Background
Proposed Action
                      United States
                      Environmental Protection
                      Agency
                    Solid Waste and
                    Emergency Response
                    Washington, DC 20460
                    (OS-420 WF)
EPA 510-F-93-016
August 1993
                      Office of Underground Storage Tanks
                      Environmental
                      Fact Sheet
 1998 Financial  Responsibility

 Compliance Deadline For

 Underground  Stprage Tank Owners

 That Meet Certain  Federal Criteria:

 Proposed Rule	

 Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) re-
 quires owners and operators of underground storage tanks (USTs) to show
 through insurance coverage or other acceptable financial mechanisms that
 they can pay for cleanups and third-party damages resulting from any leaks
 that may occur.

 EPA issued final regulations  on October 26, 1988 that phased in the finan-
 cial responsibility requirements for USTs.  The phase-in approach was
 designed to provide owners and operators adequate time to obtain assur-
 ance mechanisms by setting different compliance dates for four compliance
 groups.  As of January 1989, Group 1, consisting of petroleum marketers
 owning  1,000 or more USTs  and non-marketers with more than $20 million
 in tangible net worth, was required to comply with the financial responsi-
 bility requirements. In October 1989, Group 2, consisting of petroleum
 marketers owning between 100 to 999 USTs, was required to show finan-
 cial responsibility. By April  26, 1991, Group 3, consisting of petroleum
 marketers owning between 13 and 99 USTs, was required to comply.
 Group 4, consisting of marketers with 1 to  12 USTs at more than one
 facility or fewer than 100 USTs at a single  facility and non-marketers with
 net worth of less than $20 million, is expected to comply by December 31,
 1993. On February 18, 1993, EPA promulgated four additional assurance
 mechanisms for local government entities (58 FR 9026) to use to comply
 with the financial responsibility requirements. The compliance date for
 local governments is, therefore, February 18, 1994.

 On August 10,  1993 EPA proposed a 1998  financial responsibility compli-
ance deadline for certain tank owners that meet federally determined
criteria.

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 Discussion
Rationale For
This Proposal
Contact
 Today, the Agency is publishing a proposed rule that would allow certain
 members of Group 4 (i.e., petroleum marketers, local governments, and
 Indian Tribes) to become pan of a new compliance group subject to the
 new financial responsibility compliance date (December 31, 1998) if they
 meet certain federally determined criteria. The criteria proposed include:

       Compliance with all applicable technical requirements to date
       (e.g., leak detection),
       Operation of the tanks in rural areas,
       "Hardship" for petroleum marketers, and
       "Essential services" for local governments.

 In this proposed rule, the Agency is asking for comment on whether or not
 any extension is necessary  and whether a shorter extension of the compli-
 ance deadline is more appropriate. (The 1998 compliance date corresponds
 with the final compliance date for tank upgrading or replacement.) In
 addition, EPA is soliciting comments and data on the final criteria to use
 in determining who should be included in the compliance group and how
 long the extension should be. Comments are due to EPA 45 days after
 publication in the Federal Register.

 EPA is concerned about the ability of UST owners and operators to com-
 ply with the financial responsibility requirements and the possible impact
 that these requirements may have on petroleum supplies in rural areas.
 The Agency is issuing this proposal to solicit comments that will help
 gauge the need for extending the financial responsibility compliance date
 for certain owners and operators. The Agency also notes that the technical
 requirements for USTs (e.g., leak detection, tank upgrading, and corrective
 action) remain in effect.

For additional information, contact EPA's RCRA/Superfund Hotline,
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST.  The national toll-
free number is 800 424-9346; for the hearing impaired, the number is
TOD 800 553-7672.

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