Sfe^% Jifeil w
    So lef s  take a glance atWhafv^e*
know or don't know abouft tbi'o|her
oxygenates within the cotitexts~of
health effects, risk-based corrective
action (RBCA), natural attenuation,
remediation and treatment, and ana-
lytical techniques. Since we do know
a bit more about ethanol than TBA,
ETBE, and TAME, 111 provide a brief
synopsis on what  we know about
that substance.
             a 1996 study by the
          gtsSnstitute, little or no
information is available for ETBE,
TAME, and DIPE; not enough infor-
mation is available on the toxicity of
ETBE and TAME to evaluate their
potential health effects, but more
research is being planned; no infor-
mation is available on the toxicity of
DIPE. The report recommended that
a comprehensive set of studies be
undertaken to determine levels of
personal  exposure  to  oxygenates
using standardized protocols.
    "Although more information on
MTBE is needed," states the report,
"the need is particularly great for
assessing exposure to ethanol, TEA,
and TAME, because  these  com-
pounds are currently in use (or may
be soon) and the resulting exposures
have not been adequately assessed."
    MTBE has been described as one
of the most studied chemicals on
earth, yet many studies have con-
cluded that there is "not sufficient
evidence" to declare it a human car-
cinogen even though animal studies
show it to be a probable carcinogen.
(Where will we be with some of the
less-studied chemicals that occur in
    Health  effect studies  are cur-
rently  underway by industry and
EPA to understand more fully the
                        ted with
                   with and with-
  lt oggep%.th*ough the major-
ity  of~the researcn is  focused on
inhalation-related health effects, the
results should help us better under-
stand the human health risks associ-
ated with exposure to fuels by any
    TEA is  a major  metabolite of
MTBE, regardless of the route of
exposure. From a toxicological point
of view, exposure to TBA elicits both
noncancer   and   systemic   toxic
responses, as well as evidence of car-
cinogenicity. Animal testing of TBA
in drinking water produced carcino-
genic effects at high levels of expo-
sure. Additionally, formaldehyde,
also a metabolite of MTBE, is a respi-
ratory irritant at high levels of human
exposure and is currently considered
by EPA to be a probable carcinogen
(Class Bl) by the inhalation route
and, with less certainty, via ingestion
(Blue Ribbon Panel Report, 1999).
    Studies of groundwater from the
City of Santa Monica's Charnock and
Arcadia well fields  in California
               • continued on page 18


LUSTLine Bulletin 37
 • Other Oxygenates...
 continued from page 17
revealed the presence of four non-
MTBE fuel oxygenates—TEA, ETBE,
TAME, and DIPE (Gray and Brown,
2000). The California Department of
Health Services (CDHS) is particu-
larly interested in TBA because of its
increased mobility in groundwater
and the difficulties in treating the
    CDHS has established a Drinking
Water Action Level of 12 pgfT-. for
TBA. (Health-based advisory levels
are established by CDHS for chemi-
cals for which primary MCLs have
not been adopted.)  In  September
1997, New Jersey issued an Interim
Specific Groundwater Criterion of
100 /
                                                                                            LUSTLine Bulletin 37
    At tike sites, tine concentrations
 and frequency of TEA occurrence in
 groundwater were  comparable  to
 those for MTBE. There was little dif-
 ference in the relative concentrations
 of TEA and MTBE in groundwater
 between the sites   where  MTBE
 alone may=nWtJ
 of in-situ biodegradation potential.
    TBA was detected in groundwa-
 ter samples from all six states and
 DC. The highest TBA concentration
 was 223,000 ^g/L; 10 samples ex-
 ceeded 50,000 pg/L; and 29 samples
 were in the 10,000-50,000 pg/L range.
 The MTBE:TBA ratio was nearly 1:1.
 With numbers as high as these, it
 seems fairly obvious to me that we
 should always be looking for TBA in
 our groundwater  samples,  even
 when we aren't trying to determine
 whether MTBE is degrading to TBA.
    It is doubtful that many of these
 sites have been  investigated thor-
 oughly in a three-dimensional man-
 ner. The statistical method  used
 required that there be at least five
 monitoring wells located along the
 centerline of the plume. No mention
 was made as to whether any of the
 sites had been characterized using
 any form of multilevel groundwater
 sampling that would detect whether
 any of the plumes were "diving."
    A  similar problem  exists with
 both the  California,  Texas,  and
 Florida MTBE plume studies £T
 pel, Beckenbach,  and Halden, l\
 Mace,  1998; and Integrated Scij'
 and  Technology,   1999).  Plume
 lengths were determined  (to  a spe-
 cific concentration of MTBE) based
 on monitoring well data. Monitoring
 wells  for these  sites  were  likely
 screened in the traditional manner
 for gasoline sites, at the top  of the
 water table. It is unlikely that moni-
 toring included multilevel sampling
 designed to detect a "diving" plume,
 therefore plume  lengths measured
 may not represent the "true" plume
 lengths for the sites. What effects
would this additional  information
have on the findings of the natural
 attenuation study?
    A recent study by Kramer and
Douthit (2000) was performed to
 determine whether the presence and
widespread occurrence of TBA in
groundwater could be explained as a
 degradation product  of MTBE,  or
 whether TBA was originally present
 in significant quantities in gasoline as
 an impurity or as an oxygenate. Liter-
 ature reports (e.g., Salanitro, 2000)
 indicate that natural MTBE biodegra-
 dation is a relatively slow process.
^^^The  study  involved  mixing
 ^experiments in the laboratory, where
 gasoline samples from five New Jer-
-sey* gasoline stations were  mixed
 with water to determine the types
 and  concentrations of oxygenates
 detectable. The solubility of each of
 the oxygenates is related to the pure
 compound  solubility in water and
 the mole fraction of the oxygenate in
 the mixture.
    All gasoline/water mixture sam-
 ples showed TBA in the water phase
 at approximately 83% of the dis-
 solved  MTBE cofg
 average MTBE con^ptratiorTln tl
 water samples wagI,63g!oQ
 and the average TBA concentration
 was 1,356,000 /ig/L. In addition, all
 samples contained methanol in con-
 centrations  ranging from 26,000  to
 51,000 jig/L. One sample contained
 17,300 ^g/L ethanol, and the average
 TAME concentration was 4,370 ?fg/L
 (one sample contained 153,000 ^fg/L
 TAME). DIPE, ETBE, and TBA were
 not detected in any of the five sam-
 ples. Total BTEX concentrations were
 about 0.75% of the total oxygenate
    Kramer and Douthit caution that
 the wide occurrence of TBA at similar
                  j l^aken in draw-
                   Ltipotential bio-
 logical decay under field conditions
 using TBA as an indicator. There are
 significant differences in the solubil-
 ity of MTBE and TBA. The solubility
 of pure MTBE in water is approxi-
 mately 48,000 pg/L; the solubility of
 MTBE at 11% by volume in gasoline
 is approximately 5,000 ppm, while
 TBA is totally miscible in water. A
 relatively small percentage of TBA in
 MTBE could result in a significant
 concentration in the water-soluble

 Before you can remediate groundwa-
 ter contamination, you need to fully
 delineate the plume—area, analytes
 present, concentrations, and varia-
 tions with depth. Characterization of
 a site includes both vertical and hori-
 zontal delineation. Because of the
 tendency of MTBE to move deeper
 into the aquifer in some environmen-
 tal settings, you must also focus on
     vying  its  three-dimensional
  tarjjjep'stics, searching vertically
  " 'x&Pr&ence through direct-push
Ba'm'purcg,-  clustered  short-screen
monitoring wells, and the like.
    When you think you are at the
end of your plume, you should look
deeper, to make sure that it isn't
sneaking below  the bottom of your
well screen. Too  often, I fear, we set
about characterizing our LUST sites
wearing blinders, hoping not to dis-
cover too much.
    After  all, ignorance  is  Bliss!
Harmful by-products created during
one of the oxidation processes? Not
to worry. Didn't even know  about
the possibility! And let's face it, the
more we find, the greater the cleanup
    Table   2  summarizes  some
groundwater monitoring data from
one of my LUST sites in Delaware.
The three sampling locations  are
along the centerline of the plume.
Several months prior to these analy-
                • continued on page 20
(Concentrations in ug/L)
Tank Field
30 Feet
100 Feet
2,420 \

LUSTLine Bulletin 37
• Other Oxygenates...
contitmedfrom page 19	

ses, the MTBE concentration in the
tank field was 310,000 /
                                                       LUSTLine Bulletin 37
    Sorption characteristics influence
the movement of a compound in
groundwater and the effectiveness of
water  treatment  using   carbon
adsorption. The low organic carbon
partition coefficient (Koc) for ethanol
indicates that it will sorb poorly to
organic carbon, therefore ethanol is
not  expected  to  be  significantly
retarded  as  groundwater  moves
downgradient, and carbon is not
expected to perform well as a treat-
ment technology.
    Ethanol appears to biodegrade
readily  under most  aerobic  and
anaerobic   conditions.  However,
because it is preferentially consumed
by microbes, the biodegradation of
BTEX compcjundsjiiayjse-inhjbti
properties ^rf%\@ knEgyi, a
should be p'ossible-to predict i
and  transport  properties   and
response to various treatment tech-
nologies, there is a general lack of
ethanol monitoring data in the litera-
    Ethanol groundwater monitoring
is scarce,  at least in part,  because
most regulatory agencies  do  not
require ethanol analysis. Further-
more, it appears that no state agen-
cies have as yet set concentration
limits for ethanol in groundwater or
drinking water.
    Creek and Davidson (2000) could
not locate any ethanol remediation
sites. The extent of any current possi-
ble problem and cost associated with
cleanup are unknown.
    The Blue Ribbon Panel recom-
mended the lifting of the oxygenate
mandate that_forces the use of an

will probably—be--the— drAxSlrLas to^
whether ethanol will take the place of
MTBE, or whether refineries will be
permitted to blend oxygenate-free

Is There a Lesson Here
A recent article by Franklin and oth-
ers (2000) reminds us of some of the
ways that got us  where  we  are
today—faced with a national MTBE
problem. They point out that policy
makers only belatedly realized the
environmental ramifications of in-
creased levels of MTBE in gasoline.
The policy process that led to MTBE's
predominance was flawed, since no
systematic attempt  was made  up
front to evaluate all possible implica-
tions of MTBE's widespread use.
  -  The policy process that led to
  • MTBE's predominance was flawed,
  |. since no systematic attempt was
  f  made up front to evaluate all
  ^possible implications of MTBE's
 p- ,      widespread use.
    The  history  of  MTBE  in the
United States illustrates several typi-
      it problematic, features of envi-
     Eental policy making. It reveals
          scale of chemical  usage
 lifectly   impacts   environmental
effects. It highlights how institutional
factors   constrain policy makers
through statutory mandates, regula-
tory  agency organizational  struc-
tures, and  the  strong   influence
exerted by politics and economics
even in  supposedly "technical"
    Finally,  tit
barriers  to efclVe
technical corm|Mtfcatnjs
policy makers, fegulateamdt
special-interest groups, and the pub-
lic. Will  we just be  substituting
another chemical name for MTBE?
    An article by Erdal and Goldstein
(2000) discusses lessons for environ-
mental policy that we should have
learned as a result of choosing MTBE
as a gasoline oxygenate. They identi-
    14 government initiatives during
 fe 10-year period from 1989 to 1999
   which the potential adverse conse-
efuences of MTBE were considered,
and  a  nearly  identical  research
agenda was proposed. More research
is  needed, not further reviews of
research already completed.
    What are some of the lessons that
should  have  been  learned  from
•  Research  should precede rather
   than follow environmental health
   policy decisions.
•  The extent of potential human and
   environmental exposure should
   be an important criterion in deter-
   mining the amount of information
   needed before making an environ-
   mental policy decision.
 • The boundaries between various
   EPA program offices should be as
   fluid as the boundaries between
   the environmental media.  Air,
   water,  and  waste   programs
   should all be  working hand-in-
 • It is more difficult to remove a
   chemical once it is in commerce
   than it is to prevent its use. (The
   Bush administration requested
   that EPA's proposal to ban MTBE
   under  TSCA be  withdrawn,  at
   least at the present time.)
 • Replacing MTBE with other, less
   well-studied oxygenates, such as
   TAME or ethanol, is poor environ-
   mental policy.

    Those who remember the MTBE
 story on CBS "60 Minutes" in January
 2000 may remember this exchange
 between EPA's Bob  Perciasepe and

 CBS: Have there been studies done on
 the health effects of MTBE in the
 drinking water?
 Perciasepe: Not enough. Not enough.
 CBS: But any? I mean, have any been

  irciasepe:  "I'm  not aware of any
  jecific studies that have been done
 on that."
 CBS: "What are you doing about the
 problem? Right now. I mean, what
 has been done since this first memo
 in 1987? What's been done?"
 Perciasepe: "Not enough."

    Will some future EPA official be
 answering questions  about the other
 oxygenates  the same way in a few
 years?  EPA's  Blue  Ribbon Panel
 Report summarized  impacts   of
 MTBE to ground  and surface water
 resources in the U.S. It also stated
 that the body of information avail-
 able to evaluate  impacts  of other
 gasoline oxygenates on water re-
 sources is significantly more limited.
 It's time to start looking at the extent
 of the problem. •
 [NOTE: References for this article can  be
found on page 23.]

   Pat Ellis is a hydrologist with the
  Delaware DNREC UST Branch and
  was a member of EPA's Blue Ribbon
     Panel. She can be reached at

LUSTUne Bulletin 37
 Is MNA Appropriate  for  Remediating MTBE?
 Discussion and Dialogue from the Petroleum Hydrocarbon
 Conference, 2000
 by Matt Small

        Monitored natural attenua-
        tion (MNA) has been recog-
        nized as a remedy that can
effectively achieve remedial goals for
groundwater, within a reasonable
time  frame  at  some  petroleum
release sites. MNA relies solely on
naturally occurring physical, chemi-
cal,  and biological  processes to
reduce contaminant concentrations.
It has proven most effective at gaso-
line release sites where there is a low
potential for receptor impact and
chemical contaminants have low
mobility and  are  readily  biode-
graded (e.g., benzene, toluene, ethyl-
benzene, and xylene (BTEX)).
    However,  at  an  increasing
number  of  gasoline release  sites
groundwater is contaminated with
significant concentrations of methyl
tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). Because
MTBE is more mobile and less likely
to biodegrade than the BTEX com-
pounds, there may be a higher poten-
tial for receptor impacts.

The Question
So  the  question arises,  "is MNA
appropriate for remediating MTBE?"
The National Research Council has
said that natural attenuation is a
proven technology for BTEX com-
pounds but that it is not well estab-
lished as a  treatment  for  other
common groundwater contaminants
(NRC, 2000). The ASTM Standard
Guide for Remediation by Natural Atten-
uation specifically cautions against
applying natural attenuation for the
remediation of  recalcitrant com-
pounds such as MTBE (ASTM, 1998).
The EPA policy directive on MNA
also cautions against application of
MNA to recalcitrant compounds
(EPA, 1999).
    With all of these cautionary state-
ments, are there any situations or sce-
narios where  natural attenuation
could be appropriate as a remedial
alternative for MTBE? This question
was discussed at the 2000 Petroleum
Hydrocarbon Conference  in  Ana-
heim, California.  The  discussion
included brief presentations  by a
panel of UST regulators, scientists,
and oil company representatives, fol-
lowed by input from attendees.

The Discussion
The following ideas regarding crite-
ria for appropriate application of
MNA at MTBE release sites were put
forth during this discussion. These
criteria are a mix of state policy, sci-
entific investigations, and  personal
opinions and should not be taken as a
coordinated approach or guidance
document, but rather as an ongoing
dialogue and brainstorming session
on this contentious issue.

Panel Presenters' Criteria for Potential
Use of MNA for MTBE:
• MNA may be applicable in some
  situations when the MTBE content
  in the gasoline is low, the source
  mass is small, and the impacted
  groundwater is not currently used
  or planned for use in the future.
  Use restrictions must be main-
  tained until remediation is com-
  pleted or, if groundwater usage
  changes, MNA must be  re-evalu-
• Source size and distance to poten-
  tial receptors are critical elements
  for assessing potential risks and
  the potential application of MNA
  for MTBE.
• The applicability of MNA  for
  MTBE must be considered on a
  site-by-site basis.
• The source  must  be  located
  greater than V4 mile from any
  receptors. A one-mile "radius pro-
  tection zone" should be imposed
  for public wells in the vicinity of a
  release that fits the state's profile
  for migrating plumes. Also,  the
  use of the water supply, potential
  for vertical migration, options for
  blending   MTBE-contaminated
  water with clean water to lower
  concentrations, and other site-spe-
  cific criteria must be considered.
• The    hydrogeologic   context
  (groundwater flow rate), available
  electron acceptors (oxic or anoxic),
  and the presence or absence of co-
  contaminants (e.g., BTEX) must be
  understood and considered.
• Sufficient site characterization is
  required to support the decision
  for MNA. Most sites evaluated for
  active  remediation  are  under-
  characterized for such evaluation.

Attendee Comments on Potential Use of

• Geochemical footprints should be
  examined in addition  to plume
• Demonstration of stabilized and
  shrinking plumes is sufficient,
  assuming site characterization is
• MNA secondary lines of evidence
  should be  required for  MTBE
  (20% of audience agrees).
• Permeability of the vadose zone
  should be considered along with
  the concentration profile  in the
  saturated zone to examine site-
  specific  volatilization and the
  potential presence of MTBE above
  the water table.
• Funds should be reserved for
  additional site cleanup  if MNA is
• Long-term exposure management
  and contingency plans with well-
  defined  criteria for triggering
  additional action or remediation
  must be combined with land-use
  planning and public information.
• Source control  should be com-
  pleted prior to considering MNA
  for MTBE.

                                                                                                              LUSTLine Bulletin 37
•  The appropriateness of field con-
   ditions for MTBE biodegradation
   must be evaluated. The presence
   of BTEX consumes the  available
   dissolved  oxygen at many  sites
   creating an  anaerobic  environ-
   ment  that  is not conducive to
   degradation  or  attenuation of
•  Natural attenuation is a compo-
   nent of all remedies.  If MNA is
   treated the same as other reme-
   dies, no additional investigation
   or requirements are needed.
•  MNA decisions should be based
   on good science and a sound con-
   ceptual model.

The Answer
In summary, the answer to the ques-
tion of whether MNA is appropriate
for remediating MTBE is "maybe and
in certain circumstances." The panel
presentations indicated  that MNA
may be appropriate for remediating
MTBE in some cases. However, the
potential for plume migration and
the subsurface  conditions that may
encourage biodegradation of MTBE
must be well understood. This means
that the site must be fully character-
ized to support MNA decisions. In
addition,  MNA   may be a   more
appropriate option for MTBE remedi-
ation when source/release  mass is
small and the potential for impact on
receptors is low.
     Some attendees agreed generally
with the presenters, others felt that
MNA was  appropriate  for MTBE
with no extra requirements beyond
those typically imposed at  BTEX
release sites, still others (about 20% of
attendees) felt that additional investi-
 gation such as geochemical footprints
 and  secondary lines of evidence
 should be required for evaluating the
 application of MNA at MTBE release
     One  attendee  pointed out that
 the biodegradation of BTEX at gaso-
 line release sites creates an anaerobic
 environment that is not favorable for
 biodegradation of MTBE and may
 limit the application of MNA. Other
 attendees expressed a desire to see
 contingency planning and long-term
 management incorporated into any
 use of,MNA at MTBE release sites.
     Overall  this   was  a  positive
 exchange of ideas in the continuing
 debate over appropriate application
of MNA to remediation of gasoline
releases containing MTBE.
    Thanks to Ravi Arulanantham of
the California Regional Water Qual-
ity Control Board, Sanjay Garg of
Equilon, Greg Hattan and Bill Reetz
of the Kansas Department  of Health
and Environment, Jeff Kuhn of the
Montana Department of  Environ-
mental Quality, Jim  Landmeyer of
the U.S. Geological Survey, and Jim
Weaver of the  U.S. Environmental
Protection  Agency  for providing
panel presentations.  Thanks to Bill
Reetz   for  compiling   comments.
Thanks to  all attendees of the 2000
Hydrocarbon Conference who partic-
ipated in the discussions. •

• Natural Attenuation for Groundwater Remediation
(2000), National  Research Council, Commission
on Geosciences, Environment and Resources, Na-
tional Academic Press, http://stJHs.naj5.edu/booksy
• ASTM Standard Guide for Remediation of Ground-
water by Natural Attenuation at Petroleum Release
Sites (E-1943-98), (1998), ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor
Drive,  West  Conshohocken,  PA  19428-2959.
• OSWER Directive 9200.4-17: Use of Monitored Nat-
ural Attenuation at Superfund, RCRA Corrective
Action, and Underground Storage Tank Sites, U.S.
EPA, April 21,1999, U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste
and Emergency Response, http://www.epa.gov/

   Matt Small is a hydrogeologist with
   U.S. EPA Region 9, UST Program
  Office and a graduate student at U.C.
      Berkeley. He can be reached at
  small.matthew@epa.gov. Matt has
    written this article in his private
     capacity. No official support or
  endorsement by the EPA, federal gov-
 ernment, any state government or any
 private company is intended or should
              be inferred.
  I Other Oxygenates... continued from page 21
 •Blue Ribbon Panel on Oxygenates in Gasoline, 1999. Achieving Clean Air and Clean Water: The Report of (he Blue
 Ribbon Panel on Oxygenates in Gasoline, Sept. 1999, EPA420-R-99-021; U.S. Government Printing Office. 126 pgs.
 •Buscheck, T.E., and C.M. Alcantar. 1995, Regression Techniques and Analytical Solutions to Demonstrate Intrinsic
 Bioremediation. In: Intrinsic Bioremediation, R.E. Hinchee, J.T. Wilson, and D.C. Downey, editors. In Proceedings of
 the Third International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium. San Diego, California, Volume 3(1): 109-
 •Erdal, Serap, and Bernard D. Goldstein, 2000. Methyl tert-Butyl Ether as a Gasoline Oxygenate: Lessons for Environ-
 mental Policy. Annual Reviews: Energy and the Environment, V. 25:765-802.
 •Franklin, Pamela M., Catherine P. Koshland, Donald Lucas, and Robert F. Sawyer, 2000, Clearing the Air: Using
 Scientific Information to Regulate Reformulated Fuels. Environmental Science and Technology 34(18): 3857-3863.
 •Gray, Andrew L, and Anthony Brown, 2000. The Fate, Transport and Remediation of Tertiary Butyl Alcohol (TBA) in
 Groundwater. In Proceedings of the 2000 Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water: Pre-
 vention, Detection, and Remediation Conference and Exposition. Anaheim, California, p. 278.
 •Halden, Rolf U., Anne M. Happel, and Sarah R. Schoen, 2001. Evaluation of Standard Methods for the Analysis of
 Methyl tert-Butyl Ether and Related Oxygenates in Gasoline-Contaminated Groundwater. Environmental Science and
 Technology. Web Release date: March 7,2001.
 •Happel, Anne M., Edwin H. Beckenbach, and Rolf U. Halden, 1998. An Evaluation of MTBE Impacts to California
 Groundwater Resources. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UCRL-AR-130897,68 pgs.
 •Health Effects Institute, 1996. The Potential Health Effects of Oxygenates Added to Gasoline. Cambridge, Massachu-
 setts. 158 pgs.
 •Integrated Science and Technology, 1999. Technical Report: Comparative MtBE Versus Benzene Plume Behavior BP
 Oil Company Florida Facilities. Prepared for BP, Feb. 1999,58 pgs.
 •Kolhatkar, Ravi, John Wilson, and Lloyd Dunlap, 2000. Evaluating Natural Biodegradation of MTBE at Multiple
 UST Sites. In Proceedings of the 2000 Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water: Preven-
 tion, Detection, and Remediation Conference and Exposition. Anaheim, California, pp. 32-49.
 •Kramer, William H., and Timothy L. Douthit, 2000. Water Soluble Phase Oxygenates in Gasoline From Five New Jer-
 sey Service Stations. In Proceedings of the 2000 Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground
 Water: Prevention, Detection, and Remediation Conference and Exposition. Anaheim, California, pp. 283-290.
 •Linder, Steven C, 2000. Tertiary Butyl Alcohol (TBA): MTBE May Not Be the Only Gasoline Oxygenate You Should
 Be Worrying About. LUSTLine, Bulletin 34, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, Lowell,
 Massachusetts, pp. 18-20.
 •Mace, Robert, 1998. Spatial and Temporal Variability of MTBE Plumes in Texas. Prepared for API by the Bureau of
 Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, 60 pgs.
 •New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, 200Q. A Survey of State Experiences with MTBE
 Contamination at LUST Sites. Executive Summary at  http://www.neiwpcc.org/mtbees.pdf. Results at
 •Powers, Susan E., David Rice, Brendan Dooher, and Pedro J.J. Alvarez, 2001. Will Ethanol-Blended Gasoline Affect
 Groundwater Quality?  Engineering,  Science and  Technology,  Volume 35,  Issue  1,  pp.  24A-30A.
 •Maryland DEQ, 2000. December 2000 Preliminary Report: Task Force on the Environmental Effects of MTBE
 •Salanitro, J., 2000. In-Situ Control of MTBE Plumes With Inoculated Biobarriers. In: Proceedings API/EPA
 MTBE Biodegradation Workshop, February 1-3,2000. Cincinnati, Ohio.
 •US EPA, 2000. Memorandum from Sammy Ng, Acting Director, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, to
 Regional UST Program Managers, Regions 1-10, State UST/LUST Program Managers, January 18,2000. Subject:
 Monitoring and Reporting of MTBE and Other Oxygenates at UST Release Sites.


  LUSTLinc Bulletin 37

  Oxygenates  and

  Private Wells
      Many observers would agree that
      with the closure of Santa Mon-
  ica's Charnock well field in 1996, that
  city became the "poster child" for the
  ban MTBE movement. Because of the
  substantial political power wielded
  by California water purveyors and
  their trade group, activities aimed at
  banning MTBE rapidly escalated.
     Protecting municipal water sys-
  tems and the thousands/millions of
  customers they serve is an extremely
  important consideration for UST reg-
  ulators. However, it might be fair to
  say that if we are concerned about
  exposures to MTBE (or other com-
  mon drinking water contaminants),
  especially at levels above MCLs or
  other health-based limits, then we
  should be especially vigilant regard-
  ing  potential impacts  to private
  drinking water wells.
     In some states, concerns about
 private wells have been the catalyst
 for legislative efforts to ban  MTBE.
 Incidents on Long Island and upstate
 New York, for example, were fre-
 quently cited during the MTBE leg-
 islative debates in that state. In what
 remains the best study on this topic,
 the 1998 Maine Department of Envi-
 ronmental Protection's study found
 MTBE in 15.8% of the 950 private
 wells they sampled.
     The U.S. Census Bureau statistics
 indicate that in 1990 over 15 million
 households (around 42 million peo-
 ple) received their water from private
 domestic wells.  Five states have
 almost *A of these wells—Michigan
 has over 1.1 million private wells;
 Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New
 York, and  Florida all have over
    A recent article in Environment
 Science and Technology (ES&T) noted
 that 73 million Americans live in
 areas where MTBE is used in RFC
 and estimates that about 6.4%  live
 "near" a gasoline station. Most pri-
 vate wells draw from shallow uncon-
 fined aquifers that are susceptible to

 contamination from a multitude of
 sources, including USTs.

 Little Is Known About
 Private Wells
 A 1997 EPA report on the nation's
 drinking water infrastructure noted
 that "very little is known about the
 degree of contamination at private
 wells." EPA has just released a fol-
 low-up report that states "A lack of
 monitoring data prevents a compre-
 hensive assessment of the quality of
 water supplied by private wells."
     The 1997 report notes that such
 wells at best are only tested immedi-
 ately after they are installed and that
 24 states do not even require  that
 level of testing.  Few studies have
 been conducted of private well water
 quality. Those studies that have been
 undertaken   typically   find   dis-
 turbingly high occurrences of conta-

 Most private wells draw from shallow
        ,r      «  i ,  i  ,
      uncon fined aquifers that are
             it   V   ,» i ,  - |
 4 susceptible to contamination from a
 t\2     Mi     'i'"t 1 • p'1,   T '  liu'i
  multitude of sources, including USTs.
              '         "
    For example, a 1994 Center for
 Disease Control study of over 5,000
 randomly selected private wells in
 nine Midwestern states showed that
 over 13% of the wells had nitrate lev-
 els  above  the  U.S.  EPA  MCL.
 Atrazine, a common herbicide used
 in corn-growing areas, was found in
 13.4% of the wells and above the
 MCL (3 pg/L) in 0.2%.  Similar results
 were observed in a U.S. Geological
 Survey (USGS) study of wellsjin the
 Delmarva peninsula area of the mid-
 Atlantic states of Delaware, Mary-
 land, and Virginia (Environmental
 Health Perspectives, 1997).
    A 1997 Government Accounting
 Office report on private wells and
 community water supplies in Califor-
 nia, Illinois, Nebraska, New Hamp-
 shire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin
 found that up to 42% of private wells
 were  contaminated with  coliform
bacteria at levels in excess of the MCL
 (as opposed to 3 to 6% of community
systems),  and  that  up  to  18%
exceeded the MCL for nitrate. Lim-
ited data were available for chemical
pollutants such as pesticides, metals,
 and volatile organic compounds. The
 report indicated that contamination
 with those compounds is rare—only
 1 to 2% of wells tested reported con-
 centrations above federal MCLs.
     Several recently published stud-
 ies provide interesting details about
 the private well side of the drinking
 water impact issues. The February 1
 issue  of  ES&T featured an article
 that describes an approach for pre-
 dicting impacts to wells using the
 concepts  of  contaminant-dissolved
 mass flux.
     The authors note that given the
 limited amount of contaminant mass
 in a dissolved plume (e.g., a "typical"
 UST release  site might leach about
 10-100 grams  of  dissolved MTBE
 daily  from  the residual gasoline
 source area), coupled with the mas-
 sive volume of water typically with-
 drawn by large wells (e.g., 400-900
 gallons per minute), that dilution will
 frequently reduce MTBE concentra-
 tions to levels below analytical detec-
 tion limits and/or below levels of
 concern. They caution that "...if an
 impact is  defined by the concentra-
 tion of contaminants in the extracted
 water, small, private water wells may
 more often be  at greater risk  than
 large municipal systems pumping
 hundreds to thousands of liters  a
    In early  February  the state of
 New Jersey released its report on the
 environmental  impacts of MTBE.
 That report noted that they have been
 monitoring for MTBE in municipal
 systems for over 15 years and that
 MTBE (at 0.5 - 20 pg/L) was present
 in 15% of  those systems; there were
 no findings over 20 ^g/L.
    The report summarizes USGS
 studies of  MTBE  detections in
 domestic wells in four separate sam-
 pling areas (about 30 wells sampled
 in each). MTBE was present in 43%,
 28%, 7%, and 93% (yes 93%!) of those
 wells. Almost all detections were rel-
 atively low, however, as the median
 concentration detected in each study
 area was no greater than 1.16 ^ig/L.
   Regarding the  study area with
93%  detections, it was around a lake
that received  heavy watercraft use,
and  where the lake water during
summer months contained as much
as 20 ^g/L or more MTBE due to the
discharges of two-stroke  engines.

                                                                                                 LUSTLine Bulletin 37
Because the wells around, the lake
drew from the water table that was in
intimate hydrologic contact with the
lake, it is easy to see why so many
wells had some MTBE.
    In the recent NEIWPCC survey
of  state  experiences  with MTBE
issues, all but 10 states responding
indicated that they had less than 40
private wells impacted. Collectively,
the  10 states  with  more than  40
impacted wells estimated that about
2,300   private   wells  had  been
impacted.  Maine  observed  that
extrapolating its 1998  data to the
entire state population of private
wells would mean that  between
37,000 and 50,000 wells would have
MTBE at more than 0.1 jfg/L.
    This survey of UST personnel can
not be considered an accurate assess-
ment of private well impacts but per-
haps does give an indication that
most states do not routinely charac-
terize or track the impacts to private
wells from UST releases, even though
there may be many wells impacted.
    In an article soon to be published
in  ES&T  (Lince  et al., 2001), the
authors tried to determine if private
wells are more likely to be impacted
in areas where reformulated gaso-
lines are used. The New York Depart-
ment of Health conducted a survey of
71  private wells  near 21 randomly
selected gas stations. Forty wells were
sampled in conventional  gasoline
areas, and 34 wells were sampled in
RFC areas. Eight wells  (20%) in the
conventional gas areas and  13 wells
(38%) in the RFC areas had MTBE at
more than 1 ^g/L. The authors note
that given the small sample size of
their study, "statistically definitive
conclusions are limited," but they also
note that their findings are generally
consistent with the Maine and USGS
studies that show lesser impacts to
drinking water in non-RFG areas.
    The  USGS's  National Water
Quality  Assessment   program  is
preparing  a summary report  on
about 1,700 private wells in 35 states
that have been sampled over the last
decade as part of its comprehensive
evaluation of shallow groundwater
quality. They will summarize data on
the occurrence of 55 VOCs in those
wells. The results should be available
by late fall (J.  Zogorski, personal
communication, 2001).
Who's Looking Out for the
Private Wells?
Who  speaks  for  the universe of
households using private wells? The
EPA Blue Ribbon Panel had a mem-
ber representing public water suppli-
ers, but no one really represented the
concerns of  private well owners.
While the  EPA Office of Ground
Water    and   Drinking   Water
(OGWDW) has an extensive program
to address community water  sys-
tems, there is no federal authority for
, private wells. The OGWDW Web site
has very little information on private
wells   or  any  related  activities
    The  National  Ground  Water
Association (http://www.ngwa.org)
represents the drillers who install
private wells and has established the
National Well Owners Association
There is also a National Rural Water
Association (http://www.nrwa.org/).
    As noted earlier, MTBE is just
one of a long list of common contami-
nants in private wells. Perhaps the
increased attention paid to MTBE
will help raise awareness of all these
threats. Absent  a strong political
voice, however,  it may  be  awhile
longer before there is resolution to
this long simmering private  well
    As LUSTLine was going to press,
we learned that the New Jersey legis-
lature has sent a bill to the Governor
for signature that would require the
private wells at dwellings being sold
or leased to be tested for  VOCs and
other contaminants. The bill also pro-
vides funding for a public education
program. This is clearly a step in the
right direction. •

 • Lince, Daniel P., Lloyd R. Wilson, Gordon A. Carl-
son, and Anthony Bucciferro. Effects of Gasoline
Formulation on Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE) Contam-
ination in Private Wells near Gasoline Stations Envir. Sci.
and Technology. In Press.
 • Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey. Sec-
ond Report to Congress. February 2001. USEPA
 Office of Water (4101) EPA 816-R-01-004.
 • Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey. First
Report to Congress. February 1997. USEPA Office of
Water (4101) EPA 812-R-97-001.
 • Well, Well, Well Water. 1997. Environmental Health
 Perspectives 105(12):1290-1292.
 • Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Septem-
ber 1998. A Survey of the Presence of Contaminants in
 Water in Private Wells in Nine Midwestern States.
 NCEH 97-0265.

                 • continued on page 31
NEIWPCC  Prepares
Report on  Ethanol
as an Alternative
     As state and federal moves to elim-
     inate or reduce the use of MTBE
     have gained momentum nation-
wide, ethanol has emerged as the most
likely oxygenate replacement for MTBE.
Recognizing that it is important that the
Northeast states  be in a position of
having evaluated potential alternatives
to MTBE with regard to health effects
and potential environmental issues, the
New England Governor's Conference
(NEGC) Committee on the Environment
called for the states to work as a region
to evaluate alternatives to MTBE.
    As an organization concerned pri-
marily with water quality issues in the
New England states and New York, the
New England Interstate Water Pollution
Control Commission (NEIWPCC) was
asked to address oxygenate alterna-
tives with respect to water impacts.
(The Northeast States for Coordinated
Air  Use Management is preparing a
report  from an  air perspective.) In
response,  NEIWPCC  organized  an
Alternative Fuels Subcommittee made
up of staff representatives from state
health, UST, and site remediation pro-
grams to address tank-related MTBE
and  alternative  oxygenate (ethanol)
    While there may be many possible
alternatives to the use of MTBE as an
additive in gasoline in the Northeast,
the subcommittee focused its evalua-
tion on the potential environmental
impacts of a release  of ethanol  and
ethanol-blended gasoline because, in
the near-term at least, it will likely be
more widely used in this  region  and
throughout the  country.  Alternative
oxygenates other than  ethanol were
reviewed briefly with an eye toward the
possibility of a more thorough evalua-
tion at a future date.
    The  subcommittee divided  into
focus groups to work on the key areas
of concern associated with ethanol—
Health Effects, Aquatic Impacts, Stor-
age and  Handling,  Environmental
Impacts, and Other Alternatives. A draft
report  has  been   completed  and
reviewed by state agency personnel
and outside experts. NEIWPCC expects
to complete the report in late spring. •

 LUSTLine Bulletin 37
  E-Commerce  at  the  Dispenser
  Another Thing to Worry About?
  by Sheldon Schall

      E-commerce is a relatively new
      term for a relatively new tech-
      nology—electronic merchan-
 dizing via the Internet. E-commerce
 is appearing everywhere—television
 screens,  computer monitors,  cell
 phone screens, and now the gasoline
 dispenser. But unlike television and
 computer screens, the  dispenser
 island is a  place that involves the
 handling of gasoline, the comings
 and goings of vehicles, and the activ-
 ity of people  getting in and out of
 those vehicles. In short, e-commerce
 at the pump adds an element of risk.
    Wisconsin's preinstallation plan
 review for UST systems includes spe-
 cific information relating to the dis-
 penser.  Our  concerns  regarding
 e-commerce at the dispenser were
 sparked when a petroleum equip-
 ment installer contacted our office
 prior to submitting a plan for a dis-
 penser island upgrade. The modifica-
 tion to the island equipment included
 the installation of dispensers that
 would be performing an e-commerce
 sales function.
    The installer brought this to our
 attention assuming that the new dis-
 penser  concept  would  have an
 impact on the plan review process,
 and he was hoping to prevent any-
 thing  from  slowing  down  the
 process.  He was  correct  in  that
 assumption. After discussing the con-
 cept and reviewing a manufacturer's
 promotion manual our concern was
 heightened even more.

 At Issue
 The strategy behind the concept is
 obviously meant to capture  more
 business and  generate more sales.
 More sales either through purchases
 initiated at  the dispenser with the
 transaction completed at the counter,
 or Point-of-Sale (POS) credit  card
 transactions at the dispenser. The
 dynamics of these limited e-commerce
 sales transactions appear to have lit-
 tle potential to increase the fire-safety
 risk at the dispenser. However, some
 of the expanded applications, such as
ATM and lottery functions, have the
potential to change the dynamics of

 the dispenser environment signifi-
 cantly, particularly with regard to
 risks associated fire, human safety,
 and accidental fuel spills.
    Currently there is some debate
 regarding the distractions caused by
 a simple video display screen on a
 dispenser. Indeed, it is possible that a
 video display that is limited to a pro-
 motional function may aid in keeping
 some  customers close to  the dis-
 penser. However, displaying sports
 events  or news broadcasts  may
 become a distraction by shifting a
 patron's attention from operating a
 dispenser nozzle to watching an
 event or story being broadcast. Add
 to that the expanded commerce func-
 tion of the dispenser island.
    Now you've got the  potential
 risk of accident and injury from the
 changing dynamics of vehicle and
 pedestrian traffic patterns as people
 move about  to access the pop dis-
 penser or ATM machine adjacent to
 the dispenser on the island—we've
 heard several stories of minor  acci-
 dents involving the Speed Pass con-
 cept. Furthermore, it is not too much
 of a stretch to believe that a customer
 approaching a dispenser island solely
 to use the ATM will not  have the
 same consciousness about the ciga-
 rette hanging from his/her lips as the
 person approaching to dispense gas.
    Clearly, owners or operators who
 have made the decision to install dis-
 pensers with e-commerce capabilities
 are focused on the potential for gen-
 erating more sales and are not realiz-
 ing the potential risk. The attendant
 or c-store operator is expected to
 have a reasonable visual oversight of
 the fuel dispensing areas. The e-com-
 merce dispensers are wider than the
 traditional dispenser  and adding
 goods dispensers (e.g., pop or snacks)
 or ATM machines  to the island
 reduces the visual contact with activi-
 ties in the dispensing area.

Are We Ready?
In the process of assessing our regu-
latory position on the application of
e-commerce dispensers, I distributed
a  survey  question  to  the states
 through the Association of State and
 Territorial Solid Waste Management
 Officials e-mail distribution network.
 Few respondents were aware of the
 concept,  but  most  respondents
 agreed that there are fire and safety
 concerns  associated with the dis-
 penser island application.
    Several respondents indicated
 that e-commerce dispensers were
 appearing in various applications,
 from placing a food counter order to
 providing ATM access. Interestingly,
 a number of respondents represent-
 ing state UST regulatory programs
 did not have  regulatory authority
 over the dispenser, so they could not
 address the issue if they wanted to.
    Missouri appeared to be the most
 proactive in this regard, already hav-
 ing a rule that states "Installation of
 equipment  and  devices,  such  as
 vending machines and ATMs, that
 may produce safety hazards by dis-
 tracting the customer from the dis-
 pensing operation, limit ingress and
 egress to the dispensing area or from
 electrical components of the  equip-
 ment or .device, or limit visibility to
 vehicle refueling on islands utilized
 for the dispensing  of petroleum
 products regulated by Chapter 414,
 RSMO is prohibited."
    Because the regulatory commu-
 nity tends to be more reactive than
 proactive I expect the trend will be
 well established before the regulatory
 community has an opportunity  to
 effectively address it.  It will be inter-
 esting  to  see  how  the insurance
 industry approaches this concept. As
 one regulator  responded,  "I  guess
 nothing will happen until the mini-
 van full of kids burns up."
   How are we handling it in Wis-
 consin? We are working on revising
 the current regulation to develop a
 restriction similar to Missouri's. In the
 meantime, we are communicating to
 the installation industry that we will
 use our state regulatory authority to
 protect the public welfare by conduct-
 ing a site-specific assessment of any e-
 commerce   dispenser  application
beyond the promotional or in-store
sale of goods function. •

     Sheldon Schall is Chief of the
  Wisconsin Department of Commerce
  Bureau of Storage Tank Regulation.
        He can be reached at
   sschall@commerce.state.wi.us.  •

                                                                                      LUSTLine Bulletin 37
NEIWPCC's  MTBE  Survey  Sheds  Light on
Where  States Are and Where  They Aren't
by Ellen Frye

     By now, many LUSTLine readers
     may have perused the New
     England Interstate Water Pol-
lution Control Commission's (NEI-
WPCC's) survey of state experiences
with MTBE  on the Commission's
Web site (www.neiwpcc.org/mtbe
main.html). The 34-question survey,
to which all 50 states responded, was
designed to  determine how MTBE
contamination  is  affecting state
LUST programs and the cleanup of
contaminated sites. It was I who con-
ducted the survey and then tallied
the results  for  NEIWPCC. As  I
received each completed (or incom-
pleted)  state response and entered
the results  onto the  master tally
sheet, I became more and more fasci-
nated by how much this survey was
telling us about what we don't know.
    The  survey provided  a fairly
comprehensive  snapshot  of state
experiences  with MTBE, as of Sep-
tember 2000, and also revealed siz-
able gaps in our collective knowledge
of the various issues associated with
MTBE in the environment. For many
questions, the "don't know"  response
was quite common. But this was not
so surprising.
    We knew, as we developed the
questions (and  we had the help of
several state and consulting MTBE
aficionados) that we needed to ask
the questions that would provide a
complete MTBE/oxygenate picture.
Deep down inside, we knew a sizable
amount of white space would remain
on the canvas. We hoped, however,
that by conducting this survey, more
states would begin to seek answers to
questions such as these so that, in
time, we would all better understand
the nature of the MTBE beast as it
finds its way into the groundwaters
 of America.
    But alas, we have a long way to
 go. The survey tells us what states are
 or are  not  doing  with respect to
 MTBE.  It tells us what states think
 they know about MTBE's presence,
 absence, or extent in the  environ-
 ment. But when we take  the state
 responses and  attempt to  compare
them, we end up with MTBE hodge-
podge—a mixture  of  dissimilar

Let's Begin with the
We divided the survey into six cate-
gories: MTBE Standards, Analysis,
Site Assessment, Remediation, Other
Oxygenates, and Other (CIS, infor-
mation needs). The answers to the
very first question in the survey—
Does your state have action levels,
cleanup  levels, or drinking  water
standards for MTBE? Yes or No?—set
the stage for what was to follow.
Thirty-eight states responded to the
question in the affirmative.
    But wait, were these standards
for soil? for groundwater? action lev-
els? cleanup levels? primary drinking
water standards? secondary drinking
water standards? All? Some? One?
  f The survey tells us what stales are
    or are not doing with respect to
  j^MTBE. It tells us what states think
  !ftheyl(now about MTBE's presence,
       absence, or extent in the
   environment. But when we take the
       te responses and attempt to
    compare them, we end up with
    /ITBE hodgepodge—a mixture of
      -  dissimilar ingredients.
    Of the 38 states,  20  have soil
 action levels, 28 have soil cleanup
 levels, 26 have groundwater action
 levels, 32 have groundwater cleanup
 levels, 8 have primary (health-based)
 drinking water standards, 6 have sec-
 ondary  (taste and  odor) drinking
 water standards, 8 use the EPA advi-
 sory (20  /tg/L) drinking water stan-
 dard, and 12 use a state or some other
 advisory. Right off the bat, we've
 established that states are looking for
 MTBE in different ways and at differ-
 ent detection limits.
    Some of the standards and levels
 are enforceable and some are not.
 Eight states indicated that all of the
 levels they use are enforceable while
 six indicated that none are enforce-
 able.  The remaining  states that
 answered stipulated an assortment of
 variations  on the theme.
    An MCL for MTBE might move
 the states  in the direction of a com-
 mon denominator. Thirty-six states
 indicated  that a federal  MCL for
 MTBE would affect their state's
 remediation process. Many of the
 states, particularly those that do not
 currently have a cleanup standard for
 MTBE, felt that an MCL would lead
 to the adoption of that standard and
 hence more protracted and costly
 cleanups,  other states said that they
 might have to adjust their existing
 standards  up or down, depending on
 the established MCL. In many states,
 a numerical federal MCL for MTBE
 would effectively be adopted by the
    Keeping  our vastly  disparate
 standards in mind, lef s take a peek at
 MTBE analysis. Forty-three states
 require sampling and  analysis for
 MTBE in groundwater at LUST sites.
 Twenty-nine states require such sam-
 pling and  analysis in soil.
    Of the states that require sam-
 pling  and  analysis  of MTBE in
 groundwater, 14 do so for all sus-
 pected releases and 30 do so for gaso-
 line  releases. Of the  states that
 require such sampling and analysis
 in soil, 10  do so for all releases and 22
 do so for gasoline releases.
    States that require testing for
 MTBE were asked when that require-
 ment was initiated. That spectrum
 ranges from Maine in 1986 right on
 up to Washington in  2001. When
 asked approximately how many sites
 were closed before MTBE analysis
 was required, many states indicated
 that significant numbers of sites had
 been closed before analysis require-
 ments took effect.

 A Matter of Dimension
 Need I say more? I've gotten as far as
 question 5e, and if s clear we have an

                • continued on page 30

~~                          27

 LUSTUne Bulletin 37
     instate	Funds:
 Life Beyond  the  Fund
 After Exploring Its Options, Iowa Transitions from
 State Fund to Marketer-Owned Insurance Company
 by Pat Rounds

     Since  the  early  1990s,  state
     cleanup funds have served as
     the primary means for many
 tank owners to comply with the fed-
 eral  financial  responsibility (FR)
 requirements—out of 47 states with
 some  kind of  petroleum release
 cleanup fund, 42 programs serve as
 the FR mechanism for the owners.
 Collectively, state assurance funds
 raise almost $1.2 billion annually to
 help pay  for  cleanups,  some  of
 which, especially those of historical
 releases, might  not have occurred
 had these funds not been created.
    With technical regulations that
 require that all USTs meet minimum
 upgrade and operating requirements,
 most historical releases should have
 been discovered at operating loca-
 tions by the 1998 technical upgrade
 deadline. Thus, UST systems that are
 in use today should be less prone to
 releases than those of the past. Own-
 ers and operators who have clean
 sites (or are addressing past releases
 with assistance from state assurance
 funds) and upgraded tanks should
 now be able to obtain coverage  for
 their sites  for  a reasonable price
 through private insurance.
    Many private insurers are offer-
 ing FR coverage for less than $1,000
 per site. Several states never pro-
 vided FR coverage through a state-
 funded  program.  Other  states
 including Texas, Florida, West Vir-
 ginia, Iowa, and Maryland are exam-
 ples of states that have successfully
 transitioned their UST owners from
 state fund  FR coverage to private
 insurance FR coverage.
   The  question today is not
 whether private mechanisms can
 address  the FR  requirements, but
 whether there are states that are
 ready to exit from the financial assur-
 ance business. If that answer if "yes,"
 then the question becomes one  of
how to exit successfully.
Considering a Transition
When considering whether to end a
state FR program, many program
issues must be evaluated to deter-
mine if the program is achieving its
goals. If the program has achieved its
goal or if it is unable to achieve its
goal, then a transition may be worth
considering. An objective evaluation
of transition goals should be under-
taken to  ensure that  the transition
process itself does not have a nega-
tive impact on the decision to end the
program.  The  following  issues
should be addressed:

• Determine what tasks the state
  fund addresses today. The transi-
  tion decision cannot be fully eval-
  uated unless all state fund duties
  and responsibilities are quanti-
  fied. Is the fund responsible for
  regulatory inspections? Managing
  cleanup? Evaluating  other  FR
  mechanisms? Does the fund pay
  for releases  from sources other
  than active, regulated USTs? The
  decision makers must understand
  what the fund does before they
  modify the program.

•  Determine what role, if any, the
  state fund will play in the future.
  Will the fund be a cleanup solu-
  tion for sites that do not comply
  with FR requirements? Will the
  fund be responsible for determin-
  ing if owners are in compliance
  with the FR requirements?

• Determine who pays for cleanup
  today and who will pay tomor-
  row. If the cost of FR is hidden in
  per gallon fees collected on  all
  fuel, the UST owner may not want
  to start paying for FR in the form
  of site-specific premiums. Many
  times it is easier to understand
  reluctance to change  when you
  determine who will pay for the
 • Identify the goal of the transition.
   This may appear simple, but it is
   probably more complex than it
   seems. A goal may be to decrease
   state  expenses or  reduce state
   employees. It may be to reduce the
   cost to the taxpayer or reallocate
   the cost to the insured. Promoting
   private enterprise may be a goal.
   Other goals may involve creating
   environmental incentives, expedit-
   ing cleanup, promoting individual
   responsibility, tapping the exper-
   tise of the private sector (e.g.,
   claims handling, underwriting,
   inspections, policy issuance, limit-
   ing appeals), or having the oppor-
   tunity to reallocate state resources
   to focus on another state concern.
   The goal should dictate the transi-
   tion plan.

 •  Determine  what to  do  with
   remaining money after the transi-
   tion—a problem every state fund
   administrator would like to face.
   Leftover money may not appear
   possible, but it may happen and
   should be addressed up front.

 Evaluating Alternatives
 For most UST owners there are only
 two methods for demonstrating FR:
 (1) state funds and (2) private insur-
 ance.  However, when  combined,
 these alternatives create numerous
 possibilities for creative mechanisms
 to address each state's specific needs.
Just as funds vary from state to state,
financial assurance alternatives can
evolve as fund/insurance hybrids
that are tailored to fit individual state
temperaments. I'll discuss the smor-
gasbord of  alternatives in a future
article. Right now, let's look at how
we might want to evaluate any alter-
native.  .
   First of all, facts and knowledge
should replace anecdotal stories and
fears. If fund managers are going to

                                                                                           LUSTLine Bulletin 37
explore the alternatives they should
consider the following issues when
comparing any financial assurance
mechanism with the current opera-
tion of their fund. (For simplicity's
sake, I'll refer to the "mechanism" in
lieu of the "financial assurance mech-
• Will the mechanism meet the fed-
  eral and state requirements?
• How will we know that every site
  has FR coverage?
• Will the mechanism cover an old
• How will the mechanism  deter-
  mine if a release is old or new?
• What if the assurance mechanism
  won't pay?
• What  if there is a delay in pay-
• What if the assurance mechanism
  can't pay?
• What if the policy conditions are
• What happens if the owner does
  not comply  with the coverage
• Is  there an appeal process if a
  claim is denied?
• What  if the  tank owner  can't
  afford coverage?
• What  if  the  assurance   rates
  increase later?
• Are deductibles reasonable?
• How do we know the tank owner
  can pay the deductible?
• Will   environmental   protection
  concepts be promoted?
• Will there be incentives to pro-
  mote proper tank management?
• Will  there be  incentives to dis-
  cover and report leaks?
• Will cleanups be addressed in a
  timely manner?
• Will cleanups be addressed effec-
• Will the coverage protect the pub-
• Will costs be allocated in the most
  equitable manner?
• Will  the overall  cost associated
  with  UST  FR   and  cleanup
• Will the assuring mechanism have
   the expertise to understand UST
   operation and cleanup?
    Just as we can't easily summarize
or generalize how every state fund
would respond to these questions,
we also  cannot easily summarize
how every insurance carrier would
respond. Furthermore, with unique
program designs and varying pro-
gram expectations, all of the issues
raised should be answered objec-
tively and specific to  the state pro-
gram being evaluated.  All of the
questions call for an  independent,
impartial analysis based  on  each
state's current status  and  program
goals. Iowa is an example of how one
state addressed transition concerns.
 -  The question today is not whether
 "private mechanisms can address the
 iFR requirements, but whether there
 lare states that are ready to exit from
  _the financial assurance business.
  ~lf that answer if "yes," then the
 ^question becomes one of how to
          exit successfully.
The Iowa Transition
The Iowa UST cleanup fund was cre-
ated in 1989. By 2000 it was provid-
ing assistance to over 4,000 LUST
sites and  providing FR for nearly
2,300 active UST sites. The cleanup
side of the program, funded at a rate
of $0.01 per gallon, was solvent and
able to pay all claims within 30 days.
The FR or insurance side, funded by
owner premiums, had over $30  mil-
lion accumulated and was collecting
premiums of approximately $2.5 mil-
lion annually from the nearly 2,300
participating sites. All active USTs
were upgraded.
    Iowa provided assistance for past
cleanups  under its remedial pro-
gram, guaranteed loans for upgrade
assistance,  and provided FR for
releases that occurred after October
1990, if owners chose to pay premi-
ums for FR coverage. When Iowa cre-
ated its program it was designed to
be interim only. As soon as private
mechanisms were available,  the
insurance  portion of the  program
was designed to end.
    In 1995, the  Iowa UST Fund
board decided to determine if it was
time to end the "interim insurance
program" and transition the liability
for future releases from active USTs
to the private insurance  market.
Obviously the cleanup fund would
continue until historical releases were
all "closed," but the question was,
could FR come from somewhere
    In essence, the state  program
took stock of itself by addressing the
following questions:
•  Current state tasks? The state fund
   provides cleanup benefits and FR
   coverage. The state manages FR
   claims similar to  an insurance
   company. The state licenses UST
   installers  and  inspectors  and
   groundwater professionals.
•  Continued functions? The state
   would continue  to oversee and
   fund  all  cleanups of historical
   releases  until those  LUST  sites
   were closed. In addition the state
   would continue  to license UST
   installers and inspectors and the
   groundwater professionals who
   work at LUST sites. The state, of
   course, would continue to handle
   all regulatory issues.
•  Who pays? Iowa collects $0.01 per
   gallon to fund the cleanup pro-
   gram for historical releases. Site-
   specific premiums for FR coverage
   are paid by UST owners. Owners
   who self-insure or use other mech-
   anisms  (approximately 700  of
   3,000 active sites) are not required
   to pay into the insurance fund.
   Transitioning the insurance pro-
   gram to the private market will
   not change the burden for paying
•  Transition goal? The Iowa pro-
   gram was designed to be interim,
   only until other mechanisms were
   available for the UST owners. The
   transition should end state liability
   while  allowing UST owners to
   comply  with FR and  technical
   operating requirements. The UST
   owners  must have  a reliable
   source of funding if new releases
   occur. There should be no lapse of
•  Remaining money? The  insurance
   fund only contains money that
   was paid by owners in the form of
   annual premiums. The insurance
   fund had  accumulated approxi-

                • continued on page 30

 LUSTLine Bulletin 37
 m Life Beyond the Fund...
 continued from page 29

   mately $30 million. That money
   could  go  into  the  historical
   cleanup  fund, or  it  could be
   returned to the owners who paid
   into the insurance fund.

 Private Insurance Options
 The Iowa UST Fund Board commis-
 sioned a study of the private insur-
 ance market in the state. The study
 indicated  that  private  insurance
 could address the FR needs of the
 UST owners in Iowa. It determined
 that insurance was available, afford-
 able, and that private insurance mar-
 ket   incentives  would  address
 environmental concerns. A sunset of
 the program was recommended.
    After reviewing the privatization
 study, petroleum marketers and some
 legislators still had some concerns
 about private insurance.  Although
 private insurance was readily avail-
 able at affordable rates, many UST
 owners remembered the dilemmas
 they faced in the 1980s when insur-
 ance coverage was  not available or
 not  affordable. They also had con-
 cerns about a  lapse  of coverage
 between the state fund and private
 insurance. UST owners wanted addi-
 tional protections. Legislators did not
 want the problem to resurface.
    Iowa UST owners had a  good
 record of successful tank manage-
 ment. The premiums they paid over
 the  years  exceeded the costs of
 cleanup associated with the insur-
 ance program. They wanted their his-
 tory of successful tank management
 to count  for something  and sug-
 gested using the remaining money in
 the insurance fund to help alleviate
 their insurance concerns.
    The legislature determined that it
 was time to transition out of the FR
 business, and private insurance was
 the answer. To protect the UST own-
 ers' long-term interests with respect
 to insurance premiums and payment
 of claims, they would participate in
 the ownership and management of
 the insurance company. The legisla-
 ture agreed to a plan that authorized
 the transfer of the assets and liabili-
 ties of the state insurance fund to a
private company made up of the
insureds, but only if the following
requirements were met:

 • The company must be an indepen-
   dent nonprofit entity;
 • It must provide long-term insura-
   bility based on competitive rates
   for insureds who are in compli-
   ance with technical  regulatory
 • It must eliminate any lapse of cov-
   erage between state coverage and
   private coverage;
 • It must provide ease in transition
   from state requirements to private
   insurance requirements;
 • It  must  allow participation of
   insureds in underwriting, applica-
   tion, claims, and premium deter-
 • It must continue to be an accept-
   able FR mechanism; and
 • "Poison  pill"  provisions  were
   established to recover all assets if
   the company ceases to exist, ceases
   to meet the listed requirements, or
   is purchased by another entity.

    In 1998, with support from the
Petroleum Marketers of Iowa, legisla-
tion directed  the Iowa UST Fund
Board to transfer all assets and liabili-
ties of the insurance fund to the Petro-
leum Marketers Mutual Insurance
Company  (PMMIC)—owned and
operated by the insureds. The transfer
was to be completed when specific
statutory requirements were met.
    On November 8, 2000, pursuant
to a memorandum of understanding
with  the UST Fund Board and in
accordance with previously adopted
administrative rules, all assets and
liabilities of the insurance fund were
transferred to PMMIC—an admitted
insurance company in the  state of
Iowa. PMMIC now provides  insur-
ance coverage to nearly 2,300 UST
locations. The company has approxi-
mately $35  million in assets with
under $5 million in reserves for open
claims.  PMMIC  picked up  the
retroactive date of coverage for all
sites that transferred from the state
    The Iowa solution is unique, but
the plan can be followed in other
states. The three keys to Iowa's suc-
cessful transition were: (1) an objective
evaluation of the fund before transi-
tion options  were selected,  (2) an
objective study of the  goals  to be
accomplished, and (3) an objective
consideration of the options available
 to address the goals. In Iowa's case, the
 state eliminated long-term liabilities
 for future UST releases, while the UST
 owners accepted their responsibility
 for future liabilities and now control
 their own insurance company. •

  Pat Rounds is President of PMMIC.
         He can be reached at
 • MTBE Survey...
 continued from page 27

 amazing and colorful mixture of dis-
 similar ingredients that could well
 have a tantalizing affect on the out-
 come of many of the subsequent state
 responses regarding site assessment,
 remediation, and other oxygenates.
 In short, what we know about MTBE
 or any other contaminant in the envi-
 ronment is based on how diligently
 we choose to look for it.
    In site assessment, for example, if
 state policy is to analyze for MTBE
 only in situations where there have
 been gasoline releases from USTs,
 then MTBE occurrences from any
 other sources remain undocumented.
 If one state's MTBE detection limit is
 10 ppb and MTBE plumes are charac-
 terized  three dimensionally, and
 another state's detection limit is 70
 ppb and plumes are characterized
 two-dimensionally,  the   resulting
 characterization for the same release
 could be quite different. Of course, if
 you're not looking for MTBE at all,
 then you won't find it!

 A Treasure-Trove
 All  that  being  said,  the  survey
 yielded a trove of information of
 where states were regarding MTBE,
 as of last fall. Many states took the
 time to explain their answers in care-
 ful detail. Inasmuch as this  survey
 was designed to capture information
 from the states for the states, we par-
 ticularly hope that state UST/LUST
 program personnel will  use this
 information to learn from each other.
    We urge you to go to the NEIW-
PCC Web site and read over the sum-
mary and examine the state response
data compiled on the questionnaire.
You may find, as I did, that the more
intriguing story lies not in the statis-
tics but in the complexity of the life
and times of MTBE in 50 states.
               • continued on page 31

                                                                                           LUSTLine Bulletin 37
• WITBE. Survey...
continued from page 30
    Changes will continue to take
place with regard to MTBE standards
and site assessment and cleanup poli-
cies. New  discoveries of MTBE in
public and private wells may catapult
some states to greater vigilance. As
alternatives to MTBE, such as ethanol,
come into focus, there will be changes
in the way some states address these
potential environmental threats. And
who knows, come the next survey
(did I hear someone scream?), there
will be quite another story.
    We thank all who took the time
to respond to this survey. •

• Gasoline Oxygenates and Pri-
vate Wells... continued from page 25

• Hamilton, Pixie and Robert J. Shedlock. 1993. Are
Fertilizers and Pesticides in the Ground Water? A Case
Study of the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, Maryland,
and Virginia. United States Geological Survey Circular
1080. U.S. Government Printing Office.
• Government Accounting Office. June 1997. Informa-
tion on the Quality of Water Found at Community
Water Systems and Private Wells. GAO-RCED-97-123.
• Swistock, B.R., W.E. Sharpe, and P.D. Robillard.
1993. A Survey of Lead, Nitrate and Radon Contamination
of Private Individual Water Systems in Pennsylvania.
Journal of Environmental Health 55(5):6-12.
Tuthill A., D.B. Meikle, M.C.R. Alavanja. 1998. Coli-
form Bacteria and Nitrate Contamination of Wells in
Major Soils of Frederick, Maryland. Journal of Environ-
mental Health 60(8):16-20.
At  Last,  An  Expedited Site
Assessment CD
     Expedited Site Assessment: the CD
     is now available from the Con-
     necticut Department of Envi-
ronmental  Protection  (CTDEP).
While in development, the CD was
shown at the all states UST/LUST
conference in Long Beach, California
and won best  presentation at the
State Fair. The CD provides technical
guidance  on  investigating  fuel
releases  at  underground  storage
tanks sites in a multimedia format. It
is packed with slide presentations,
animations, simulations, and videos
(as well as some really great original
music) and includes spreadsheets for
data collection and analysis.
    The CD emphasizes the. use of
direct-push sampling methods, mul-
tilevel groundwater and soil sam-
pling,  and three-dimensional field
screening. It is a great training tool
and even has a real-world exercise
where you,  as a project manager,
drive a direct- push drill rig around a
site to find the source and configura-
tion of contamination. For the experi-
enced  environmental  professional,
the CD is an excellent reference that
covers a wide range of topics, includ-
ing MTBE, biodegradation, purging,
installation, and hydraulic testing of
multilevel samplers.
   The CD was developed for Peter
Zack, CTDEP LUST program, by Pro-
fessor Gary Robbins at the University
of Connecticut. Although elements of
the CD are Connecticut specific, most
of the technical guidance is generic. •
  To order copies of Expedited Site
  Assessment: the CD, contact the
     DEP STOKE, Connecticut     '•
   Department of Environmental
  f  Protection, 79 Elm Street,
  Hartford, CT 06106-5127. Phone:
  (860) 424-3555 or (860) 424-3692.  ]
  For more information about the
  CD go to www.esacd.uconn.edu.
       One-year subscription. $18.00.
       Federal, state, or local government. Exempt from fee. (If you wish to have LUSTLine sent to your home, please submit
       your request on agency letterhead.)

       Please take my name off your mailing list.

       Please send me back issues of LUSTLine. Fill out name and address — no P.O. boxes.
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       Please send me a LUSTLine Index.
    Please enclose a check or money order (drawn on a U.S. bank) made payable to NEIWPCC.
    Send to: New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
           Boott Mills South, 100 Foot of John Street, Lowell, MA 01852-1124
           Phone:(978)323-7929 • Fax:(978)323-7919  •  lustline@neiwpcc.org • www.neiwpcc.org

    We welcome your comments and suggestions on any of our articles.

   EPA to Propose Secondary
   Drinking; Water Standard
   for MTBE
   &y Rachel Sakata

       The U.S. EPA intends to propose a National
       Secondary  Drinking  Water  Regulation
       (NSDWR) for MTBE, based on taste and odor
   in 2001. NSDWRs were established to control con-
   taminants in drinking water that primarily affect
   the aesthetic qualities relating to public acceptance
   of drinking water. These secondary levels repre-
   sent reasonable goals for drinking water quality
   but are not federally enforceable. Rather, they are
   intended as guidelines for states, although states
   can choose to adopt this standard.
      This standard will pull from the existing infor-
   mation presented in EPA's 1997 Drinking Water
   Advisory and analyze additional information to
   determine an acceptable taste and odor level for
   MTBE. Because MTBE is a growing concern that the
   Agency takes very seriously, EPA wants to provide
   States and water systems with more direction con-
   cerning this contaminant. •

   Rachel Sakata is with the U.S. EPA Office of Ground
             Water and Drinking Water.
New England Interstate Water
Pollution Control Commission
Boott Mills South
100 Foot of John Street
Lowell, MA 01852-1124
Forwarding and return postage guaranteed.
Address correction requested.
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