United States       EPA 510-F-96-004
        Environmental Protection    August 1996

        Solid Waste And Emergency Response (5403G)
&EPA Closing
        Storage Tanks

        Brief Facts
         Was your underground
         storage tank installed
         before December 22,1988?

         You may want to dose your
         tank to meet a deadline in
         December 1998...
                 Printed on Recycled Paper

Tank Closure
 Closure is one way to help protect human
 health and the environment, particularly
 groundwater, from the threats posed by
 many older underground storage tanks.
 Was your underground storage tank (LIST)
 installed before December 22, 1988?

 If the answer is "yes,"
 by December 22, 1998, you must select
 one of the following three options:

  # Upgrade the LIST by adding spill,
    overfill, and corrosion protection, OR

  # Replace it with a new LIST that has
    spill, overfill, and corrosion protection,
  #  Properly close the old LIST.

  The information that follows will help
  you close your UST properly.

  You can close your UST temporarily or

Closing Temporarily
 You may temporarily close your LIST for up
 to 12 months by following these
 requirements for temporary closure:

 # Continue to monitor for leaks by
   maintaining the UST's leak detection. (If
   your LIST is empty, you do not need to
   maintain leak detection.) Also, continue
   to monitor and maintain any corrosion
   protection systems. If a release is
   discovered, quickly stop the release,
   notify your regulatory authority, and take
   appropriate action to clean up the site.

 # If the LIST remains temporarily closed for
   more than 3 months, leave vent lines
   open, but cap and secure all other lines,
   pumps,  manways, and ancillary

 After 12 months of temporary closure, you
 have three options:

  1. You must permanently close your
    LIST if  it doesn't meet the applicable
    requirements for new or upgraded USTs
    (except for spill and overfill).

  2. You can ask your regulatory authority
    for an extension beyond 12 months, if
    you provide an assessment that
    determines whether contamination is
    present at your site.

  3. Your UST can remain temporarily
    closed without needing an extension
    granted by the regulatory authority if the
    UST meets the applicable requirements
    for new or upgraded USTs (except for
    spill and overfill) and the requirements
    noted above for temporary closure.
Closing Permanently

 If you decide to close your LIST
 permanently, follow these requirements
 for permanent closure:

 # Notify the regulatory authority at least
   30 days before you close your LIST.

 # Determine if contamination from your
   LIST is present in the surrounding
   environment. If there is contamination,
   you may have to take corrective action.
   For at least 3 years, keep a record of
   the actions you take to determine if
   contamination is present at the site
   (or you can mail this record to your
   regulatory authority).

 # Either remove the LIST from the
   ground or leave it in the ground. In both
   cases, the tank must be emptied and
   cleaned by removing all liquids,
   dangerous vapor levels, and
   accumulated sludge.  These potentially
   very hazardous actions need to be
   carried out carefully by trained
   professionals who follow standard  safety
   practices. If you leave the LIST in the
   ground, have it filled with a harmless,
   chemically inactive solid, like sand.
     State and local regulations may
     be more stringent than the
     federal regulations.  Check with
     your regulatory authority. If you
     are not sure who your regulatory
     authority is, you can find out by
     calling EPA's toll-free Hotline at
     (800) 424-9346.
Safe Closure Is A Must
 People who do not follow standard safety

practices are killed or injured every year
while closing or removing tanks. For a
safe closure, you need qualified
professionals who will use standard safety

For more information on standard safety
practices, LIST owners and closure
contractors should refer to "Closure of
Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks,"
API Recommended Practice 1604 (1996),
which is available for about $22 from the
American Petroleum Institute, 1220 L
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, or
call (202) 682-8000 for assistance.

A video and companion booklet called
"Tank Closure Without Tears: An
Inspector's Safety Guide" is available for
$35 from the New England Interstate
Environmental Training Center, ATTN:
VIDEOS, 2 Fort Road,  South Portland, ME
04106, or call (207) 767-2539 for
   WARNING: People are
   killed or injured every year
   while closing or removing
   tanks, because they have
   not followed safe removal
   practices. Only trained
   professionals should close
   or remove USTs.

Hire A Qualified Contractor
 The following tips may help you find a
 reliable contractor to close your tanks:

 #  Ask other tank owners who have closed
    tanks to recommend contractors they
    have used.

 #  Look closely at the contractors'
    qualifications and experience to make
    sure you are satisfied with both.

 #  Get references from the contractor.
Want More Information?
 Call EPA's toll-free Hotline at (800) 424-
 9346 for phone numbers of regulatory
 authorities. You can also call the Hotline
 number to obtain a free copy of
 Don't Wait Until 1998, a booklet describing
 the 1998 federal deadline requirements and
 compliance options.
 You can order other free EPA publications
 about USTs from the Hotline number.

 Information on USTs is available on the
 Internet by going to EPA's Office of
 Underground Storage Tank's World Wide
 Web Home Page at
 http://www.epa.gov/epaoswerand looking
 for "underground storage tanks."