New England Interstate
Water Pollution Control
                             N c w
                         ^Boott Mills South
                         ;_Foot of John Street
                         Lowell, Massachusetts
Bulletin 3O
A Report On Federal & State Programs To Control Leaking Underground Storage Tanks
by Ellen Frye

  'm  here comes a time when, as the song goes, "Something's gotta give!"
  I  As far as UST regulators are concerned, December 22,1998, the dead-
JL.  line for upgrading, replacing, or closing substandard underground
storage systems, will be that time. The time to get out and enforce! The time
to see to it that substandard UST systems are eliminated... once and for all.

   While tens of thousands of UST-owners and operators have already
brought their systems in line with '98 deadline standards or have closed
their tanks, and while UST regulators have worked diligently at getting the
word out to the regulated community, there is always the reality factor. As
sure as day follows night, UST nirvana will not come to pass without a cer-
tain amount of regulatory pushing... and even shoving.
   "Looking at the big picture, they've had 10 years, or 3,652 days, to do
this," says Louis Sass, Enforcement Coordinator for EPA Region 5. "It only
takes 3 to  5 days to upgrade a tank and 7 to 14 days to replace one.
   "But there will be tank owners who will wait until the eleventh hour
and then complain that they can't find a contractor to  do the work by the
deadline," says Sass. "I think procrastination is at the heart of the mat-
ter—like waiting until April 14th to find a tax accountant. Even after a
3,652-day heads-up, there will still be folks out there who will, in essence,
ask us to please allow them to continue to pollute. Our answer is that sub-
                                     standard sys-
                                     tems must be
                                     taken out of
                                     service in
                                     a proper
                                     manner if
                                     they are not
                                     going  to be
        ' System Management
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     Layman's Guide to EPA Methods for VOC Analysis:
         Task Group Seeks Input           \
     MTBE Plume Length Studies            :
     Risk Communication: Trust and Credibility'
     Gasoline Overfill Tragedy in Mississippi

                                     The Delivery
                                     One effective way to grab the atten-
                                     tion of owners and operators with
                                               • continued on page 2

LUSTLiw: Bulletin 30
• When Push Comes to Shove
from pay I	

substandard  USTs  is to prohibit
product delivery  into those  tanks.
Several states have  provisions that
prohibit deliveries into unregistered
USTs.  Some states have applied or
linked this authority to tank systems
that are out of compliance with the
state's UST performance standards,
and as the '98 deadline approaches,
more states are taking steps to incor-
porate delivery restrictions into their
enforcement  strategies.  Presently,
about  20 states  (see list on page 4)
have some kind of delivery prohibi-
tion provision that is tied to the 1998
deadline. Others are currently con-
sidering it.
    In general, states are taking two
types of approaches to delivery pro-
*  '"Red tags" - a noncompliant tank
   system is tagged, usually at the fill
   pipe, indicating that it is out-of-
   service and that deliveries should
   not be made into the tank; or
         iHTiEHmf	llin,p|h'f|iiiii	ij	I
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    	,.. 4 exchange on UST/ LUST issues.,
    e optrttorts artj Information stated herein
      "" i of UK 4uChoKi and dono r^eces^sar,-
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        ^ jt§|«}s c£ Connecticut, Maine,
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•  Compliance certificates/tags -
   a placard indicating that a tank
   system  is  in  compliance  is
   displayed in a prominent location
   so that fuel suppliers can easily
   see that it is okay to make a drop.
    "It works," Sheldon Schall, Chief
of Wisconsin's Bureau of Storage
Tank Regulation, says of the state's
red tag program. "People know we
will shut the system down."
    "For me," says Barry  Selden,
Enforcement  Unit  Chief for  the
Michigan Department of Environ-
mental Quality's Storage Tank Divi-
sion, "red tagging, without question,
is the most effective tool we have for
getting tanks into compliance, espe-
cially the larger facilities with high
volume. When you shut them down,
if s a lot of lost revenue."
    "For me to get one fine levied
could  take  anywhere from  two
weeks to a month," says Juan Sex-
ton, UST Coordinator for the Kansas
Department of Health  and Environ-
ment. "Even then, the violator can

,;i w^i'1)",,„ ;','. .l/i^.lliti'il'i.'sl'i»i-:,« Jiiit'fe&ffi	i' I
    "For me, red tagging, without
J ••"-''»-,. >; "'". !j	'';" i'SJj!'!"!:"*'	,'r ;<:;:.,	•,; if-f?* ^ ^ v,;* • ,.; i in
	question, is the most effective tool
•   compliance, especially the larger
t	foeM/esHnP	volume"	When	"	,
   you shut them down, it's a lot of
           lost revenue."
                        Barry Selden

still fight it in court and go on oper-
ating a substandard facility. On the
other hand, if I can shut their flow of
fuel off, then they're more interested
in getting into compliance in order
to get back in business."
    "Delivery prohibitions get the
job done quicker than conventional
enforcement routes," says  Andy
Tschampa, EPA Region 5 UST Pro-
gram Manager. "In terms of EPA
enforcement, we don't have the abil-
ity to prohibit delivery; we'd have to
go to court, where the judge might
or might not agree with us that the
facility needs to be put into closure.
    "EPA's role will be to comple-
ment the states in situations where
the state  does not have  adequate
enforcement authority and ability,"
explains Tschampa. "For example, a
state that doesn't have an Adminis-
trative Procedures Authority might
ask to use our Administrative Order
Authority  to  deal  with a difficult
enforcement situation. As we ascer-
tain which of our states are  able to
implement  delivery  prohibitions
effectively, it will help us figure out
where to  direct our enforcement

Variations on the Theme
In Vermont, there  is a brand new
provision on the books that prohibits
delivery to any tank  that  is  not
upgraded. According to the statute,
the Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC) must  visibly
designate on the premises the com-
pliance status of each regulated tank.
    Industry representatives in the
state liked the red  tag  idea,  but
because the statute called for the dis-
play  of a compliance placard, the
DEC, in cooperation with the mar-
keters, came up with a multicolored
system. If all tanks at a facility are in
compliance, then the facility gets a
green sticker. If some tanks are in
compliance, the facility gets a yellow
sticker, and the fuel delivery driver
needs to look for tanks that have red
tags,  which indicate that  a  tank
doesn't meet the standards and that
delivery is prohibited. If a facility has
no sticker, the DEC  advises distribu-
tors not to  deliver and to double-
check with the  UST program to
determine the compliance status. The
DEC  will also maintain a listing of
compliant tanks on its Web site.
    "This is going to make it easier to
enforce  the deadline," says  Ted
Unkles, UST Program Coordinator
for the Vermont DEC. "Even if some-
body intends to violate, he will find
it difficult, if not impossible,  to find
somebody to deliver the product."
    In Utah, tanks that are in compli-
ance  receive a  different color tag
each year, which allows delivery dri-
vers to quickly assess the status of
the tank. If a drop  is made into an
untagged tank, both the owner and
the distributor are fined $500 per
drop. The tags are currently made of
a plastic  laminate. However,  the
state will soon begin issuing a stur-
dier, metal tag.
    Montana will be issuing compli-
ance tags and certificates that are tied
into registration. If suppliers do not
see a tag, they should not deliver. At

                                                                                            LUSTLine Bulletin 30
the suggestion of distributors in the
state, each tag will have a serial num-
ber that corresponds to a specific
tank at a specific site. Distributors
were concerned that multitank own-
ers would move the compliance tags
around from facility to facility in
order  to have  fuel delivered to
untagged, noncompliant tanks.
    Kansas can fine distributors up
to $10,000 per incident if they deliver
to a facility that does not have an
annual operating permit. The distrib-
utor receives one courtesy call from
the state to notify him or her not to
deliver to a  nonpermitted facility.
"Our typical fine is $2,000,"  says
Juan Sexton. "This gets their atten-
tion, but it's not  steep  enough to
cause them to hire an attorney. It's
been extremely effective. As soon as
an owner/operator gets a 'no more
fuel delivery' call from the distribu-
tor, the owner/operator calls us to
find out what needs to be done."
    In Nebraska, the State Fire Mar-
shal's office carries out the UST pro-
gram. Clark Conklin, Manager of the
Flammable   Liquid Storage Tank
Division, explains that his division
can  write an order (not a notice of
violation) to the owner of a noncom-
pliant UST  system to  empty the
tank(s) and not operate the system or
store product until it is upgraded.
    "Whenever we write an order,"
says Conklin, "that  is  a formal
enforcement action that is enforced
by the court." In this case, while red
tags or compliance certificates are
not involved, Nebraka's UST author-
ities can effectively shut down a non-
compliant   system  and  enforce
against the owner or operator, not
the distributor, if the system is oper-
ating illegally.

Supply-Side Enforcement
In states with  delivery prohibition
provisions,  deciding whether  to
deliver fuel to a facility should be a
"no brainer." In states without such
provisions, however, fuel suppliers
will have to decide  what  to do.
"More and more, suppliers and dis-
tributors are asking us to verify that
tanks are in  compliance," says Kris
Ricketts, Tanks Section Chief  with
the Missouri Department of Natural
Resources, which does  not have a
delivery prohibition provision. "We
are still considering our options. We
                    .       ,
   ,» "There are few environmental
   jt .,,         r         ,
   programs that give the regulated
   ^community, in this case tank
 F owners, 10 years to comply. The
 tCf^R"""", *"$*• *<* t"lsf- *   *    " -      * i
    ^arketers whose tanks are in
 ?:)idmpliance have no sympathy for
 : •' noncompliance and would like to
 fsee aggressive enforcement—with
           no slack cut."
                         Jeff Letter
will put compliance information on
the Internet, and we are considering
a nonregulatory delivery restriction
    The widely circulated "Exxon
letter" to the company's distributors,
retailers, and customers drives home
the concerns  of  many suppliers
about potential liability where deliv-
eries  are to be made to USTs that
have not been upgraded. The letter
to the distributors states  that Exxon
has made a policy decision that it
will notify those customers who own
their USTs that product will not be
delivered into any UST after Decem-
ber 22,  1998  if it  has not been
upgraded. The UST owner will have
to provide Exxon with a copy of the
UST registration and certify that the
UST has been upgraded.
    Many oil companies and distrib-
utors are considering whether  to
make similar decisions.  "Suppliers
have  some  obligation to ascertain
whether they  will need to make
some changes in the way they do
business," says Jeff Leiter of the law
firm Collier, Shannon, Rill, and Scott,
and Environmental Counsel to the
Society of  Independent Gasoline
Marketers of America (SIGMA) and
the National Association of Conve-
nience Stores (NACS).. "There is the
issue  of whether the supplier is neg-
ligent if he delivers to a substandard
system after December 22,1998.
    "Anyone  supplying  product
needs to determine, first of all, if there
is a regulatory prohibition in a given
state," says Leiter. "If there isn't, then
he or she needs to determine what to
do as a supplier. How do suppliers
determine if a tank system is in com-
pliance? How do they ensure  that
they have acted with due diligence?
What is the supplier's duty?"
    Leiter  says  that  many of his
clients are also concerned about sup-
plying volumes  of product to state
and local agencies with USTs that are
not upgraded. "If they choose not to
upgrade," asks Leiter,  "what do sup-
pliers do? If they don't deliver, do
they get in trouble for  breach of con-
tract? The supplier is in an awkward
spot. The state environmental agen-
cies need to talk with suppliers about
what should be  done  in such situa-

The Marketers' Point of View
Petroleum  marketers  who  have
already spent the money to upgrade
or replace their UST systems are,
understandably, anxious to see the
deadline enforced so that the playing
field is more level with respect to the
economic advantage of noncompli-
ance. As one owner of  multiple facili-
ties who has made the investment
said, "If they don't enforce, I'm at the
head of the suckers line."
    "There are  few environmental
programs that  give  the regulated
community, in this case tank owners,
10 years to comply," says Jeff Leiter.
"The marketers  whose tanks are in
compliance have no  sympathy  for
noncompliance and would like to see
aggressive  enforcement—with  no
slack cut. If nonretailers, for exam-
ple, can't manage to operate their
USTs according to standards, they
have fueling  alternatives, such as
wet hose fueling, aboveground stor-
age tanks, and fleet cards."
    Most state program managers in
states that have instituted delivery
prohibitions  say that they  have
worked  closely with  their  state
petroleum marketers associations.
The marketers have been very sup-
portive of delivery prohibitions and
have often testified to their legisla-
tures on the UST program's behalf.
     "Marketers  are behind us 100
percent," says Juan Sexton. "In fact,
some of them would like to see us out
there enforcing on Christmas Eve."
    In many states without delivery
restrictions, marketers continue to
push for some means  to this end. At
the coaxing of  the state's oil mar-
keters,   for  example,  the  Texas
Natural   Resource  Conservation
Commission is considering the possi-
bility of instituting an annual self-
                • continued on page 4

 • When Push Comes to Shove
 from page 3	

 certification process  that  would
 require owners and operators to cer-
 tify that they are in compliance with
 all standards. Certified facilities
 would receive a decal or certificate
 that they would post conspicuously,
 and a fueling restriction would be
 placed on facilities without certifi-
    This spring, five national mar-
 keters  associations—PMAA,  API,
 SIGMA, NAGS, and SSDA—Joined
 together to send a letter and a packet
 of  information,  including  EPA's
 handbook, "Don't Wait Until 1998,"
 to members of Congress, to bring
 their attention to the importance of
 supporting  the 1998  deadline  and
 EPA's efforts to enforce it.
    The letter, dated June 2, 1998,
 states:  "Our industry hopes that
 Members of Congress recognize this
 commitment of resources already
 made by the vast majority of under-
 ground storage tank owners  and
 operators and oppose any effort to
 extend   the...deadline.  We  also
 request your support of the Agency,
 as they make a concerted effort to
 ensure  timely compliance  by all
 affected parties. Finally, we ask that
 you help inform constituents that
 may contact your office of where
 they can receive information and
 compliance assistance with regard to
 UST regulations."
    When all's said and done, states
    have been hammering home the
                message for years,
    and as of December 22, J998,
    something's gonna^ hajtajjive.
Other Enforcement Hammers
While many  state UST  program
managers acknowledge  that fuel
delivery restrictions would  make
their lives easier in terms of enforc-
ing the deadline, this option  is not
necessarily available to them.  States
must have specific legal authority to
allow them to restrict fuel delivery.
There is no such equivalent authority
under federal law.
    While  some  UST  regulators
groan at the thought of relying on
notices of violation or administrative
orders as their sole means of enforc-
Red Tag Restrictions
    Alaska (regulations pending)
    Nebraska (issue order to owner/operator to empty tanks and not to
    store product or use until upgraded)	
    North Carolina
    South Carolina
ing against recalcitrant owners and
operators, others have found that
this approach can get the job done
expeditiously. Herb Meade, Chief of
Compliance  with  the  Maryland
Department  of  the  Environment,
says the administrative enforcement
route works well in his state, mostly
because the Oil Control Program has
the support of two attorney generals
who are assigned to the program. "If
I present them with a case, I can have
an  Administrative Penalty in the
responsible  party's  hand within
eight days.
    "If I get a really  bad actor,"
explains Meade, "I can turn the case
over to the crimes unit, where the
violations are both civil and criminal.
If the violator doesn't comply, then it
becomes willful, and the crimes unit
pursues the matter as a criminal case.
That usually scares people. If it's a
real emergency,  like a  threat  to
human health and the environment,
we can get a court injunction to shut
down the facility in a day or two."
    State cleanup funds can also have
a great deal of enforcement clout.
Many have played and will play a
        major role in moving the compliance
        agenda along, primarily  by tying
        fund eligibility to compliance. The
        Iowa UST Fund, for example, actu-
        ally moved its upgrade deadline up
        by almost four years. To qualify for
        financial responsibility coverage pro-
        vided by the fund, UST systems had
        to be upgraded, replaced,  or closed
        by January  1, 1995. That  date was
        eventually rolled back to to Decem-
        ber 1998; however, those who did not
        meet the 1995 deadline have to pay a
        much higher premium—more than
        double. No tank system that is out of
        compliance will be eligible for cover-
        age after December 1998.

        When All's Said and Done
        When all's said and done, if s been 10
        years, and the word has been sent
        out to tank owners and operators in
        a variety of forms and fashions—
        direct mail, seminars, meetings with
        marketers, on-site visits, TV spots.
        Between EPA's Office  of Under-
        ground Storage Tanks, the states,
        and the trade associations, more than
        2  million  compliance  assistance
        materials have been distributed to

                                                                                        LUSTLine Bulletin 30
the regulated community. More than
750,000 copies of the popular EPA
publication, "Musts for USTs" have
been printed.
   "We've been in ongoing commu-
nication with our tank owners," says
Sheldon Schall. "This July, we sent
letters  to owners of noncompliant
tanks telling them, once again, about
the upgrade requirements. We identi-
fied each of their tanks according to
its registration ID number, the tank's
contents, the facility's name and ID
number,  the  street  address,  the
municipality, and finally, the upgrade
features  that,  according  to  our
records, were missing. These tank
owners know what they must do.
   "Clearly, many of the the owners
who are not bringing their tanks into
compliance have no  intention of
staying in business  after 1998," says
Schall. "Most nonretailers are realiz-
ing that they had better get rid of
their tanks or go aboveground. Right
now, we are seeing  that the procras-
tinators are experiencing an inability
to get contractors to  do the work.
They are also having difficulty in
getting UST  system components,
such as tanks."
   When all's said and done, states
have been hammering home the tank
compliance message for years, and
as of December 22,1998, something's
gonna hafta give.  •
                                                       '98 Deadline

                                       enforcement  Strategy Samplers
                                  The December 22,1998, deadline for upgrading, removing, or replacing USTs
                                  will call for a concerted enforcement effort on the part of U.S. EPA and the
                                  states. This sampler covers the U.S. EPA and Kansas enforcement strategies.
                                              U.S. EPA
Will Continues Enforcement in
Partnership with States
In early  August, EPA's Office of
Enforcement and Compliance Assur-
ance and Office of Underground
Storage  Tanks  published  EPA's
Strategy for Enforcement of Regulatory
Requirements Applicable  to  Under-
ground Storage Tank (UST) Facilities.
This strategy  emphasizes  EPA's
major messages:
• EPA will NOT extend the dead-
• States  and EPA fully intend to
  enforce the deadline.
• States will continue to be the pri-
  mary implementing agencies.
• EPA will continue to assist  and
  augment the state efforts.

States Will Have the Primary
Enforcement Responsibility
The philosophy that has guided the
UST program since its inception is
that states have the primary respon-
sibility for implementing and enforc-
ing  UST regulations  (except in
Indian Country). EPA has devoted a
major share of its resources to sup-
porting and strengthening state pro-
grams and will continue to do so.
   Accordingly, EPA expects states
to take the lead in securing compli-
ance with the 1998 deadline, includ-
ing working before the deadline to
monitor   and   enforce  existing
requirements, to continue reminding
UST owners/operators of their regu-
latory  responsibilities,  and   to
develop plans for postdeadline com-
pliance/enforcement. Following the
deadline, EPA expects states to iden-
tify noncompliant facilities expedi-
tiously and require them to promptly
upgrade,  replace, or close their USTs.
States will use a variety of enforce-
ment tools to  ensure  compliance,
including  administrative orders,
judicial action, and prohibition of
fuel delivery for noncompliant tanks.

When EPA Will Take Action
While  EPA will inspect facilities
throughout the country, the agency
intends to concentrate its efforts in
states that have less active compli-
ance/enforcement  programs.  EPA
will also try to be responsive to state
requests for assistance with specific
facilities or categories of facilities
(e.g., federal facilities). EPA regional
offices will continue to work  with
states to identify where federal activ-
ity is most needed.
     regional offices will continue to
   work with states to identify where
   r federal activity is most needed.

How EPA Will Deal with
EPA intends to bring enforcement
actions against noncompliant facili-
ties to ensure prompt  compliance
and to assess monetary penalties for
any period of noncompliance. It does
not intend to allow continued opera-
tion of substandard systems. EPA's
position is that noncomplying sys-
tems should be temporarily closed
until the work necessary to upgrade,
replace, or permanently close them is
complete. In cases where states have
the authority to shut down facilities
without initiating administrative or
judicial proceedings, EPA may refer
the matter to the state implementing
    EPA intends to use all of the
enforcement tools  available to it,
including   administrative  orders,

              • continued on page 6


LUmJtK Bulletin 30
• Enforcement Strategy
Samplers from page 5

field citations, requests for judicial
action requiring injunctive relief, and
information request letters.

Temporary Closure
In Us enforcement strategy, EPA clar-
ified that temporary closure is a
valid compliance option and that it is
permissible to upgrade, replace, or
permanently close an UST during
the period  of temporary closure.
Before a substandard tank can be
legally operated, however, it must be
upgraded or replaced. Substandard
tanks are required to permanently
close within 12 months of entering
into temporary closure, unless they
are subject to a site assessment and
receive an extension from the imple-
menting agency  (the implementing
agency is not obligated to provide
such an extension).
    EPA also clarified that substan-
dard USTs that are placed into tem-
porary closure after the deadline
should not remain in temporary clo-
sure after December 22, 1999, with-
out  an  extension.   As  indicated
earlier, such USTs would be subject
to a penalty for their period of non-

Indian Country
EPA is the  primary implementing
agency in Indian Country and will
continue to monitor and enforce UST
compliance in those  areas. Facilities
that are not owned by Native Ameri-
can tribes will be subject to enforce-
ment action in the same manner as
facilities located elsewhere, consis-
tent with EPA's  enforcement strat-
egy. Tribally owned and operated
facilities will be  subject to enforce-
ment action in accordance with exist-
ing EPA guidance.

Additional Information
The full  text of EPA's strategy  is
available on the agency's Web site at
SZin.dex.htm. EPA's Web site is also
an  excellent reference point for
obtaining a variety of compliance
assistance materials and for links to
state UST/ LUST programs.  EPA's
RCRA Hotline  ((800) 424-9346) is
also available to answer regulatory
questions or to provide copies of the
enforcement strategy and other pub-
Permit Cycle Adjustment
That's More than Just a Blip
Since 1991, Kansas has had a compli-
ance   enforcement  process   that
involves an annual permitting cycle
that runs from August 1 through
July 31.  In  deference to the 1998
deadline, the timing of this cycle will
be temporarily modified. Here's how
it  will work. This past July, the
Kansas Department of Health and
Environment (DHE) issued a 1998
operating permit with an expiration
date of February 28,1999, for USTs in
compliance    with   predeadline
requirements. A second operating
permit will  be issued in February
1999 for USTs in compliance with all
of the UST requirements.
  "We focus our inspection efforts on
 facilities that don't have permits and
;   these permits are contingent on
"   compliance. For this abbreviated
  1998 deadline cycle, we will follow
 Ml I  I III 11II I  111 111 II111 111 III Mill I MIIIBIIIMi'W'li!:*!	llllliU'l'TWillll'''!1:!111'1!;.,:'''
  the same enforcement process that
t    we do during a normal cycle."
                       Juan Sexton
    In January 1999, warning letters
will be sent to owners of USTs that
are not in compliance, informing
them of their options. Inspections of
facilities with noncompliant USTs
will begin in March and civil penal-
ties will be assessed against anyone
found operating a  noncompliant
UST, as well  as any transporter or
supplier who places product into one
of these tanks. On August 1, 1999,
the annual permitting cycle  will
return to normal.

Hammering  Home the
Kansas'  enforcement  process is
geared toward "cutting to the chase"
and leveraging limited resources.
"We  hammer, hammer,  hammer
constantly," say Juan Sexton, UST
Coordinator for the DHE. "We focus
our inspection efforts on facilities
that don't have permits and these
permits are contingent on compli-
ance. For this abbreviated 1998 dead-
line cycle, we  will follow the same
enforcement process that we do dur-
ing a normal cycle."
    In the normal cycle, the process
moves along in the following way. In
March of each year,  registration
renewal forms are sent to UST own-
ers, who are expected to review the
form for changes and submit a third-
party verification of changes in com-
pliance with UST regulations where
needed. By June, notices of noncom-
pliance are sent to owners with USTs
that do  not fully meet the require-
ments. These notices detail the com-
pliance deficiencies for each tank and
inform owners that an operating per-
mit will not be issued until DHE
receives documentation of compli-
    In August, new UST operating
permits must be posted at each facil-
ity. DHE recommends that owners
send copies of the permits to their
suppliers each year. Notices of non-
compliance are sent to owners who
did not receive permits for each UST,
informing them that they must dis-
continue use of noncompliant USTs
and that the status of the USTs will
be changed to temporarily out of ser-
vice if  the  department does not
receive  documentation of compli-
ance within 30 days.
   DHE  staff perform targeted
inspections and gather evidence to
issue civil penalties in cases where
USTs are  being operated without
permits. Staff also give a "courtesy
call" to fuel suppliers of facilities that
are discovered to be operating with-
out a permit to inform them that fur-
ther deliveries will  result in the
issuance of a civil penalty to the sup-
    "This effectively cuts off the fuel
supply," says Sexton. "So effectively
that, so far, we have obtained com-
pliance   without  issuing  many
administrative orders."
   Throughout the remainder of the
cycle, the DHE sends out notices to
owners  with  noncompliant USTs
advising them that their tank status
has been changed to "temporarily
out of service" and letting them
know what  they have to do. DHE
also provides extensive educational
outreach to all tank owners. •

from Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Petroleum Equipment Institute
Joint Industry Survey  of UST Enforcement  Strategies
Available on  PEI's Home Page
     Those of you who read this column in the June
     issue of LUSTLine know by now that six trade
     associations gathered forces and resources over
the summer to survey state and territorial UST pro-
gram managers about their enforcement policies and
procedures. The survey, which was mailed on August
10 to all UST program managers, asked these ques-
• What is the  size of your state's registered under-
  ground storage tank population?
• What percentage of your active tank population cur-
  rently does not meet the 1998 requirements?

• Does your state regulate heating oil USTs? If yes, are
  these tanks  subject  to the  1998 deadline require-
• What are the compliance deadlines in your state?

• How many full-time equivalent staff (e.g., inspec-
  tors, office personnel)  will be enforcing the 1998
• Will any of your enforcement work be carried out by
  state personnel other than employees from your
  department (e.g., weights and measures, fire mar-
  shal's office)?
• Will any of your enforcement work be carried out by
  personnel other than state employees (e.g., licensed
• If your state has a cleanup fund, will releases from
  noncompliant tank systems  be eligible for reim-
  bursement after the 1998 deadline?
• What are your plans for continued outreach to the
   regulated community?
• What methods will you use to identify compli-
   ance / noncompliance?
•  Do you have a strategy for prioritizing noncompli-
   ant facilities for enforcement?
•  If you intend to prioritize noncompliant facilities,
   indicate who/how you will target.

•  Have you set up a post-12/22/98 strategy for mak-
   ing site visits to facilities that your data show are out
   of compliance?
•  Have you set up a post-12/22/98 strategy for mak-
   ing site visits to facilities that your data show are in
• When you inspect a facility after 12/22/98, what
  will you look for?

• Once you have determined that a facility is out of
  compliance, what will the state do?

• What are the financial consequences of noncompli-
  ance with the December 1998 requirements?

• What options do noncompliant owners/operators
  have after 12/22/98?
• Will information on enforcement actions be avail-
  able to the public?
• How will you verify that a facility has come into
  compliance after an enforcement action has been
• How many inspections do you intend to perform in
• In the long term, how frequently do you anticipate
  that regulated facilities will be inspected in your
• Does your state have a plan that is designed to deal
  specifically with government-owned tanks?

    The Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) is one of
six trade associations that developed the survey. Since
PEI serves petroleum marketing equipment manufac-
turers, distributors, and installers, in addition to their
customers, the association decided to make the survey
responses available to everyone via the Internet. To
access responses to a particular survey, first click on the
UST Enforcement Survey link on PEI's home page,
( and then click on the state or territory
that you are interested in reviewing. PEI has already
posted completed surveys from more than three dozen
states and territories, and more are being added to the
site weekly.
    PEI expects some enforcement procedures to
change after they are included on its Web site. PEI will
amend the response to reflect the jurisdiction's most
current enforcement policy as soon as it is notified of
the change by the UST program manager.
    If a state or territory is not included on the PEI site,
it is because the program manager elected  not to
respond to the survey. Please contact that state directly
for the information you need—do not call PEI. •

 LUSTUne Bulletin 30
                       Leak Prevention
                      UST System Management:
                      The  Key to the Success  of the 1998
 by Pat Rounds
       After  10  years of  advance
       notice, the 1998 deadline for
       terminating substandard UST
 systems is only weeks  away. But
 complying with the tank standards is
 only a starting point for what should
 be an ongoing process for the long-
 term safe operation of UST systems.
 The long-term goal should be proper
 system management and the elimina-
 tion of future releases. Without good
 UST system management, system
 upgrades and replacements may pro-
 vide little or no long-term  environ-
 mental protection.
    In Iowa, to qualify for financial
 responsibility coverage, UST systems
 were required  to  be  upgraded,
 replaced, or closed by January 1,
 1995. In an effort to understand how
 well the deadline will address  future
 environmental pollution, the Iowa
 Underground Storage Tank  Fund
 has taken a closer look at some of the
 UST systems that were upgraded
 prior to the federal deadline.
    Through our investigations, we
 found several causes for concern that
 could   jeopardize  UST  system
 integrity into the future:
 •  Leak  Detection  Many owners
   who used to keep careful inven-
   tory  records  have  abandoned
   inventory recordkeeping in favor
   of automatic tank gauges (ATGs).
   While this move should be a posi-
   tive step  toward effective leak
   detection, it may be just the  oppo-
   site. AH too often, the facility
   owner or operator fails to under-
   stand the basic operating princi-
   ples of the ATG as a leak detection
   device. He or she is lulled  into a
   false sense of security. This  situa-
   tion is a recipe for disaster.
   We had cases where installers
   wired "around" line leak detec-
   tion systems when the alarms
   began sounding immediately after
   UST systems were placed into
   operation. Assuming there  was a
  problem with the line leak detec-
  tors, not the piping, they bypassed
  the leak detection systems and
  then turned the UST system back
  on. The rest is history. Corrective
  action continues today.

• Integrity Assessment Vendors
  utilized methods under an emer-
  gency ASTM standard to deter-
  mine if cathodic protection could
  be applied to tanks more than 10
  years old. However, many of the
  evaluations did not comply with
  the  regulatory   requirements.
  Therefore,  the tanks  were not
  properly upgraded.

• Cathodic Protection  Sixty-four
  percent of  Iowa's insured tank
  population consists of steel tanks.
  Eighty-three  percent  of these
  tanks required the addition of
  some form of cathodic protection
  or internal lining to meet upgrade
  standards. Seventy-five percent of
  these tanks added cathodic pro-
  tection alone, 8 percent relied on
  internal lining alone, and approxi-
  mately 17 percent utilized both
  cathodic protection and internal
  lining.  On sites where cathodic
  protection was added, the follow-
  ing major concerns were discov-
  -  Field crews installed cathodic
    protection systems by drilling
    through the spill catch basins to
    install portions of the system.
    The process rendered the spill
    catch basins useless.
  -  Field crews failed to properly
    insulate buried electrical con-
    nections, resulting in rapid fail-
    ure of anode lead wires and
    loss of cathodic protection for
    the UST systems.
  -  Field crews installed improp-
    erly engineered  systems. Sys-
    tems were installed that were
    both under- and over-sized. As
    a result, the systems were not
    provided   with    adequate
    cathodic protection. A mass-
     marketing approach of selling
     "one size fits  all"  systems
     seems to have brought about
     this  situation.  Repair  and
     replacement continues today.
  -  Impressed current  cathodic
     protection systems have been
     found turned off or set at incor-
     rect levels. In some situations,
     systems were found hooked up
     to  power  sources  that are
     turned off each night, render-
     ing the cathodic protection sys-
     tems operational only during
     business hours.

• Internal Lining   Of the steel
  tanks that needed to be upgraded,
  approximately 25 percent were
  upgraded using internal lining.
  Based on a video inspection of the
  interiors of 55 tanks with linings
  ranging from 2  to 12 years old,
  and  based  on  two   separate
  reviews, as many as 24 of the 55
  tanks indicated possible problems
  with the linings. Additional physi-
  cal inspections are planned for the
  future. (See sidebar on page 9.)

• Spill/Overfill  Prevention  In
  some instances,  spill buckets, or
  catch basins, are being used to
  hold the overfill contents of a
  delivery hose. Spill buckets are
  designed to  catch drips—many
  are only five gallons in capacity—
  and they cannot adequately con-
  tain a spill. If a delivery hose must
  be emptied into a  spill bucket,
  then the overfill prevention sys-
  tem is not working properly.
  Overfill devices may not be work-
  ing properly because transporters
  have tampered with them. Many
  owners use  overfill equipment
  that involves a tank shut-off valve
  in the fill tube. Owners have dis-
  covered that transporters have
  removed the overfill equipment to
  expedite their fuel drop. As  a
  result, the tanks no longer have
  overfill prevention.

                                                                                           LUSTLine Bulletin 30
• Double-Walled Piping Vendors
  attempted to replace flexible pri-
  mary  lines while  leaving sec-
  ondary  lines   in   place.  The
  secondary lines were damaged
  during the process and no longer
  provided secondary containment.
  To correct the problem, complete
  repair or replacement of the sec-
  ondary line  and secondary-line
  tightness tests were required.

Lessons Learned
Although meeting the minimum fed-
eral requirements  should   both
reduce the number of system leaks
and increase early detection of those
leaks, some systems will still  leak.
Numerous problems can occur with
both new  systems and retrofitted
systems—ATGs not  gauging the
entire volume of the tank; leak detec-
tion methods  that are. improperly
applied;  catch basins filled  with
water and having no capacity for
spills; damaged or removed overfill
devices; interstitial spaces of double-
walled lines filling with water and
then freezing and cracking primary
piping; failed cathodic protection
systems;  failed linings; and ordering
more fuel than tank capacity.
    All such problems can result in a
product release. Proper tank installa-
tion and  management can eliminate
many,  if not all, of these potential
problems. Here are a few tips for the
tank owner that we picked up in our

Tips for the Tank Owner

 • When an automatic tank gauge or
  electronic line leak detector indi-
  cates there is a problem, believe it!
  Shut the system down and have it
  checked  out.   Although  false
  alarms are possible, ignoring such
  alarms can result in catastrophic
 • Be sure your installer is licensed
  in your  state (if applicable) and
  certified by the manufacturer of
  the equipment he or she is going
  to  install.  Out-of-state,  "here
  today, gone tomorrow"  contrac-
  tors may leave you with less than
  you anticipated.
 • Use the services of a third-party
  inspector for all installation proce-
  dures. A little extra money spent
  at the time of installation may help
                    Iowa's Tank Lining Study
     The Iowa UST Fund Board conducted video inspections of 55 tanks at 39
     sites across Iowa. The tanks ranged from 4 to 43 years old. The ages of
     the linings ranged from 2 to 12 years. Tanks with and without cathodic
protection were evaluated.
    Based upon reviews conducted by two contractors, possible concerns
were identified with 24 of the 55 tanks inspected. Concerns ranged from
minor irregularities in the thickness of the lining, to discoloration and cracks,
to areas where the lining had completely delaminated from the side of the
    National Leak Prevention Association (NLPA) standards require that lin-
ing material be inspected by way of manned entry into the tank. Although
video inspections do not meet this criteria, investigators felt that catastrophic
failure of the lining and possible lining flaws could be determined through the
video inspections. We do, however, plan to conduct follow-up manned entry
inspections to determine the status of the linings that appear to fail the stan-
dards. Upon completion of these inspections, a final report will be available.

    For more information on the Iowa tank lining study, contact Patrick Rounds, •
 Administrator, Iowa UST Fund, WOO Illinois St., Suite B, Des Moines, Iowa 50314.
   identify an improper installation
   procedure and allow the installer
   to fix the error before the system is
   paved over and turned on.
 • Inspect cathodic protection sys-
   tems   on   an  annual  basis.
   Although this testing interval is
   more frequent than that required
   by federal law, such inspections
   are not expensive  and will pro-
   vide the owner with more rapid
   identification of a system that is
   not fully protected.
 • Recognize that lining is a tempo-
   rary upgrade. Be sure  to review
   your warranty and have the lining
   inspected before  the  warranty
   expires—every 5 years is desir-
 Owners need to be educated on the
 proper management of their UST
 systems. The education can come in
 the form of system manuals, indus-
 try newsletters, seminars, and regu-
 latory newsletters directed at helping
 owners troubleshoot potential prob-
 lems and manage their UST systems
 appropriately. Failure to  manage a
 system properly  should result  in
 enforcement action.

 Compliance Is a Business
 UST  standards  are   minimum
 requirements. If an owner or opera-
 tor cannot meet minimum federal
 requirements, even after a 10-year
 window during which owners had
 the opportunity to finance the neces-
 sary upgrades, then most likely he or
she cannot afford to properly man-
age and maintain the systems. It also
stands to reason that society should
not be subject to the potential harms
caused by these systems.
    Ron Marr, Executive Vice Presi-
dent of the Petroleum Marketers of
Iowa, maintains that the savvy petro-
leum marketer will go a step further
than  minimum  compliance.  He
believes that  the  majority of his
members look at compliance as a
business issue, where a tank replace-
ment or upgrade is part of an envi-
ronmental program, not a regulatory
    "The savvy owner will surpass
the  minimum requirements  and
install a system that makes the busi-
ness more valuable and easier to sell
in the long term," says Marr. Com-
bining upgrades with pump island
relocation and store-front "facelifts"
increases the value of the business
and gives  the  owner a marketing
    The 1998 upgrade deadline is
only  a starting point. Compliance
with the UST standards is, indeed, a
long-term business issue and not just
another regulatory requirement to
install hardware  that can then be
ignored and forgotten. Proper tank
management and unceasing  vigi-
lance are the keys to maintaining
long-term environmental protection
and a profitable business. •

   Pat Rounds is Administrator of the
  Iowa UST Fund. For more informa-
 tion, contact Pat at

 WSTUitf Bulletin 30
                         nicalty Speaking
                          by Marcel Moreau
   -Marcel Moreau is a nationally     £
 recognized petroleum storage specialist  '
whose column, Tank-nically Speaking,  „
  is a regular feature of LUSTLine. As   j
always, we welcome your comments and  j
 questions. If there are technical issues  s
  that you would like to have Marcel
      ii discuss^ let us know.         t
 The  Holes  in Our UST  Systems
 I used to sleep soundly at night. I used to believe that the leaking under-
 ground storage tank (LUST)problem had a technological solution that
 could overcome human frailty. I have long been, and still remain, an
 ardent proponent of secondary containment systems for petroleum
 storage, I have for a long time thought that secondary containment,
 though not perfect, would adequately protect our environment from
 petroleum contamination. A few months ago, however, I had a
 ntde awakening,

 A Troubling Case
 The  newspaper  headlines an-
 nounced bluntly that MTBE (methyl
 tertiary-butyl ether) had been found
 in a monitoring well located between
 a gas station and a public water sup-
 ply well that serves several thousand
 people. The news reports indicated
 that a new convenience store/gas
 station facility, barely 10 months old,
 had reported that MTBE had been
 found in an observation well in the
 tank backfill.
    The site had no previous history
 of gasoline storage. The storage facil-
 ity was state-of-the-art, with double-
 walled fiberglass tanks and flexible
 piping, dispenser sumps, tank top
 piping sumps, and spill containment
 and overfill prevention. Only the
 Stage I  vapor recovery  riser and
 Stage II vapor return piping were
 single-walled. Sensors continuously
 monitored  the piping sumps and
 tank interstitial spaces for evidence
 of releases.
    As part of a due diligence inves-
 tigation associated with a property
 transfer, samples that had been taken
 from the facility's observation wells
 tested positive for MTBE. Because of
 this, a monitoring well some 1,000
 feet away that was halfway between
 the convenience store and the public
 wells was also sampled. This well
 also tested positive for MTBE. Soon
 low levels of MTBE appeared in the
 nearby public water supply well. As
a result, that well was dosed, and an
alternate well a few hundred feet far-
 ther away was put into operation.
                                   Where's the Leak?
                                   Immediately, the search
                                   was on for a leak.
                                   Multiple tight-
                                   ness tests of
                                   tanks  and
                                   of tanks
                                   and piping were dry. Was it a vapor
                                   leak? (See "The Great Escape..." on
                                   page 18.) A helium test, where the
                                   storage system is filled with helium
                                   and then a helium detector is used to
                                   check for leakage, was  conducted
                                   and,  at first,  indicated  a  positive
                                   result. Helium levels in the area over
                                   the tank, as measured through holes
                                   in the  concrete cover pad, were
                                   higher than expected.
                                      To pinpoint the leak, the con-
                                   crete mat over the tanks was sawed
                                   into large blocks and then carefully
                                   lifted off and removed. The gravel
                                   backfill over the tanks was  vacu-
                                   umed away so as to leave the piping
                                   as undisturbed as possible.
                                      With the tank  top and piping
                                   exposed,   the  helium  test  was
                                   repeated.  This time, the helium
                                   detector was placed right up against
                                   the joints and the piping so that the
                                   exact location of the leak could be
                                      Quite a few interested parties
                                   were watching, including the state
                                   environmental agency,  the tank
installer, and several representatives
of the tank owner. But no leak was
found. A dead end again.

Spillage Perhaps?
A review of inventory records pro-
vided  a  clue.  There were four
instances where the  records pro-
vided strong indications that the reg-
ular tank had been overfilled. This
was evidenced by a shortage of sev-
eral hundred gallons in the regular
product inventory, while the pre-
mium product showed an overage of
similar magnitude. The most likely
scenario was that more regular prod-
uct had been ordered than could fit
into the tank, so the excess was deliv-
ered into the premium tank. This is
known in the trade as "cross-drop-
    The reason excess product had
been ordered was perhaps because
the fuel manager failed to recognize
that the "10,000-gallon tank" had an
actual maximum capacity of 9,728
gallons. This  volume was  further

                                                                                           LUSTLim Bulletin 30
reduced by a float vent valve that
had been set conservatively at 18
inches below tank top, yielding an
actual tank capacity of only 8,459
    Given the operational character-
istics of float vent valves (see LUST-
Line #21), it seems likely that the
delivery person would have to have
dealt with a hose full of product and
that  some  spillage  could  have

By What Route?
The spill containment manholes at
this site were below-grade models,
which is good in terms of keeping
surface water out, but leaves some
gravel exposed around the rim of the
spill container. Product could have
infiltrated this backfill area. But then
why was there no significant pres-
ence  of  any other  gasoline  con-
stituents in the groundwater in the
tank excavation and no evidence of
contamination in the gravel backfill
around the fill pipe?
    For this scenario to be credible,
we must assume that the other gaso-
line constituents  volatilized and
biodegraded, while the MTBE was
carried by precipitation down to the
groundwater.  Because the backfill
was clean and well aerated, and the
investigation of the site  occurred
about five months after the last clear
indication of an overfill incident in
the inventory records, this scenario
seems somewhat plausible.
    Another possible route for MTBE
contamination is being explored by
Dr. Gary Robbins at the University of
Connecticut. Robbins is finding that
MTBE is appearing in groundwater
beneath dispensing areas, apparently
originating  with spillage during
vehicle fueling. Because of its solu-
bility, MTBE can be transported by
rainwater  to  groundwater  while
other gasoline constituents  are atten-
uated  or volatilized. It is possible
that surface spillage at the dispensers
could have contributed MTBE conta-
mination to our mystery spill as well.

A Bit of History
Until the  publication of the EPA's
tank testing study in 1988, a leak rate
of 0.05 gallon per hour had been the
longstanding industry standard for
leak detection accuracy. This number
apparently originated with a study
that concluded that leaks of 0.05 gal-
lon or less assimilated naturally and
did not pose a significant contamina-
tion threat.
    While the actual magnitude of a
"no-adverse-effect leak rate" could
be debated at great length, I think the
presence of MTBE in today's motor
fuels would add a new dimension to
the equation.  The incident cited
above, as well as several others that I
am aware of involving significant
MTBE contamination resulting from
automobile accidents, where  limited
amounts of .fuel were spilled, casts a
new light on the significance of gaso-
line spillage. Volumes of  spilled
gasoline that previously would have
had no adverse effects can cause sig-
nificant damage when MTBE is pre-
    While the official EPA position is
that there is no "allowable" leak rate,
the evaluation protocols for the vari-
ous leak detection methods deter-
mine  threshold leak  rates  below
which a storage system is assumed to
be tight. The nagging question is
whether a leak detection standard of
0.2 or 0.1 gallon per hour is adequate
to protect human health and the envi-
ronment when MTBE is present.

What Does the Future Hold?
While  we are no doubt better off
from a leaking storage system per-
spective today than we were 10 years
ago, we are not out of the woods yet,
and probably never will be. In the
next decade  we will likely  still be
paying for some sins of the past
decade, will still be dealing with the
foibles of human nature, and  will be
facing an ever more prevalent chemi-
cal specter with the initials MTBE.
    So what  possible routes  of
escape might gasoline and its con-
stituents (MTBE in particular) find in
our future fueling systems? Here are
some   working hypotheses  that  I
think are worth keeping in mind:

• There are  holes in our UST
systems, but they are below the
detection  threshold for leak
detection technology.
One of my favorite stories involves a
double-walled fiberglass tank. Dur-
ing a routine regulatory inspection,
the regulator discovered that the
interstitial sensor had been discon-
nected. A subsequent investigation
revealed that the interstitial space
was half full  of  product, which
explained why the sensor had been
disabled.  The owner insisted that
there was no problem, suggesting
that a delivery had mistakenly been
made into the interstitial space and
pointing to several tightness tests
with "tight" results.
    The product was pumped out of
the interstitial space,  yet  a small
amount of product, about a gallon
every couple of days, kept reappear-
ing. This was initially explained as
residual product   draining from
inside the ribs of the tank, but the
product continued to mysteriously
    The owner insisted that every-
thing was.fine, but the environmen-
tal agency was suspicious. Finally a
dye was introduced into the product
in the tank, and a few days later, the
dye appeared in the product that
was being removed from the intersti-
tial  space.  Subsequent internal
inspection uncovered a pry bar lying
in the bottom of the tank at the fill
opening, and  a small impact fracture
just beyond the edge of the striker
plate in the bottom of the tank.
    A likely scenario is that a deliv-
ery driver, in the process of chop-
ping ice out  of the spill container
(after removing the fill cap), had
slipped and dropped the bar down
the fill pipe.  The point is that this
leak would never have been detected
had it not been for  secondary con-
tainment (the leak rate was less than
0.1  gph), but  clearly  could have
resulted in the release of a significant
amount of product over time.
    In  another recent case,  a tank
gauge had apparently failed to detect
a leak that had gotten into some
underground utilities. Review of the
automatic tank gauge  (ATG) test
records indicated a small, consistent
loss—evidently  not   enough   to
exceed  the leak threshold for  the
device and fail a leak test.

• There are  holes in our UST
systems, but we are  not looking
in the right places for them.
Leaks of petroleum vapors from UST
systems have not been  a traditional
target of leak detection efforts, and it
may well be that historically the mag-
nitude of these releases has been
              • continued on page 12

• Tank-nlcally Speaking/row page 11
below the "no-adverse-effect leak
rate." Although I do not yet know of
any instance where a vapor release
has been the source of an environmen-
tal problem, theoretical considerations
indicate that it could be a possible ori-
gin for MTBE  contamination. (See
"The Great Escape..." on page 18.)
   The  potential  magnitude  of
vapor releases has been increased by
the widespread use of pressure/vac-
uum  vents that maintain a  small
pressure on the vapor  space of the
tank, thus increasing  the rate of
vapor emissions from any holes near
the top of the tank.
   Of the leak detection tools at our
disposal, only full system tightness
testing and soil vapor monitoring are
likely to detect vapor leakage from
storage systems. Soil vapor monitor-
ing is rarely used and tank tightness
testing  will  be phased out with
inventory control. Storage systems
that  are subject to Stage II vapor
recovery regulations are subject to
periodic tightness  testing of  the
vapor space, but these are a rela-
tively small percentage of the tank
population at this  time. So, for  a
great many  storage systems,  the
tightness of the tank ullage  space
and  the piping that handles only
vapors is never determined.
   Other  storage system compo-
nents that escape routine testing are
the piping sumps on top of tanks and
dispenser sumps. While sumps that
contain some amount of water are a
fairly common sight, I always won-
der whether the  sumps that don't
contain water are dry because no
water is getting in or because what-
ever water is getting in is also leak-
ing out.
   As sumps age and are subject to
frost  action,  possible  tank  move-
ment, and assorted maintenance
activities, it would seem reasonable
that,  at some point,  they  could
develop holes that would compro-
mise  their leak detection role. Yet
sumps are not routinely evaluated
for liquid tightness.

•  There are  holes in our LIST
systems, but the technology to
detect  them   is  not   being
installed properly.
Recently, I heard of a case where sec-
ondary containment piping had been
installed, but leaked product failed
to make its way back to the piping
sump where the sensor lay in wait to
detect it. If leak detection technology
is not properly installed, it may not
operate properly. This problem,  of
course, can  result in undetected

• There are holes in our UST
systems,  and  they  are  being
detected, but no one is  paying
The routine disregard of alarm sig-
nals by facility personnel is a prob-
lem   of  epidemic  proportion.   I
recently heard of a facility where the
ATG recorded that an alarm indica-
tion had been turned off 47 times in
28 days. This problem is twofold in
that false alarms that result from
poor equipment design or installa-
tion occur too frequently, and facility
personnel have not been made suffi-
ciently conscious of the potential sig-
nificance of an alarm going off.

• There are no holes in our UST
systems, but product is being
spilled during deliveries.
As illustrated by the story at the
beginning of this article, spill events
associated with deliveries continue
to occur and can result in significant
environmental problems, especially
when MTBE is involved. A number
of factors contribute to this problem,
including the owner's lack of aware-
ness of actual storage tank capacity,
the ineffectiveness of the overfill pre-
vention technology we commonly
use  (see LUSTLine #21),  and the
delivery personnel's financial incen-
tive to be quick rather than careful
(especially those who are paid by the
truckload, not by the hour).

• There are no holes in our UST
systems, but product is being
spilled during dispensing.
The possibility that routine spillage
of gasoline by the end user is a sig-
nificant source of gasoline releases is
very  disconcerting.  Since  talking
with   Gary  Robbins   about his
research, I have begun to notice that
evidence  of gasoline spillage  is
everywhere—concrete mats around
dispensers,   fast-food  restaurant
parking lots, and on-street parking
areas all display ample evidence of
how often end users spill gasoline.
(Did you ever stop to think why the
area around dispensers is  paved
with  concrete  and  not  asphalt?
Because we learned  long ago that
asphalt is  rapidly  degraded  by
spillage during fueling.)
    Historically, this spillage may
have  been  of  little  consequence
because   of  volatilization   and
biodegradation, but again, the intro-
duction of MTBE has changed this
    The mathematics of consumer
spillage look something like this: In
1997, we, as a nation, dispensed
about 126 billion gallons of gasoline.
If we assume that the  consumer pur-
chases an average of 10 gallons per
fuel dispensing event and that one in
1,000 fueling operations results in the
spillage of one cup of gasoline (that's
an individual driver spilling one cup
about every 19  years if you fill up
once a week), then about 750,000 gal-
lons of fuel are spilled every year at
fueling facilities alone. Is this a num-
ber we can live with? Is this a num-
ber we can live with if MTBE is part
of the picture?

The Watchwords
So here are some watchwords we
should keep in mind for the next

• Out of sight must not be out of
  Tank management must be an
  active and ongoing process on the
  part of tank  owners and  opera-

• Do it right!
  Proper storage system installation
  and maintenance  work is more
  important than ever.

• Early retirement is not an
  The tank regulator's job is  far
  from over.

    I'm also considering the possibil-
ity that the most intractable part of
the underground petroleum storage
problem may prove to be sociologi-
cal rather than technological: Can we
complete 15.75 million underground
tank filling operations and 12.5 bil-
lion automotive fueling operations
each year without spilling a drop? •

                                                                                     LUSTLine Bulletin 30
  State Cleanup Funds
Fraud  and Abuse
What State  Cleanup Funds Can  Learn from
by Bob Cohen

     This June, the lobby of the hotel
     where  state  cleanup  fund
     administrators met for their
annual conference  was humming
with chronicles of contractor fraud
and  abuse. The stories contained
intrigue, politics,  cunning,  and,
often, a sad ending—the bad guys
got away with it. Few fund adminis-
trators discuss the matter publicly
for fear of personal reprisals via law-
suits or increased internal scrutiny
by zealous inspector-generals. Fund
administrators often find themselves
in a lose/lose situation.
   Losses resulting from fraud and
abuse affect the larger LUST commu-
nity in the following ways:
• Fund administrators have fewer
  dollars available, which leads to
  solvency issues and endless com-
• EPA must deal with the issue of
  insolvent funds as financial assur-
  ance mechanisms.
• Major oil companies, which are
  likely to clean up releases with or
  without the fund, are taking the
  risk that money will not be there
  for repayment.
• Marketers, who are  less likely to
  clean up until compelled to or
  until funds are available, risk the
  liabilities of contaminated prop-
•  Financial institutions/insurance
   companies are likely to be  left
   with significant financial respon-

It is in every stakeholder's interest to
be aware of and use proactive mea-
sures to deal with fraud and abuse.

Dealing with the Problem
With the  formation of an ad  hoc
Cleanup Crime/Fraud  Task Force at
the 1997 State Fund Administrators
Conference, fund  administrators,
attorney  generals,  and regulators
from several states began giving the
issue serious attention and coordina-
tion. I became involved
because I had been working
on the Florida Auditor Gen-
eral's $5 million abuse and fraud
audit of the billion-dollar Florida
LUST fund.
    It is difficult to estimate overall
losses due to fraud and abuse. Based
on conversations with fund adminis-
trators, losses may well be in the
range of 20 to 40 percent. Abuse of
the system can happen to different
degrees. While most contractors do
an honest job, few actually close sites
in an expedient manner. A smaller
percentage engage in abusive behav-
ior and an even smaller percentage
in criminal fraud. Yet these few "bad
apples" can have devastating effects
on  fund  solvency while generally.
lowering the standards of accept- .
able behavior.

The Medicare Analogy
Fortunately (or unfortunately),
state fund administrators are not ::.
alone. The Medicare fund has had -
problems that have clear analogies to
the state funds, and the good news is
that the Medicare program has come
up with some tools to detect and
deter abuse. Some of the tools that
have  been  used  successfully in
Medicare fraud prevention  and
detection can  be applied  to  state
cleanup funds.
    What do we mean when we
speak of fraud and abuse? As it hap-
pens, the definitions of fraud and
abuse used in Medicare are appro-
priate for state cleanup funds:

Fraud - " a matter of intentional, fla-
grant violations of Medicare rules—
deliberate deception, a misrepresen-
tation of facts for unlawful gain from
the Medicare program."
Abuse - "a lesser offense. It refers
to:  incidents and practices that
directly or indirectly cause financial
losses to the Medicare program or to
beneficiaries and their families, and
practices inconsistent with accepted
and  sound  medical  or business
habits. Abuse is typically a matter of
excessive charges or unnecessary
costs to the Medicare program with
improper billing practices."
   In this article, I use "fraud" and
"abuse"  interchangeably, because
there is often a fine line between
them. I also use the terms "contrac-
tor" and "consultant" interchange-
             • continued on page 14

 LUSTLinr Bultetm 30
 • Fraud and Abuse from page 13
 Abusive Behavior
 State cleanup funds vary in struc-
 ture, from reimbursing  the tank
 owner directly to paying the contrac-
 tor, based on preapproved prices.
 Depending upon the fund's structure
 and controls, some abuses may be
 more prominent than others. The sig-
 nificant point here is that all funds
 are subject to some measure of fraud
 and abuse.
    Here is a list of some abuses that
 are common to  both Medicare and
 LUST funds. All of these abuses are
 not applicable to every state cleanup
 •  Upcoding - Medicare billings are
   based on a  complex system of
   numerical codes used to designate
   various diagnoses  and  proce-
   dures.  Abusive physicians will
   charge Medicare for  more com-
   plex tasks than actually per-
   formed, LUST site  contractors
   may upcode by billing for more
   expensive services than required—
   for example, billing for a  pump
   test  instead   of  a  slug  test.
   Recently, a former cleanup con-
   tractor confessed to me that her
   former employer abused Florida's
   preapproval program by upcod-
   Ing. In this case, highly paid engi-
   neers' prices  were charged for
   tasks performed by  entry-level
•  Unbundling - Medicare has spe-
   cial  reimbursement  rates  for
   groups of procedures, such as a
   series of blood tests. Some health
   care providers will increase billing
   and profit by unbundling  the
   group and billing individually.
   Similarly, LUST programs often
   bundle various items in unit price
   schedules. Unbundling occurs
   when individual items, generally
   included in overhead, are billed
*  Gang Visits  - In gang visits, a
   single patient visit is billed  as
   multiple visits with various sub-
   tasks assigned to each visit. The
   LUST equivalent occurs  when
   contractors visit multiple sites on
   one trip and bill each visit as  a
  separate trip originating from the
  home base.
 • Fraudulent Billings  for  Ser-
   vices Not Rendered - Much of
   the fraud that has resulted in suc-
   cessful  cost recovery involves
   billing for services not rendered.
   Recently in Florida, a contractor
   claimed from, the trust fund $12
   million for work that was never
   performed. He bribed a govern-
   ment employee to adjust the data-
   base  to  show  the  work  was
   completed.   Fortunately,   the
   scheme was exposed before the
   funds were dispersed. The abuser
   is currently serving jail time.
                 Collars spent on   (
                                                                                          LUSTLine Bulletin 30
abusers.  This team  will review
claims with more detail than the
normal claims processor. LUST
audit teams are able to review
level of effort with a better level of
detail. Properly chosen audits are
valuable tools that  no program
should be without.

Global Tracking Software and
Pattern Detection Software - A
common  technique of  abusive
health care providers is to bill for
more activities than can realisti-
cally occur in a given time period.
Since Medicare claims and LUST
fund  claims are each reviewed
individually, this abuse can only
be exposed by way of a global
look at a service provider's activi-
In my  work with  the  Florida
Auditor General, we have found
this technique to be particularly
effective. We  have  discovered
some personnel who have billed
30-hour days by combining time
sheets from  several sites—the
doings of unscrupulous consul-
tants who have figured out that
claims are handled site by site.
Padded hours on sites are often
difficult to  detect. Looking at a
particular consultant's total scope
of LUST efforts within  a given
time  frame  can yield dramatic
examples of fraud. Medicare has
developed  software that tracks
patterns of abuse, such as repeti-
tive procedures. Some LUST con-
sultants  will regularly perform
excessive testing. On individual
sites, this move may be justified as
a judgment call; however, in the
larger picture, an excessive pat-
tern may become manifest.

Database of Norms - Medicare
has certain norms for costs based
on symptoms. The patients whose
total costs exceed these norms are
flags for the audit hit team to
begin its review. In  LUST funds,
the average cost of tasks is usually
well known. A database of norms
allows  abuse  investigations to
focus on cases where the norm has
been exceeded. Using proper sam-
pling techniques, databases can be
developed at reasonable costs. In
the Florida Audit General project,
the audits were more or less ran-
domly selected, resulting in a very
E Abuse of state cleanup funds can tie
P—                             ;
¥ reduced IF there is a concerted effort
f^ by the various stakeholders to
T            •       '            1
  prevent, deter, and detect. Fortitude,
fstatute, rules, and personnel are all
|p necessary. Communication is of
t    critical importance in convincing
  ~ legislators, attorney generals,
^inspector-generals, and responsible
^  parties about the seriousness
it        of the problem.
  poor cost recovery  ratio.  This
  would  have been dramatically
  enhanced by focusing on the out-

• Interstate  List of Abusers -
  Medicare regional administrators
  exchange the names of known
  abusers. This strategy curbs the
  temptation for abusers to simply
  move to  another  state. Such an
  exchange of information would be
  very useful for LUST funds—a
  sort of Megan's  Law for  fund
  abusers. Obviously, liability con-
  siderations  could minimize this

• "One Strike and You're Out" -
  This option is one of the  more
  effective tools. For a period of sev-
  eral years, health care providers
  who have abused the fund are for-
  bidden to collect any funds from
  Medicare. Such a deterrent is
  needed for the LUST funds. The
  Florida Pay for Performance pro-
  gram has such a provision for con-
  sultants who walk away from an
  uncompleted cleanup.

• Expanded Penalties for Fraud
  (Go directly to jail. Do not pass
  go.)  -  Recent  legislation has
  expanded   the    penalty   for
  Medicare fraud. Similar laws for
  state cleanup funds  will  help
  attract the attention of prosecu-

• Fixed-Fee Services/Pay for Per-
  formance -  Fixed-fee services,
  where the health care provider
  receives  a  fixed  payment per
  patient to cover all services ren-
  dered,   have  greatly  reduced
  Medicare abuse. In a similar way,
  Pay for Performance (PfP) remedi-
  ation  eliminates  many  of the
  incentives  for  abuse.  In  PfP
  cleanups, the contractor is paid
  prenegotiated  fees at  cleanup
  milestones. Since the contractor is
  paid  only  upon demonstrable
  remediation progress, not only is
  the abuse minimized, but the site
  is also likely to be cleaned  up
  faster, resulting in overall cost
  savings and an improved environ-

Prevent, Deter,  Detect
Abuse of state cleanup funds can be
reduced IF there is a concerted effort
by the various stakeholders to pre-
vent, deter, and detect.  Fortitude,
statute, rules,  and personnel are all
necessary. Communication is of criti-
cal importance in convincing legisla-
tors, attorney generals,  inspector-
generals,  and responsible parties
about the seriousness of the problem.
One way to accomplish this goal is to
start using the terms of Medicare.
Medicare's terms of fraud mentioned
earlier are common knowledge and
can be easily understood. An Inter-
net search of the terms "Medicare"
and "fraud" turned up over 750,000
hits. If those of us in the LUST arena
would use these common terms, our
communication would  be  more
potent and focused.
    Finally, stakeholders  need  to
acknowledge  the fraud and abuse
problem and encourage deterrence,
detection, and prosecution. Clearly,
much more awaits to be written on
this subject.  •
  Robert S. Cohen, B.S., M.S., is a pro-
   fessional geologist specializing in
   LUST cost-containment issues. He
 consults for the public and private sec-
 tors. From the private sector in Florida,
   he proposed and implemented the
 Florida Department of Environmental
   Protection's (FDEP's) first Pay for
 Performance cleanup. As an advisor to
  the FDEP, he later organized the PfP
 pilot program. Bob is planning a more
   detailed article on abuse to be co-
   authored by faculty at the Georgia
 Institute of Technology - Construction
   Research Center. For more informa-
    tion, contact Bob in Tallahassee,
    Florida, at or

 LUSTtine Bulletin 30
   State Cleanup Funds
 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
 Tips for Managing; Your
 State Cleanup Fund
 by Mary-Ellen Kendall

       As is often the case in real life,
       there is no one, single fund-
       related problem that turns
 the  job  of  a  state cleanup fund
 administrator  into a  nightmare.
 Every fund manager starts out with
 the best of intentions and the drive to
 succeed, but in the  line of duty,
 obstacles have been known to rear
 their ugly heads and create problems
 for state funds. The problems that
 develop can vary in magnitude from
 minor annoyances to insolvency.
    The evolution of a state fund is
 dependent on many factors:
 *  The statutory authority in each
   state code;
 •  State politics;
 •  The availability of  funds and
   funding sources;
 *  Constitutional restrictions;
 •  The strength of the petroleum
   marketer/tank owner lobby in the
 •  The level of coordination and
   teamwork between the state tech-
   nical environmental staff and the
   fund staff;
 *  Resource allocation within state
 •  The state's success in creating and
   implementing attainable cleanup
 •  The state's  success in drafting
   clear and understandable reim-
   bursement regulations and proce-
   dures; and
 •  The  staff   expertise/back-
   ground in the legal, account-
   ing,  scientific,   insurance,
   engineering, banking,  and
   business principles that are
   needed to run a state fund.

    Each state has developed a
 fund program that reflects its
 own unique  combination of
 factors. But no matter how
 hard the fund staff may have
 worked to anticipate and pre-
 vent problems before they  occur,
 there is no way to eliminate fund
 management problems.

 The Wisdom in War Stories
 It is often said that those who fail to
 learn from the mistakes of the past
 are doomed to repeat them. This is
 especially true for state fund man-
 agers. There is a daunting learning
 curve associated with administering
 a state fund. A "good" fund manager
 learns to adapt to changing condi-
 tions and to recognize/solve prob-
 lems as they appear.
    Although no two state funds are
 alike, there are many similarities.
 Lessons learned in one state can be
 instructive to another. As fund man-
 agers become more experienced,
 they can learn to recognize the com-
 mon threads and associated prob-
 lems that  states  share  and  can
 develop innovative  solutions  that
 work within the context of their own
 state's constraints.
    Each year, fund managers get
 together at the State Fund Adminis-
 trators  Conference to share  their
 experiences and insights. One of the
 goals of this year's conference was to
 assist fund managers in identifying
 potential problems and finding solu-
 tions. LUSTLine is a vehicle that
 allows us to continue to share and
learn throughout the remainder of
the year.
    In the following paragraphs, I'll
identify several difficult problems
that fund managers face and, using
examples from Vermont, Virginia,
South Carolina, and South Dakota,
present steps that can be taken to
resolve these problems and improve
fund management.

Raids on Funds - A few state funds
have been raided by the state legisla-
tures. The Vermont legislature, for
example, has taken over $4.5 million
from the fund since its inception.
This kind of loss hurts the integrity
and reputation of the fund. One way
to protect the fund against raids is to
incorporate provisions in state law
that limit how fund  monies can be
used and that allow monies to roll
over from one fiscal year to the next.

Claims Appeals - The Vermont,
fund started out by settling its claim
appeals very quickly rather than get-
ting involved with  litigation. It
didn't take too long before the regu-
lated community got the idea that
the state would automatically settle
any and all appeals  without much
argument, which encouraged the
proliferation  of appeals. Vermont
addressed this problem as part of its
overall effort to establish clear guide-
lines for the  fund by establishing
appeals procedures. Written guide-
lines with forms, reimbursement and
appeal procedures, and rate sched-
ules were created to give notice of
program rules and interpretations of
statutory and regulatory provisions
for both the fund staff and the public.
Clear, consistently applied guide-

                                                                                           LUSTLine Bulletin 30
lines have given the fund stability
and a better chance  of winning

Claim Limits - Virginia began pro-
cessing claims in 1991. At the time,
there was no limit on the number or
dollar amount of claims that could be
filed for reimbursement. South Car-
olina had a similar problem, because
claimants were  allowed  to submit
monthly bills of $100 or more. This
caused an influx of claims, made
tracking  more difficult, and some-
times resulted in processing costs per
claim that exceeded the amount of
the claim. Both states developed
ways to reduce the number of claims
so as to  permit  more efficient, less
costly claim processing.
    Virginia  requires  claimants to
file all of the costs associated with a
single cleanup  phase (e.g., initial
abatement phase, site characteriza-
tion phase) on one claim. This simple
solution  has lowered the  number of
claims received and helped to pre-
vent  double billing for the same
work in later claims.
    South   Carolina's   solution
requires   tank  owners  to  obtain
approval from the fund prior to per-
forming  any work at the site. Open
communications   between    the
claimants and fund personnel before
monies are spent have benefited both
parties. The fund manager uses the
cost information to forecast expendi-
tures and to maintain fund solvency.
At the same time, the claimant is
assured  that the money  needed to
reimburse cleanup  costs  will  be
available when a claim is submitted.

Forecasting and Planning - Like
South Carolina, Virginia had prob-
lems in  forecasting and planning
because  of a lack of information
about the number and cost of on-
going cleanups. Claimants also had a
problem trying to determine if the
cleanup   work  they  were doing
would be eligible for reimbursement.
To solve the problem, Virginia insti-
tuted  a   preapproval program in
which claimants are required to get
written approval for cleanup activi-
ties from the state before beginning
work at the site. In conjunction with
the preapproval program, Virginia
developed  and published a  rate
schedule to give claimants guidance
on the amount of reimbursement
that they could expect to receive for
preapproved  cleanup  activities.
These two changes have given the
state more control over cleanups
while reducing the number of claim
reviews. Claimants now receive up-
front guidance on their cleanups and
are given the dollar amount they will
be reimbursed for cleanup activities.

 WVermont,., written guidelines with
 iforms, reimbursement and appeal
 'procedures, and rate schedules were
 Defeated to give notice of program
 :rules and interpretations of statutory
   and regulatory provisions for both
     the fund staff and the public.
Cleanup  Standards  -  South
Dakota realized early on that the
question of "How clean is clean?"
had to  be answered.  The fund
needed cleanup standards on which
to base reimbursement rates. Dennis
Rounds, South Dakota's Fund Man-
ager, was instrumental in drafting
ASTM's   Risk-Based  Corrective
Action (RBCA) standard, which is
now used in  some form in many
states. Once again, a written guide-
line has  been  helpful, both  for
administering the fund and for com-
municating the cleanup require-
ments to  claimants. The  RBCA
process has also allowed states to
perform  environmentally  sound,
cost-effective cleanups.

Program  Development  - After
identifying problems and issues in
program  development,  Vermont
fund personnel began a dialogue
with their stakeholders to increase
the likelihood of finding a solution
that worked for everyone. Stake-
holders  helped identify problems
and also contributed ideas for solu-
tions.  This communication process
has helped the fund provide better
service  to  its   customers   and
increased customer satisfaction with
the program.  It has also increased
stakeholder awareness of fund man-
agement issues.
Claims Management - The South
Dakota fund developed a sophisti-
cated, comprehensive database and a
well-organized filing system to man-
age claims more efficiently. The staff
also developed policy memos that
they use to document their reasons
for reimbursement decisions. This
process of justifying each claim pay-
ment decision has provided a basis
for consistent claim processing. It has
also shifted the burden of justifying a
reimbursement from the fund to the
appeals process, which, in turn, has
reduced the number of claim appeals
as well as the number of issues that
have to be addressed on appeal.

    These are just a few of the issues
that state fund administrators face.
In future  articles I'll look at other
unique problems/solutions and pro-
vide examples from other states. If
you have suggestions about tech-
niques that worked or failed in your
state, please let me know.
    If you have any questions or
  puld like additional information
    the problems/solutions dis-
   ssed in this article, you can con-
ftact:  "   	""     *
PL Stan Clark hi South Carolina at
SpfmEF— -- ,     • * - - FJ- -- --     -  --5 , ,    ,- - ,---r- A,  ;
||; Dennis Rounds in South Dakota (
pv ~-                   ^  ,  -  '  .. ,"-
I* Chuck Schwer in Vermont at, or     "r
^Mary-Ellen Kendali in Virginia at ~
? •     :
  Mary-Ellen Kendall, J.D., M.B.A., is
  the Financial Programs Manager for
  the Virginia Department of Environ-
  mental Quality. She is responsible for
  making liability and fund eligibility
     determinations for the Virginia
           UST Program.

LWTUm Bulletin 30
  Investigation and Remediation
 The Great Escape  (from the UST)

 by Blayne Hartman

 [Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of articles reviewing some of the physical/chemical properties that are commonly used
 in environmental assessment and remediation. This article will focus on the property of vapor pressure and how to use it for esti-
 mating vapor concentrations in the vadose zone.}
      ased on the enthusiastic responses I received to the
      quiz in the last article on Henry's law, let's start
      with another quiz:
   A site with USTs that contain gasoline has MTBE
   contamination in the underlying groundwater;
   however, the cause of the ground water contamina-
   tion is not clear. No liquid spills or releases have
   been recorded or detected, no soil contamination
   has been detected, and no upgradient sources of
   MTBE exist. You cpndacl" a soil vapor survey to
   look for potential vapor-phase MTBE contamina-
   tion and find nothingfWhat do you advise your
   client (a potential buyer of the property) to do?

 (a) There are no on-site MTBE sources of groundwater
    contamination, so the contamination must be from
    somewhere else. Buy the property.
 (b) Tell the client not to buy the property and then buy it
 (c) Question the accuracy of the soil vapor data.
 (d) Retest the soil vapor for different compounds.
    Need  a hint? Well, if s probably not (a) or (b) because
 then I would have nothing to write about. Need another
 hint? It has something to do with vapor pressure (the
 topic of this article).
    To choose the correct answer to this quiz, we need to
 know the  answers to a couple of key questions regarding
 the potential source of the MTBE contamination in the
 soil vapor and the potential for MTBE vapor to contami-
 nate groundwater:
 • What is the concentration of the MTBE in vapor escap-
   ing from an UST containing gasoline?
 • What would be the resulting groundwater concentra-
   tions if that same vapor contacted groundwater and
   reached equilibrium with the groundwater?

 Step 1 - Determine the Vapor Pressure of MTBE in
 the Tank Headspace
 Since the concentration of MTBE in the escaping vapor
 will  be the same as the  concentration of MTBE in the
 vapor in the tank above the gasoline, the first thing we
 need to do is compute the concentration of MTBE in the
 tank headspace. To perform this calculation, we need to
 consider the vapor pressure of each compound, which
 gives us a perfect reason to review the concept of vapor
   Vapor pressure is the pressure that a compound
 exerts in the airspace above the pure compound. Stated
 another way, vapor pressure is a measure of how a com-

pound distributes, or partitions, itself between its pure
form (solid or liquid) and the airspace above it. The
higher the vapor pressure, the more a compound prefers
to be in the vapor phase (i.e., the more volatile the com-
pound). Some compounds have such high vapor pres-
sures that they evaporate before our eyes (e.g., acetone,
or gasoline on warm days). Generally, when we speak of
volatile organic compounds (VOCs), we are referring to
compounds with vapor pressures that exceed 1 millime-
ter (mm) of mercury (Hg) at temperatures that are nor-
mally encountered (15°C to 20°C).
    Vapor pressures have been measured empirically
(i.e., in the laboratory) for a wide variety of compounds
and are tabulated in many reference books. They can be
expressed in many different units. The most common are
atmospheres (atm), inches of mercury (in. Hg), or mil-
limeters of mercury. For your reference, there are 760
mm Hg to 1 atm and 30 in. Hg to 1 arm.
   For a mixture of compounds such as gasoline, the
pressure of each compound in the overlying vapor (e.g.,
MTBE, benzene, hexane) is equal to its fraction in the
mixture multiplied by its individual vapor pressure:
                     = VP*MF
                                                    where: Pi is the pressure of a compound in the overlying
                                                           VP is the vapor pressure of the pure compound;
                                                           MF is the mole fraction of that compound in the

                                                    Step 2 - Convert Pressure into Concentration
                                                    The next step is to convert the amounts of a compound in
                                                    the vapor from pressure units to concentration units. To
                                                    make this change, we have to go back to a fundamental
                                                    concept that we all learned (or were supposed to learn)
                                                    in freshman chemistry, the good ol' ideal gas law:
                                                                       PV = nRT
                                                    where: P is pressure (in atm);
                                                           R is the universal gas constant (0.0821 L-atm/
                                                           T is temperature in °K (°K = °C + 273);
                                                           n is moles of a compound; and
                                                           V is volume in liters.

                                                    By rearranging this expression, we can convert pressure
                                                    into concentration:

                                                                      P/RT = n/V

                                                                                        LUSTLine Bulletin 30
    Potential Pathways of Escaped UST
           Vapors to Ground water
                                      MTBE  1
                                      Alkanes > Cair
                                      BTEX  J
                   Vapor Diffusion
 Water Table
Note that moles (n) multiplied by the molecular weight of
a compound gives mass (in grams) and V is volume, so
the ratio (n/V) is equivalent to concentration.
   Putting it all together, the concentration of a com-
pound in the headspace can be computed from its vapor
pressure, molecular weight, and mole fraction as:
Concentration in the headspace (Cair) = VP * MW * MF/RT

where: Cair is in units of grams per liter (g/L);
       VP is the vapor pressure of the pure compound
       (in atm);
       MW is the molecular weight of the compound (in
       MF is the mole fraction of the compound in the
       mixture; and
       RT is the universal gas constant times tempera-
       ture (-24 L-atm/mole at 20°C).

   Using the above equation, the concentrations of vari-
ous compounds in the headspace (Cajr) in an UST that
contains gasoline can be easily calculated (Table 1). You
can see that the headspace is dominated by the alkanes
 Table 1. Summary of relevant physical proper-
 ties and calculated airspace concentrations of
 various compounds in gasoline. Mole fractions
 of the various compounds were selected to rep-
 resent an "average gasoline." An average mole-
 cular weight was used for the lower alkanes
 (C4-C8). Vapor pressures have been rounded
 off for simplicity.
 	VP (atm)     MW	MF     Cair (tig/L)
 Lower alkanes   0.2
                                       and MTBE, but benzene, due to its lower mole fraction
                                       and vapor pressure, makes up a relatively small fraction.
                                          The key point to recognize from the values in Table 1
                                       is that if there are vapor leaks from an UST—from loose
                                       bungs, loose fittings on vapor return lines or vent pipes, or
                                       pinhole leaks—the concentration of the vapor in the
                                       vadose zone immediately outside the tank (i.e., the soil
                                       vapor) will contain large amounts of alkanes and MTBE,
                                       but relatively small amounts of benzene (I'll leave it to you
                                       to calculate the relative amounts of the other common aro-

                                       Step 3 - Determine the Equilibrium Groundwater
                                       Now let's allow the escaped vapor to impinge on ground-
                                       water. What's the resulting groundwater concentration?
                                       Well, flush with your knowledge after reading the article
                                       on Henry's law in the last issue, you know that the result-
                                       ing equilibrium groundwater concentration can be easily
                                       computed from the vapor concentration using the dimen-
                                       sionless Henry's constant:

                                                H = Cair/^water or Qvater = ^air /H

                                       Table 2 summarizes the calculation of the groundwater
                                        Table 2. Equilibrium water concentrations for
                                        several  compounds in contact with  vapors
                                        escaping from an UST with gasoline. Values for
                                        Henry's constants and resulting water concen-
                                        trations have been rounded off for simplicity.
                                                       Cair(lig/L)         H       Cw (pg/L)
                                        Lower alkanes
concentration in equilibrium with the escaped vapor.
    Taken alone, the numbers shown in Table 2 indicate
that enormously high concentrations of MTBE could be
created in the groundwater because of escaping vapor.
Don't panic! The fact that this calculated value is so much
higher than values we observe in groundwater is proof
that our simple calculation is not representative. Why?
    Keep in mind that these calculations assume that equi-
librium between the phases exists. While equilibrium con-
centrations  may  be  likely for  the  partitioning  of
compounds from the gasoline into the tank vapor, they are
extremely unlikely for the partitioning of compounds into
the groundwater from the vapor because of the extremely
slow process of contaminant transport into groundwater
(as discussed in the LUSTLine #28 article, "The Downward
Migration of Vapors").
    In addition, these calculations assumed that the con-
centration of the vapor impinging on groundwater was
identical  to the concentration of the tank headspace. This
scenario is extremely unlikely because processes operative
in the vadose zone (e.g., dispersion, sorption, biodegrada-

                               • continued on page 20

 I The Great Escape from page 19
lion) are likely to create significantly lower vapor concen-
trations as the vapor travels from the tank leak to ground-
    The more reasonable conclusions to be drawn from
these calculations are that if a vapor leak from an UST
containing gasoline exists:
• The lower alkanes (C4 through C8) will remain in the
  soil vapor.
• If water is around, MTBE will preferentially partition
  into the water (i.e., soil moisture or groundwater).
• Benzene will exist in both the soil vapor and water but
  will not be the major contaminant in either phase.

    In areas with shallow groundwater, high rainfall, or
other sources of flowing water in the vadose zone (e.g.,
irrigation),  MTBE vapor could be a contributor to
groundwater contamination. In areas with deep ground-
water and not much rainfall, the MTBE transfer rate from
the vapor is likely  to be too slow to cause an appreciable

Now Back to the Quiz
Since no  MTBE was detected in the soil vapor, and no
other sources for  MTBE were detected on the site,  it
appears that dioice (a)—buy the property—would be the
correct answer. But wait—if a  vapor leak does exist,
MTBE, due to its  high affinity for water, might have
already "left the scene of the crime" (the leak), while its
companions in the  escape (the alkanes), are still around. If
all you did was measure the soil vapor for the MTBE, it is
possible that a vapor leak exists, but that it was missed,
because you failed  to measure for the alkanes.
    So what was the correct answer to the quiz? Choice
(d)—retest for different compounds. You need to mea-
sure the alkanes in addition to MTBE to ensure the detec-
tion of tank vapor leaks and interpret the  MTBE values
(or lack thereof). Because all of the compounds escape
together from the tank, high levels of alkanes in the soil
vapor mean that MTBE must be escaping as well, even if
it was not detected. If no MTBE is detected in the soil
vapor at the same  location where high levels of alkanes
exist, it indicates that MTBE is being preferentially lost
once in the vadose zone. For this scenario, vertical pro-
files of die soil vapor with depth to groundwater, as well
as knowing the concentration ratio of MTBE to the alka-
                  In last issue's article titled  "Oh
              Henry," the text describing the conver-
          sion from the dimensionless to dimensional
      form was incorrect. The conversion given was
  for computing the dimensional Henry's constant in
 units of atm-L/mole, not units of atm-m3/mole as
 printed. To compute the dimensional Henry's  con-
 stant in units of atm-m3/mole, multiply the dimen-
 sionless Henry's constant  by the universal gas
 constant (0.000082 atm-m3/mole-°K) times the tem-
 perature in degrees kelvin, which is equal to 0.0224 at
 0°C and 0.024 at 20°C.B
nes in the soil vapor, will aid in the determination of
whether MTBE vapor has impacted groundwater.
    One last point to remember if you elect to measure
the soil vapor. MTBE is often measured on a photoioniza-
tion detector (PID) by EPA method 8020. While they are
plenty sensitive to MTBE and the aromatics, PIDs are not
particularly sensitive to many of the lower alkanes. So
analysis of the soil vapor for the alkanes should be done
with a flame ionization detector (FID) to ensure sufficient
    Did you get the correct answer? This quiz was a
tricky one, but I hope you enjoyed it. •

  Blayne Hartman is a regular contributor to LUSTLine. This
 article is taken from a presentation on physical/chemical prop-
 erties that he gives as part of a training course on environmen-
   tal geochemistry. For details on the course, either e-mail
  Blayne directly at, or check out the informa-
      tion on his Web page at
MTBE Work  Group

Working Hard to  Keep

Up with New  Info
     The ASTSWMO LUST Task Force's MTBE work
     group has issued three newsletters since its incep-
     tion in 1997. A fourth newsletter is currently in
progress and will be issued in mid-September. The mem-
bership of the work group continues to grow as states
continue to express a strong interest in the MTBE prob-
lem. Many states are trying to determine just how to take
a second look at sites that may have been closed under an
earlier closure process that did not consider the presence
of MTBE.
    Other MTBE-related issues that were not originally
anticipated during the founding of the work group have
come to the forefront (e.g., the degree to which MTBE
breaks down in the environment; the toxicity of break-
down products, such as  TBA and formaldehyde; atmos-
pheric deposition from  rainfall; contamination  in
drinking water reservoirs from two-cycle engine exhaust;
and the presence of MTBE at UST sites where no releases
have been documented).  These are just a few of the issues
that are gaining an increasing amount of attenuation on
the state level.
    While  concerns about the widespread impacts of
MTBE on air, surface water, and groundwater are of
pressing importance in  California, most states are still
quite early in diagnosing the severity of impacts from
MTBE and struggling to determine just what should be
done in the absence of national MTBE standards for soil,
groundwater, and drinking water. Some state UST/LUST
programs have addressed the immediate question of
cleanup levels by including MTBE as a chemical of con-
cern within the context of RBCA. Still others may prefer
to use a strict numeric approach based on toxicology.
    A large amount of research is currently under way
through the American Petroleum Institute (API), U.S.
                              • continued on page 23

                                                                                      LUSTLine Bulletin 30
 Investigation and Remediation
A  Layman's  Guide to  the  New
EPA Methods for VOC Analysis
by Blayne Hartman and Rob Hitzig

    Since  the  promulgation  of
    Update  III of  EPA's SW-846,
    Test Methods for Evaluating Solid
Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods, the
document's new methods for volatile
organic compound  (VOC) analysis
have  created apparent confusion
throughout much of the  environ-
mental community. In response to
this confusion, EPA released a memo
on August 7 to clarify some of the
issues. In this article, we'll address
some of the key issues of concern
and conclude with recommendations
to help you to decide which proto-
cols to follow or enact.
    To understand the pros and cons
of the new VOC methods, let's re-
view the most salient changes in the
new update.

Changes in Analytical
In  Update  III,  several  obsolete
packed-column gas chromatographic
(GC) methods have been deleted and
replaced with capillary GC methods.
Specifically, analytical methods 8010
(halogenated hydrocarbons by GC),
8020  (aromatic  hydrocarbons by
GC), and 8240 (VOCs by GC/Mass
Spectrometry (MS)) have been de-
leted. They have been replaced by
methods 8021 (halogenated and aro-
matic hydrocarbons by GC) and 8260
(VOCs by GC/MS). The elimination
of these analytical methods does not
create significant  changes  in the
quality or type of data received from
laboratories, because most laborato-
ries have been using the capillary
methods for several years.
    There are, however, two signifi-
cant factors that you should be aware
of in the new analytical methods:
• Soil values are reported on a dry-
   weight basis.
• Calibrations must be performed
   for every 10 samples rather than
   for every 20 samples.
    The first factor should not be
overlooked by regulators, because, in
some states, soil values are custom-
arily reported on a wet-weight basis.
Depending on the water content of a
sample, use of dry versus wet weight
could change reported values by a
factor of 2. As a result, we recom-
mended that you ask your laboratory
to state clearly in its  reporting
whether the  results represent dry-
weight or wet-weight values.

Changes in Sample
Preparation Methods
Prior to Update III, there were essen-
tially  three methods for preparing
solid samples for volatile analysis:
•  Solvent extraction  and  direct
   injection  (typically  done  as a
   microextraction of soils or concen-
   trated wastes in a VOA vial with
   methanol) for high-concentration
•  Direct purge-and-trap preparation
   (EPA method 5030) for soils with
   low concentrations; and
•  Methanol extraction, dilution into
   water, and purge-and-trap (also
   by EPA method 5030) for medium-
   to high-concentration samples.
    The purge-and-trap preparation
methods offered much lower detec-
tion levels than the direct-injection
method and were more commonly
used for VOC analysis that required
low (<50 ^g/kg) detection limits. For
soils,  samples were either mixed
with water and added directly to the
purge-and-trap device (direct soil
sparging for  low-concentration sam-
ples), or,  for higher-concentration
samples, they were extracted with
methanol, and an aliquot  of  the
methanol (typically 10 u~L to 100 uL)
was added  to the purge-and-trap
    Update III includes seven sam-
ple preparation procedures:
1. Solvent  extraction  and direct
2. Headspace analysis (method 5021)
3. Purge-and-trap preparation (EPA
  method 5030B) for soil extracts
4. Closed-system purge-and-trap for
  soils (method 5035)
5. Vacuum distillation
6. Azeotropic distillation
7. Hexadecane dilution-direct injec-
  tion for VOCs in waste oil
   It is important to realize  that
VOC results can vary, depending on
the preparatory method used (e.g.,
high-concentration methods may not
work for low-concentration samples,
and vice versa). Because there are
now  seven  different  preparatory
methods, it is much more important
that the end users of the VOC data
understand which method was used
to prepare individual samples and
which method applies to which type
of sample and analyte.

An Overview of the Sample
Preparation  Methods
Let's briefly review these sampling
methods. Because methods 5, 6, and
7 are not commonly used, we will
not discuss them in this overview.
1. Solvent extraction and direct
   injection.  This  method  is
   extremely reliable and allows the
   reanalysis of the extract as many
   times as  possible. For  fuel-
   related  aromatic  compounds
    (e.g., BTEX, naphthalene,  tri-
   methylbenzenes) and MTBE,
    detection levels of 25 ^g/kg to 50
    ug/kg  can be obtained.  This
    method  is the  best to use for
   higher-concentration  samples
    (greater  than  200  ug/kg),
   because there is little  potential
    for carryover between samples.

2.  Headspace   analysis   by
    method 5021. Prior to Update
    III, EPA considered this method
    to be useful for screening pur-
    poses only, primarily because of
    the  limitations  of  available
    equipment. However, because it
    is a  relatively  easy  and  fast
    method, many laboratories, par-
    ticularly mobile  laboratories,
    have used it  for many years.
    These days, reliable  data are
    readily  achievable with auto-
    mated  instruments, especially
    for compounds with relatively
    high Henry's law constants, pro-
              • continued on page 22

 LltSTLsne 'Bulletin 30
 • Layman's Guide to VOC
 Analysis from page 21
     vided the headspace conditions
     are kept constant (e.g., amount
     of sample, time of heating, tem-
     perature of heating). This is par-
     ticularly  true for  fuel-related
     sites—data for aromatic hydro-
     carbons  generated  by  this
     method should  be fine. How-
     ever,  this method is not suitable
     for MTBE or ethylene dibromide
     (EDB) because both have  low
     Henry's law constants. It is nec-
     essary to collect more than one
     sample  for reanalysis  in  the
     event that VOC concentrations
     exceed the instrument's calibra-
     tion range.

 3.  Purge-and-trap  by method
     5030B. This method is the same
     one used in earlier versions of
     SW-846, except for one key dif-
     ference: It no longer allows the
     soil itself to be added directly to
     the   purge-and-trap   device
     (direct-soil sparging). To analyze
     soils  by this method,  the  soil
     must  be methanol-extracted; an
     aliquot  of the extract is then
     added  to the purge-and-trap
     device. This approach allows for
     detection levels in  the low
     microgram/kilogram range (<10
     Hg/kg)  for  most fuel-related
     hydrocarbons    and   slightly
     higher levels (25 ;/g/kg to 50
    /ig/kg)  for some  halogenated

 4.  Closed  system purge-and-
    trap  by method 5035. This
    method  is designed to minimize
    the loss of VOCs from soil. Soil
    samples are sealed in a gas-tight
    vial in the field  and then ana-
    lyzed  \vithout ever opening the
    vial. This method has an advan-
    tage over methanol preservation
    in that it allows for extremely
    low detection limits (<1 /*g/kg)
    for all VOCs  (including halo-
    genated  solvents);  however,
    VOC  concentrations exceeding
    100 //g/kg to 200 /
                                                                                          LUSTLine Bulletin 30
 There are a few potential pitfalls
 with methanol preservation. First,
 because the shelf life of methanol
 is  short, there is the  possibility
 that the methanol could be conta-
 minated. So, you need to be sure
 that your batches of methanol are
 fresh and analyzed for blanks just
 before the date of use. Second,
 detection  levels using methanol
 extracts could be higher, depend-
 ing on a lab's protocols, so there is
 the possibility that you may  not
 achieve necessary quantitation
 limits. Third,  there are potential
 shipping restrictions. Methanol is
 classified  as a RCRA hazardous
 waste, regardless of whether the
 soil is contaminated.
 An alternative to methanol preser-
 vation that is less confusing than
 method 5035 is to allow soils to be
 preserved on-site in  water and
 analyzed   by  method   5030.
 Because the aromatic hydrocar-
 bons and MTBE have low Henry's
 law constants (i.e., they prefer to
 remain in  the water), they will not
 be lost by volatilization once in
 the water solution. However, to
 minimize possible biodegrada-
 tion, the water-preserved sample
 should be capped, kept cold,  and
 analyzed within a relatively short
 period of time (e.g., within 36
 hours from the time of collection).
 If a TPH analysis for gasoline is
 required,  then the preservation
 container should have no head-
 space, because of the high Henry's
 law constants of  the alkanes in
 The water preservation alternative
 offers  a  few advantages over
 methanol in that detection limits
 are lower, the risk of contamina-
 tion is less (pure, uncontaminated
 water is readily available at  any
 convenience store, usually for less
 than $1 per bottle), and the sam-
 ples can be shipped  as nonhaz-
 ardous waste.

' For Halogenated Compounds
 In this case, the optimum preser-
 vation choice depends  on  the
 required  detection  limits.  For
 some VOCs, methods 8021 or 8260
 will reach only 25 to 50 ,"g/kg
 detection limits using methanol
 extracts. If these detection limits
 are  sufficient,   then methanol
  preservation is an easy and cost-
  effective option.
  If lower  detection  limits  are
  required, water preservation and
  analysis by method 5030 can reach
  5 ug/kg detection limits  while
  offering a less confusing alterna-
  tive to method 5035. Because the
  halogenated VOCs are not readily
  biodegradable  and  have low
  Henry's law constants, they will
  not be lost by biodegradation or
  volatilization  once in the  water
  solution. To ensure minimal cont-
  amination during  storage,  the
  water-preserved sample should
  be capped,  kept cold, and ana-
  lyzed within a reasonable amount
  of time (e.g., within 72 hours from
  the time of collection).

Methanol and water preservation
with  subsequent  analysis  using
method  5030  offer the following
advantages over methods 5021 and
• Potentially large errors resulting
  from the variety and multitude of
  field preservation steps are elimi-
  nated because the field personnel
  can use one or two simple on-site
  procedures that are not too bur-
• Laboratories  can  use  existing
  methods (e.g., purge-and-trap by
  5030)  with existing  equipment.
  Thus,  they  will not be forced to
  buy a lot of new equipment, and
  reported VOC data will be more
  consistent from lab to lab, because
  fewer analytical methods will be
• Increased costs of analysis (e.g.,
  new analytical equipment, special
  gas-tight samplers, shipping of
  hazardous wastes) are eliminated.
 Blayne Hartman is a regular contribu-
  tor to LUSTLine. For more informa-
 tion contact, Blayne at

 Rob Hitzig is an environmental scien-
  tist with U.S. EPA's Office of Under-
    ground Storage Tanks. For more
      information, contact Rob at
• MTBE Work Group from page. 20

Geological Survey (USGS), and the
EPA  Office  of  Water.  Research
updates and preliminary results are
reported through the MTBE newslet-
ter  as they become available. The
workgroup is also trying to stay on
top of the never-ending list of Inter-
net sites on which state regulators
can look for MTBE information. Pat
Ellis from Delaware is an excellent
source of information for avid Web
browsers (
Her updates  on Web  sites are
included at the end of each newslet-
    Other work group members are
providing case incident studies, rule
changes to MTBE standards, and leg-
islation contemplated to address
MTBE in  their states. API's Bruce
Bauman  continues  to  provide
updates on API research efforts that
are under way through grants to uni-
versities. Recently, John Zogorski,
who leads MTBE research through
the USGS NAWQA  Program, also
volunteered to  participate  in the
work group.
    Although the group's focus will
continue  to be  on the release  of
MTBE from LUST sites, it is already
finding a great deal of information is
available through the efforts of other
state and federal agencies. The
group hopes to continue an open
dialogue with states that are grap-
pling with MTBE issues by provid-
ing  a  forum   for  discussion,
transmittal of research findings, and
exchange of regulatory approaches.
    The MTBE Work Group Newslet-
ter  can  be   accessed  on the
ASTSWMO   home   page   at
http:/ /
ol.htm. When you  get to
the home page, look
on the left side
for  "publica-
tion," click on
that and  then
go to "bookshelf,"
and  then  scan  to
"MTBE newsletter." •
       For more
   information about
     the work group,
    contact Jeff Kuhn at

 LltSTLine Bulletin 30
  Investigation and Remediation
 ASTM  Task Group  Seeks Input  on  Remedial
 Action Decision Standard
      The American Society for Test-
      ing  and  Materials  (ASTM)
      E50.01 subcommittee is devel-
 oping a standard for making reme-
 dial  action decisions  (RADs)  at
 chemical release sites. The guidance
 is based on a nonprescriptive, logical
 decision-making procedure with the
 ultimate goal of site  cleanup.  It
 incorporates a screening process that
 allows the user to sift through reme-
 dial options quickly and cost-effec-
 tively  to  obtain  the   best-fit
 technology or combination of tech-
 nologies for a specific release site.
 When necessary, this decision-mak-
 ing approach will allow the user to
 distinguish  between  final target
 cleanup  goals  and  intermediate,
 "technically achievable" goals, rec-
 ognizing that ultimate target goals
 may not always be readily attainable
 through  the use of active mass-
 reduction technologies alone.
    The guidance is consistent with
 the concepts of risk-based corrective
 action and allows the user to give
 consideration to  innovative tech-
 nologies, institutional controls, and
 remediation by natural attenuation
 as well as more conventional reme-
 dial technologies. It also incorpo-
 rates an   iterative  approach  to
 evaluating remedial technology per-
 formance to help fine-tune operation
 and maintenance and determine
 when to adjust the remedial system,
 modify  operational  parameters,
 switch technologies, augment treat-
 ment by adding other technologies,
 or discontinue operation.

 How RAD Fits In
 Once complete, the RAD standard
 could prove useful to environmental
 professionals, regulatory agencies,
 and  the consumer (user of profes-
 sional services).  The environmental
 professional may find the standard
 to be useful as a framework for a
 structured and consistent decision-
 making process for evaluating reme-
 dial options. It may also improve the
timeliness of this process by reduc-
ing the unknowns, such as target
goals and acceptability of certain
options. The RAD standard may also
increase confidence in promoting
    The consumer should find the
RAD standard useful, particularly as
a possible tool in developing pay-
for-performance  contracts or time
and material contracts with environ-
mental  professionals.  Regulatory
agencies may also find the standard
useful.  By  adopting a consistent
logic  for making remedial  action
decisions,  oversight   could   be
reduced and technical soundness
and  accountability  could   be
illiThe guidance is consistent with the
   concepts of risk-based corrective
,  , action and allows the user to give
     consideration to innovative
at  ,    |,   .1".  .  |  i  ,i
1  technologies, institutional controls,
.  ' "         '        "
     and remediation by natural
1     Attenuation as well as more
  conventional remedial technologies.
   Here are some of the unique ele-
ments that the proposed RAD stan-
dard can provide:

• A sifting process  that allows
  remedial options to be screened
  on the basis of time, surety, and

• A logical order for screening
  remedial options, based on the
  effort and cost to evaluate a given

• A method for determining  the
  most effective combinations of
  treatment technologies;

• A requirement that target cleanup
   levels be established before reme-
   dial options are screened;

 • A logic that differentiates between
   "final target cleanup levels" and
   "intermediate, technically achiev-
   able goals";

 • An iterative approach for constant
   evaluation of technology perfor-
   mance; and

 • A flexible, open architecture that
   allows for professional judgment
   and innovation, while assuring

    The RAD task  group was for-
 mally established in October 1997. It
 has met three times since then and
 has held numerous conference calls.
 In June 1998, members of the task
 group met in Washington, D.C., with
 representatives from the EPA Office
 of  Solid Waste and Emergency
 Response   (OSWER),   including
 OUST, the  Technology Innovation
 Office, and Superfund to seek partic-
 ipation and input.
    The first draft of the standard is
 expected to be balloted within ASTM
 this winter.   The task group is seek-
 ing input from anyone who may be

- For more information, contact:

  Damian  Edwards,  RAD Task
  Group Chairman
'  Phone (770) 641-2427
-Fax    (770) 641-2491
  e-mail EdwardDL@BP.COM

•, ,or                          ,	:

, D ennis  Rpunds,   Chairman,
  ASTM E50.01 Subcommittee
  Phone (605)773-3769
  Fax    (605) 773-6048

                                                                                   LUSTLine Bulletin 30
 Investigation and Remediation
Two MTBE Plume  Length  Studies  Are  Completed
Or, Will Reformulated Gasoline Reformulate Our
Approaches to UST Plume Management?
by Bruce Bauman
  It is widely accepted that the ben-
  zene "plume-a-thon" study by the
  Lawrence Livermore  National
Laboratory  (LLNL)  published in
November 1995 was the "piece de
resistance"  in national  efforts to
demonstrate the natural attenuation
of UST gasoline releases. This study
of several hundred California UST
sites concluded that almost all dis-
solved benzene plumes will travel
less than 300 feet from the  source
before they "stabilize" and eventu-
ally begin to shrink back toward the
source. A similar study of over 600
Texas UST sites published in January
1997 by the University  of Texas
Bureau of Economic Geology (UT-
BEG) came up with  similar conclu-
    Inasmuch as both efforts were
initiated before the recent height-
ened concern regarding the gasoline
additive, methyl tertiary-butyl ether
(MTBE), neither addressed MTBE
plume length. The good news is that
both groups have been hard at work
pulling together new information
that includes  MTBE  and  have
recently released their results. In this
article, I'll discuss briefly the results
of the  two studies and provide
exerpts from the conclusions of these

Plume Length
Both research groups found that for
most sites studied in their respective
evaluations of UST sites in Texas and
California, MTBE plumes were usu-
ally not much longer than the com-
panion benzene plume (i.e., usually
less than 300 feet long). To most of
you with even a marginal  under-
standing of MTBE fate and transport,
these results might seem counterin-
tuitive. You have likely  heard that
MTBE  is not as biodegradable as
benzene and that there are some very
long MTBE plumes. Therefore, you
would  expect that MTBE plumes
would always be much longer than
benzene plumes.
   Both  groups  caution against
overinterpretation of  the  existing
data, and, both note that given the
apparent   difference    in   the
biodegradability  and  mobility of
MTBE and benzene, it is likely that at
least some MTBE  plumes may con-
tinue to migrate past the edge of a
stabilized benzene plume.
   Also, be aware that the two stud-
ies employed different approaches to
defining the downgradient "edge" of
a benzene or MTBE plume. LLNL
compared 1  ppb benzene plume
length to 20 ppb  MTBE, because 1
ppb is  the maximum  contaminant
limit (MCL) for benzene, and 20 to 40
ppb is the current EPA "consumer
acceptability advisory" for MTBE.
The UT-BEG study compared equiv-
alent plume concentrations (10 ppb
benzene versus 10  ppb MTBE).
   Both studies observed that char-
acterizing plume  length or "stabil-
ity" is an inherently more difficult
process for MTBE than it is for ben-
zene. For example, it is almost never
possible to know  when a release of
gasoline with MTBE occurred and
whether there might have already
been a release of non-MTBE gasoline
at the site. Under this scenario, an
MTBE plume might be shorter than
the benzene plume, but only because
it is "younger"—it may eventually
become longer than the benzene
   The concentration of MTBE in
gasoline  can  also  vary substan-
tially—from less than 1 percent to as
much as 15 percent—and may have
varied  during the interval of the
release. In contrast, benzene concen-
trations in gasoline have almost
always been between about 1 and 3
percent, and benzene is much less
soluble than MTBE. Because of these
factors, the relative "source strength"
of benzene and MTBE (i.e., the maxi-
mum dissolved concentration near
the residual, immobile  gasoline
phase)  may  vary  substantially
among the  existing population of
UST sites.
    Finally, it is difficult to find sites
that have sufficient monitoring data
over time that would allow a conclu-
sive assessment of the relative stabil-
ity  of  an   MTBE plume  to  a
companion benzene plume.

The Threat to Groundwater?
Whether this potential for greater
migration translates into a greater
perceived threat to shallow ground-
water quality will probably ulti-
mately depend on the groundwater
cleanup standard for MTBE. EPA has
"advised" that a value between 20
and 40 ppb is likely to be an accept-
able level in drinking water, and most
states have standards or action levels
that vary between 20 and 240 ppb.
    California, however, has recently
promulgated  a  draft secondary
drinking water standard of 5 ppb
that is based on taste and odor con-
siderations. It will likely be a few
more years before much of a consen-
sus is reached regarding the appro-
priate level of concern for MTBE.
EPA may develop a MCL for MTBE,
but it would not be promulgated
until at least 2001.

The Role of Hydrogeology
Perhaps the most important "take-
home message" from these two stud-
ies may be insights into the role that
hydrogeology may play in MTBE
plume development. For example,
you might  suspect that California
and Texas do not have identical geol-
ogy, and therefore you would expect
             • continued on page 28

   77» authors of the LLNL report summarized their report by offering the following conclusions:
   •  MTBE is a frequent and widespread contaminant in shallow groundwater throughout California. There are presently 32,409 leaking under-
     ground fuel tank (LUFT) sites recognized in the state, 13,278 at which hydrocarbons are known to have impacted groundwater. A minimum
     estimate of the number of MTBE-impacted sites in California is greater than 10,000.
   •  MTBE plumes are more mobile than BTEX plumes. Although our results using 1995-1996 data indicate that, at the majority of sites, individ-
     ual MTBE plumes were nearly equivalent or shorter than their corresponding benzene plumes (defined by action levels of 20 and 1  ug L -1,
     respectively), our results predict that at a portion of these sites, this relationship will change over time as the contaminant plumes gradually
   •  The primary attenuation mechanism for MTBE is dispersion. Observed attenuation of BTEX and MTBE compounds at downgradient monitor-
     ing wells suggests that MTBE is not significantly degrading in existing monitoring networks. Thus, MTBE may be regarded as recalcitrant under
     site-specific conditions, MTBE concentrations leaving these  networks were greater than those of BTEX compounds at a significant portion of
     LUFT sites. Assuming resistance of MTBE to biodegradation, these plumes will eventually attenuate to regulatory concentration goals due to
     dispersion, although in contrast to BTEX compounds, the mass would not be depleted and significantly longer distances and time frames would
     be required,
   *  MTBE has the potential to impact regional groundwater resources and may present a cumulative contamination hazard. To date,  impacts of
     MTBE to public  water systems have been limited and were similar in frequency to those of benzene. Based on historical data, future impacts
     of aromatic hydrocarbons, such  as benzene, to water supplies is not expected to be common, due to retardation and relative ease of biodegra-
     dation. In contrast, MTBE contamination may be a progressive problem due to the chemical's apparent recalcitrance and mobility.
     With a compound that appears both ubiquitous and recalcitrant, water resource management on the regional scale will become increasingly
     relevant For example, the potential long-term accumulation of mass resulting from dispersion of MTBE plumes may be a key consideration
     for management of specific regional groundwater basins. Therefore, leak prevention is a critical requirement for the continued use of MTBE to
     ensure future protection of drinking water resources.
   »  The aulhors have identified two major areas of  uncertainty in their results. First, presently available MTBE data are limited. Second, the issue
     of recalcitrance of MTBE has not been resolved.
     ideally, time-series data from hundreds of LUFT sites representing all hydrogeologic regions of California should be utilized to characterize the
     behavior and  impact of MTBE plumes. Analyses of an expanded data set are important to  confirm the study's initial findings regarding the
     mobility and recalcitrance of MTBE at California LUFT sites. Further time-series analyses are necessary for predicting future MTBE  impacts to
     groundwater resources and assessing the vulnerability of drinking water resources.
     A number of laboratory-cultured microorganisms isolated from various environments can degrade MTBE, yet there is no convincing evidence
     to date that this  destructive process occurs quickly and/or commonly in the field. While future research is warranted to address these issues,
     it Is appropriate to manage groundwater resources with the assumption that MTBE is both mobile and recalcitrant relative to benzene, until
     proven otherwise.

   The purpose of the UT-BEG study was to quantify the spatial and temporal variability of dissolved MTBE plumes resulting from leaking petrole-
   um storage tank (LPST) sites In Texas. Based on a database of 609 LPST sites that had at least one measurement of MTBE, the major conclu-
  sions of the study are as follows:
  •  MTBE Is detected in shallow groundwater beneath LPST sites in most parts of the state. Although reformulated gasoline is required  only in the
     Houston-Galveston and the Dallas-Fort Worth areas, MTBE is detected at 93 percent of LPST sites and is found in shallow groundwater in most
     areas of the state. In 79 percent  of monitoring well sampling events, MTBE concentration is greater than benzene concentration.
  •  Most sites have MTBE concentrations that exceed the EPA advisory level and the protective concentration level proposed for Texas. The medi-
     an maximum concentration of MTBE measured  at the sites is 1,600 ppb, the 95th percentile occurring at about 100,000 ppb. Approximately
     85 percent of the sites have maximum concentrations that exceed 20 ppb  (the lower limit of the EPA MTBE advisory), and 80 percent of the
     sites have maximum concentrations that exceed 40 ppb (a proposed protective concentration level for Texas). Maximum MTBE concentrations
     are more likely to be higher at sites having shallow depth to water (<5 feet) than sites having deeper depth to water (>20 feet).
  •  MTBE plumes are, on average, about 27 feet longer than benzene plumes.  Based on plumes defined at 89 sites for MTBE and 289 sites for
     benzene, geometric mean  plume lengths for MTBE and benzene at a concentration of 10 ppb are 182 and 155 feet,  respectively. MTBE plumes
    are longer than benzene plumes  at 56 percent of LPST sites. MTBE plumes are longer in sandy formations than in clayey formations  and are
    also longer at deeper depths to water than at shallower depths to  water. MTBE plumes extend beyond the edge of the monitoring well network
    at about 10 percent of the 89 investigated sites.
  •  MTBE plumes may be naturally attenuated at many sites in Texas: (a) Many wells (83 percent) have stable, decreasing, or no detection of MTBE
    concentration; (b) the co-occurrence of MTBE with benzene has remained steady over the past seven years; (c) many sites investigated  in detail
    show evidence of plume stability; and (d) many MTBE plumes are similar in  size to the benzene plume at the same  site. The similar size of the
    MTBE and benzene plumes and stable MTBE concentrations and plume length may be direct evidence of the intrinsic biodegradation of MTBE
    at many LPST sites in Texas. However, there will still be sites where MTBE plumes are mobile and much longer than their companion benzene
  • The behavior of MTBE plumes over time needs  more study.  Although our results suggest that MTBE plumes may be naturally attenuated  in
    Texas, direct measures of MTBE  plume behavior over time are limited to only several sites. As MTBE concentrations are collected from more
    monitoring wells, many more plumes should  be characterized to  support the conclusions of this study. Additional data will allow the  estima-
    tion of more current MTBE plume lengths and the quantification of the relative fraction of sites that have stable, growing, or receding plumes.

                                                                                        LUSTLine Bulletin 30
 Investigation and Remediation
Risk Communication
Trust and  Credibility
by Susan Brown

       Communicating environmental risk often takes place within the context of emotional stress,
       fear, uncertainty, and a mishmash of competing facts and perceptions. It doesn't matter
       whether your stakeholders are your colleagues, your management, tank owners and opera-
tors, legislators, bankers, environmentalists, or the general public—your ability to effectively com-
municate risk-based programs and messages is crucial to the success of your program.
   In the last issue of LUSTLine, we
   discussed  the  importance  of
   developing a public involvement
strategy. This strategy, whatever it
may be, will be successful ONLY if
you are perceived as being trustwor-
thy and credible in the eyes of your
    Common sense, you say? If so,
then why are so many people in
decision-making positions today not
trusted? Let's look at the govern-
ment, for example. Are representa-
tives of the federal government or
your state government trusted when
they make commitments? Do your
stakeholders believe that these com-
mitments are real? Or do they sense
subterfuge, cover-ups, or misleading
statements?  Do your  stakeholders
believe that you are sincere, candid,
and honest? If so, good for you! Keep
up the good work! If not, what can
you do to change this perception?

Do You Care Enough ...?
Dr. Vincent Covello, of the Center
for Risk Communication in  New
York City, identifies four factors that
affect the public's perception of trust
and credibility: empathy and caring,
dedication and commitment, hon-
esty and openness, and competence
and expertise. Covello  states that
your  ability to show empathy and
caring contributes 50 percent to your
overall trust and credibility in the
eyes of your stakeholders. In other
words,  the decision I make about
whether you  are  trustworthy  is
highly influenced by your ability to
show me  that you care, that "you
can relate to my concern," that you
are listening.
   Ask  yourself  these
questions: Do you care?
Are you able to put your-
self in the shoes of those
with whom you are com-
municating?   Do   you
understand why they are
   I will suggest to you that
if you are unable to care, if
you cannot relate, or if you
do  not  understand  your •
stakeholders'  concern, then
perhaps you have been inap-
propriately cast in the public
interaction arena. Perhaps that job
would be better suited to someone
else. Time and time  again, we see
examples of  emotion being dis-
counted with the stating of facts. But
we must realize that before the facts
can be heard,  the emotion must be
   The decision I make about whether
     you are trustworthy is highly
   influenced by your ability to show
    me that you care, that "you can
    relate to my concern," that you
           are listening.
    The  other  factors—dedication
 and commitment, honesty and open-
 ness, and competence and  exper-
 tise—are each equally important in
 forming the whole trust and credibil-
 ity circle. Staying power, accessibil-
 ity, and knowing  what you  are
doing—along with showing it—are
important to your stakeholders as
they judge for themselves your trust-

Specific Actions
So what do you do, exactly, to estab-
lish trust  and credibility? First of all,
your language, both verbal and non-
verbal, helps to create an atmosphere
of trust. Using words that are under-
standable and using body language
that portrays openness send the mes-
sage that you are credible.

To show empathy and caring:
• Say that you care.
• Share the other person's frustra-
• Take concerns seriously.
• Maintain eye contact.
• Involve your stakeholders early.

             • continued on page 28


 LUSTLitte Bulletin 30
 • Trust and Credibility
 To show dedication and
    Arrive at public interactions early.
    Be the last one to leave.
    Know your stakeholders' interests.
    Be accessible.
    Stay in touch.
    FOLLOW UP!!!

 To show honesty and openness:
 •  Be proactive in communication.
 •  Admit mistakes.
 •  Avoid technical jargon and acro-
 •  Avoid physical barriers.
 •  Use open, positive body language.

 To show competence and
 •  State your credentials.
 •  Relate relevant experience.
 •  Avoid debates.
• Refer to credible sources  that
   agree with you.
• Use dear and concise language.

Look Out for the Traps
What do you need to look out for as
you are working to establish trust
and credibility? The jargon, humor,
and negatives traps.

•  Limit  your use  of  jargon.
   Remember, your technical exper-
   tise may very well be like a for-
   eign language to people outside of
   your  field. So use language that
   can be understood by those with
   whom you are communicating.

•  Do not use humor.  Remember,
   the subject you are discussing is of
   a serious nature. Your stakehold-
   ers' concerns are serious concerns.
   During interactions where emo-
   tions  surface, humor is inappro-
   priate.  So  don't try to  cover
   nervousness with a joke; don't try
   to "lighten up" the situation with
   a humorous story. If you are in a
   situation where you must employ
   risk communication skills during
   the  interaction,  then leave the
   humor at home.

•  Avoid negative words. Research
   has found that individuals tend to
   focus  on  the negative  during
   emotionally laden  interactions.
   Therefore, repeating negative alle-
   gations, using words that have
   negative connotations, or using
   words  such  as  "no,"   "not,"
   "never," "nothing," and "none"
   will work to diminish, instead of
   increase, trust. Instead, use posi-
   tive words and phrases while you
   focus on the present and future.

The moral of this story? Be diligent
in your efforts to establish and main-
tain  trust and  credibility.   Your
efforts will result in improved inter-
action and a true sharing of informa-
tion and ideas! M	

  Susan Brown is a Risk Communica-
   tion Trainer with Brown Training
   Associates in Fernandina Beach,
 Florida. For more information, Susan
  can be reached at
 • MTBE Plume Length Studies
from page 25	

 some differences in "typical" shallow
 hydrogeology at UST sites in the two
 states. Eighty-eight percent of the
 sites studied in the LLNL study were
 in alluvial sediments, while most of
 the sites in the Texas study were in
 lower-permeability  sediments that
 are common in the Gulf Coast states.
 Presumably the average groundwa-
 ter velocity for the California sites
 would have been higher than for the
 Texas sites, which might translate to
 longer MTBE plumes.

 First Steps in a Long Journey
These differences and uncertainties
 aside, the findings of these two new
studies provide a valuable and infor-
mative  snapshot of  MTBE  plume
behavior and will help direct future
research  and  regulatory  decision
making  regarding management  of
MTBE-impacted sites. Both reports
contain  a  lot of other interesting
observations—from assessments  of
analytical procedures to detailed case
studies. They do not, however, pro-
vide definitive answers to predicting
the long-term impacts  of MTBE at
UST sites. If you read these reports
(and all LUSTLine readers interested
in this topic owe it to themselves to
do so), you may wind up with a
longer list of questions than when
you started! You may also find your
interpretations   differ   from  the
authors, but you most certainly will
obtain a better understanding of the
complexities of characterizing MTBE
releases from USTs. •

  Bruce Bauman is the Ground Water
   Research Program Coordinator at
 API. He has been with API since 1985.
  For more information, contact Bruce
       at or
                                                                                           LUSTLine Bulletin 30
   Health and Safety
       As promised in the last issue of LUSTLine, we are continuing our
       campaign to keep safety at the forefront of your UST-related work.
       When removing tanks or inspecting in tank areas, there are some
procedures that make the business safer. The following tips, which are
based on OSHA requirements, were prepared by Deborah Roy of
SafeTech Consultants, Inc.

Trenching and Excavation
^ Shore up the sides of the tank excavation when workers must
   enter by installing braces, jacks, or shields, such as a trench box.
/ Alternatively, slope the sides of the  cut to the "angle of
   repose"—the greatest angle above the horizontal plane at
   which material will lie without sliding. The "competent per-
   son" on your job should determine the soil type and make  the
   recommendation for the correct angle to use. For Class C soil,
   the angle is 1.5:1.
/ Make sure that any excavated material is placed at least 2 feet
   from the edge of the cut.
/ Test the atmosphere of any excavation that is greater than 4 feet in depth. If a hazardous atmosphere exists, venti-
   late or use respiratory protection to prevent exposure and have appropriate rescue equipment (e.g., safety line and
   harness) on site.
/ If you enter a trench that is greater than 4 feet deep, make sure that you have a means of exit (e.g., a ladder) within
   25 feet of lateral travel.
  If an excavation has a vertical wall, workers must remain double the distance of
  the height of the wall away from the wall, or must use a shoring system, j,
  (See example at right.)                                                       §
                                                                                16 feet -
Electrical Practices
/ Use only explosion-proof equipment around tank environments that contain flammable vapors or are suspected of
  containing chemical contaminants.
/ Install and use ground fault circuit interrupters on portable generators, electrical equipment, connectors, and
/ Use only three-pronged, grounded electric extension cords. DO NOT use a cord that has cuts or abraded areas in
  the outer covering, even if it has been "repaired" with electric tape. Damaged cords can heat up and burn, and,
  beyond the injury and explosion potential, OSHA will cite you!
/ For gasoline or other flammable liquid tanks, use only nonsparking tools to expose tank fittings and prepare for
  vapor-freeing procedures. Nonsparking tools are usually coated with brass.
/ Lock out or tag out equipment such as fuel pumps at gas stations prior to servicing or repair to  prevent the unex-
  pected start-up of moving parts or the release of stored energy.

/ Monitor weather conditions when working outdoors and suspend work during electrical storms.

Personal Protective Equipment and Site Safety
/ Evaluate potential physical and chemical hazards, determine the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and
  use it! This means hard hats for flying metals or overhead hazards, safety glasses with side shields or goggles for
  dust and small particles, and chemical gloves for contact with tank contents such as petroleum products.

^ Require and use safety vests when working in an area where there is vehicular traffic or heavy equipment.

/ Control access to the site, especially the area of excavation, by use of barriers, cones, or hazard tape. Protect tank-
  site workers from vehicular traffic and protect the public (including children) from the tank excavation.

/ Keep your workplace clean and hazard-free.

More next time. H

 LUSTLhte Bulletin 30
    Enforcement Strategy for
    1998 UST Deadline
    On August 10, EPA's Strategy for
    Enforcement of Regulatory Require-
    ments Applicable to Underground
    Storage Tank (UST) Facilities was
    released. The  document  can be
    accessed on EPA's Web site at /1998 /in
    dgx.bim. See  page 5 for  more
   Popular UST Compliance
   Assistance Publication
   The EPA Office of Underground
   Storage Tanks (OUST) has revised
   and updated the leaflet Ordering
   Information on Underground Storage
   Tanks (EPA 510-F-98-016,  August
   1998), a very useful tool for alert-
   ing UST owners and operators that
   they can easily obtain a wide vari-
   ety of free compliance assistance
   materials from EPA.
   OUST Reprints Automatic
   Tank Gauge Leaflet
   After having distributed over 9,000
   copies of the leaflet Getting the
   Most Out of Your Automatic Tank
   Gauging System, EPA has reprinted
   the publication.  The  leaflet pro-
   vides UST owners and operators
   with a basic checklist for making
   sure their automatic tank gauging
   systems  work  effectively, and
   focuses on what actions must be
   taken to comply with leak detec-
   tion requirements and prevent sig-
   nificant cleanup problems.

OUST Documents Now
Available Through EPA
Fax-on-Demand Service
Over  220  OUST  documents,
including OUST's most frequently
requested publications, such as
Musts for USTs, are now available
to any user who has access to a fax
machine. By dialing (202) 651-2098
from a fax machine and following
the  voice  prompts, users  can
immediately  obtain  copies  of
OUST    guidance    documents,
brochures, booklets, lists of state
program  contacts,  notification
forms, fact sheets, and more. For
users who do not have access to
the Internet, this option is an alter-
native way to obtain needed UST
program information quickly. Doc-
uments   are  available  free  of
charge; the requester pays only the
telephone charges for the fax ser-
Effects of MTBE Releases
on State LUST Programs
Reported in Article
An article titled "Study Reports
LUST  Programs  Are  Feeling
Effects of MTBE Releases" appears
in the August/September  1998
issue  of  Soil  &  Groundwater
Cleanup. The article, which was
written by Robert Hitzig of OUST
and  Paul  Kostecki and  Denise
Leonard of the University of Mass-
achusetts (UMass), reports on the
results of a survey of state LUST
programs  conducted by  UMass
and funded by OUST. The survey
was designed to gauge the impact
of MTBE on state LUST programs
and to determine and evaluate any
effective methods for dealing with
MTBE that states have developed.
Some results of the survey include
the following:

H For most state programs, the
   detection of MTBE is common,
   and  because  the behavioral
   characteristics of MTBE differ
   from those of BTEX, MTBE may
   contaminate groundwater  in
   unexpected locations  and  in
   unexpected ways (e.g., at diesel
   fuel sites or as a result of surface
   spills of small amounts of gaso-

• LUST programs have reported
   that existing remediation tech-
   nologies  for  both  soil and
   groundwater can be successful
   in  removing MTBE  from the

H Releases of gasoline containing
   MTBE can significantly increase
   the cost of remediation, particu-
   larly when  a release  contains
   high concentrations of MTBE.

    The study indicates that state
LUST programs  should be con-
scious of the potential for MTBE
contamination when investigating
all kinds of petroleum releases,
anywhere in the United States,
regardless of whether reformulated
gasoline is used in the area  of
investigation. For more informa-
tion about the survey, contact Mau-
reen Lewison at (703) 603-7143.

To obtain copies of many  of
OUST's publications:

Call NCEPI at (800) 490-9198
or EPA's RCRA Hotline at (800)
424-9346. Or,  go to OUST's
World Wide Web home page at and select
"OUST Publications."
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                              Tee's: M, L, XL, XXL       $ 9.00 pp
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                                       Lowell, MA 01852-1102

                                                                                      LUSTLine Bulletin 30
Gasoline Overfill Spill
Inferno Kills Five and Critically
Injures One in Mississippi
"V"  A That happened at  1  A.M.,
 \/\/ August 9 on a street in
  V  V  Biloxi, Mississippi, should
never have happened—no way, no
how. It happened when over 700 gal-
lons of gasoline overflowed from an
UST at a Texaco service station and
streamed onto U.S. Highway 90.
    As two vehicles waited at a stop
sign at the intersection where the
fuel was flowing,  a pickup truck
approached. In a flash, heat or a
spark ignited the fuel on the ground,
setting off an explosion and fire that
reached 60 feet into the night sky
and engulfed the three vehicles. Two
victims were pronounced dead at the
scene, three others died soon after,
and one remains in critical condition.
Some of the  fuel spilled  into the
sewer system and eventually into the
Mississippi Sound, touching off sec-
ondary explosions.
    According to reports, the driver
of the tanker truck was inexperienced
and may have been delivering the
fuel to the wrong facility. "The tank
he was about to fill was apparently
near capacity," says Kevin Hender-
son, Chief of Compliance with the
Mississippi Department of Environ-
mental Quality. "Based on our initial
investigations, we suspect that when
he stuck the tank, he didn't replace
the cap on the gauge opening prop-
erly. He then went over to the remote
fill, connected the hose, began filling
the tank, and left the area for what we
surmise to be approximately five
   According to  Henderson,  the
tank was equipped with a ball float
valve   overfill  spill  prevention
device. The valve appeared to be
functioning correctly, and all of the
ancillary fittings on top of the tank
were tight. So why  did the fuel over-
flow?  Well, there was the matter of
the unsecured  cap  at  the gauge
opening where the driver stuck the
   For a float vent valve to work,
the tank top must be  air-tight—
everything from gauge fittings to ris-
ers to drain mechanisms on spill
buckets—and able to hold the pres-
sure created when the tank fills and
the ball floats upward and blocks the
vent pipe opening. When the vent is
closed, no more  fuel should be able
to enter the tank. In this case, how-
ever, a 4-inch riser used to gauge the
tank was left open, and the fuel
began to flow out of that opening.
    "The remote fill is the key here,"
says Henderson. "Under normal cir-
cumstances the driver sticks the tank
and then connects the delivery hose
to the same riser opening, thereby
ensuring  a  tight tank top. With a
remote fill, the potential for this type
of catastrophe is there. Also, any
tank with a drop tube device or ball
float valve  must have a 'tight fill
adapter/ which allows the delivery
person to hook the tight fill device
on his hose to the tank's and make a
tight connection."
    While there are federal regula-
tions for  owners and operators to
ensure that spills and overfills do not
occur, Henderson says that, as far as
he knows, in most states, the act of
making a fuel delivery is not regu-
lated, "and this is where we are
going to have continuing problems
with fuel spills. A tragedy like this
should call attention to the serious-
ness of this problem."
    For the  foreseeable future, fuel
deliveries will be made by people,
and people can make mistakes—big
mistakes. Maryland is the only state
that we know of that requires fuel
delivery drivers to be certified. •
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   We welcome your comments and suggestions on any of our articles.

  National Leak Detection Performance
  Study Gets Under Way—Participants
     In response to concerns about the effectiveness of leak
     detection methods under field conditions, EPA's Grants
     Administration Division is funding a national study to
  analyz&	data	collected.	b,y, state and local,inspectors during
  tank closure or release investigations.
     The study will be conducted by Dr. Thomas Young at the
  University of California, Davis (UCD). The first phase of the
  project is to identify state and local implementing agencies
  that are willing to participate by completing a simple, one-
  page form for each site investigation. The exact design of the
  data collection form	will be	addressed„in the second phase by,
  the participating agencies and the project team.
    	Qngg	t|}g|§rjri	Jiagigga^gsigned and disseminated,, par-
  ticipants will collect the data and submit them to UCD for
  analysis.  The data will be used to:
  3) Compile a database that will be made available electroni-
     cally to state agencies and others,
  !2) Prepare a final report,'an3 ""
  [3) Communicate results about leak detection effectiveness
     in a future LUSTLine article.
     A pilot project that is following this approach is currently
  being conducted by the California State Water Resources
  Control Board and UCD. The results of that study will be
  used to help design the new effort.
     The successi of |his study will depend upon the active
  participation of implementing agencies—more data points
  help strengthen conclusions about which brands and meth-
  ods of leak detection are most effective.  A small investment
  in tinw spent by a large number of agencies will lead to infor-
  matlon that will help both  regulators and tank owners
  Improve their approaches to leak detection. •
        For more information about the study, contact Tom
   Young by email (tyoung@ucdavis.eduj or phone (530)  754-
        . If you are interested in p_articip_atin^in
                               BS, possible.
                      EMMII	ilH^^^^                     	VM\
State Cleanup Fund
Administrators Powwow
in Austin
     This June, the Association of State and
     Territorial  Solid Waste  Management
     Officials' (ASTSWMO) Tanks Subcom-
mittee State Fund Cleanup Task Force held its
Seventh Annual State Fund Administrators
Conference in Austin, Texas. Each year, the
conference agenda is packed with sessions that
address the many issues that state fund admin-
istrators across the country have in common.
Copies of the conference proceeding are avail-
able from Steve Crimaudo (ASTSWMO) at
(202) 624-7875.
    Awards for the best State  Fund Success
Stories were presented to four states for four
different categories. The winners—Florida for
Financial Success, Iowa for Policy Innovation
and Productivity, Missouri for Success with
Stakeholders, and Colorado for Best Overall
Getting the Job Done.
    Two products of the State Fund Cleanup
Task Force, the annual Summary of State Fund
Survey Results and a State Fund  Success Stones
Compendium, third edition, were disseminated
at the conference. At the close  of the confer-
ence, the co-chair baton was passed from Dan
Neal (Texas) to Lori Baker (Kentucky). Lori
and George Matthis (North Carolina) will co-
chair the task force during the 1998-1999 year.
    For more information about the State Fund
Cleanup Funds Task Force, contact Lori Baker
at (502) 564-5981 or George Matthis at (919)
733-1332. To learn more about the ASTSWMO
Tanks Subcommittee, contact the Subcommit-
tgeChafc Scptt Winters .(Colorado) at (303) 620-
4008, or Stephen Crimaudo at (202) 624-7883. •
New England Interstate Water
Pollution Control Commission
Boott Mills South
Foot of John Street
Lowell, MA 01852-1102
Forwarding and return postage guaranteed.
Address correction requested.