New England Interstate
Water Pollution Control
116 John Street
Lowell, Massachusetts
                   Bulletin 71
A Report On Federal & State Programs To Control Leaking: Underground Storage Tanks
When   Winkle   Woke   U
My, How UST
Systems Have
Changed in
25 Years!
by Marcel Moreau

   Van felt himself awakening—
   slowly—as if he had been at the
   bottom of a deep pool and was
swimming upward toward a beck-
oning light above. But eventually
he broke the surface and emerged...
from his dream into the daylight. He
was disoriented at first, but slowly
recognized the familiar contours of
his cozy shelter and the expanse of
the valley below. As far as he knew
it was April 1987, and he had visited
his retreat in the woods to look over
some proposed USEPA tank regula-
tions in peace and quiet, away from the office of his hectic
pump and tank service business. It seemed late now. "EPA
should market those rules as a sleep aid," he thought,
rubbing his stiff muscles and still trying to shake off the
drowsiness. "I'd better be getting back to the office."
  When he reached his workplace, he scratched his head
in profound bewilderment. There was a new brick facade,
new trucks in the yard, a new mailbox, and a new logo
and name. His "Winkle's Pump & Tank" sign was gone,
replaced by "Winkle's  Petroleum Services." He entered
the door with the look of someone who wasn't sure if he
was still dreaming. An  unfamiliar young woman looked
up from her desk and asked with a somewhat suspicious
tone, "Can I help you?"
                    • continued on page 2

  ) Inventorying SC's Petroleum Sites

  ) Methane at LUST Spill Sites? Part 1

  ) Something's Gotta Give
  ) Getting Past the "Chicken Little Syndrome"

  J Alas, the Lingering UST Release

  ) Calls for USEPA to Revisit Ethanol Quota
16() You Can Judge a Tank by Its Standards

17() NEIWPCC Training for State UST/LUST Personnel

18() PEI UST Equipment Testing RP
19() Report on ULSF Equipment Corrosion

LUSTLine Bulletin 71 •  September 2012
• When Winkle Woke Up
from page 1

    "Where's Betty?" he muttered.
    "Betty who?" asked the young
    "Betty Frost," he answered. "She
works here." The young woman
pressed the intercom button on her
phone and whispered into her head-
set, "Phil, you'd better come out here
right away. There's a weird old guy
out here."
    Phil promptly appeared  from a
doorway at the back of the room and
walked assertively toward Van. "Can
I help you?"
    "I'm Van Winkle, and I own this
place. What's going on here?"
    Stunned, Phil looked carefully at
the old man's wrinkled face. There
was a familiar glint in the old man's
eyes. "Dad? Is that you? Where on
earth have you been?" he gasped.
    Equally  stunned,  Van looked
carefully at the man in front of him.
He could just barely recognize the
square chin and smiling eyes of the
boy he used to know. "Phil?"

           Ellen Frye, Editor
          Ricki Pappo, Layout
     Marcel Moreau, Technical Adviser
    Patricia Ellis, PhD, Technical Adviser
 Ronald Poltak, NEIWPCC Executive Director
    Erin Knighton, USEPA Project Officer
 LUSTLine is a product of the New England
 Interstate Water Pollution Control Commis-
  sion (NEIWPCC). It is produced through
 cooperative agreements (US-83384301 and
  US-83384401) between NEIWPCC and the
   U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
   LUSTLine is issued as a communication
      service for the Subtitle I RCRA
   Hazardous & Solid Waste Amendments
       rule promulgation process.
     LUSTLine is produced to promote
 information exchange on UST/ LUST issues.
 The opinions and information stated herein
  are those of the authors and do not neces-
   sarily reflect the opinions of NEIWPCC.
     This publication may be copied.
     Please give credit to NEIWPCC.
   NEIWPCC was established by an Act of
   Congress in 1947 and remains the old-
  est agency in the Northeast United States
  concerned with coordination of the multi-
      media environmental activities
    of the states of Connecticut, Maine,
     Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
   New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

            116 John Street
         LoweU, MA 01852-1124
        Telephone: (978) 323-7929
          Fax: (978) 323-7919
    te) LUSTLine is printed on recycled paper.
Getting Up to Speed
A week later, Van and Phil were
enjoying getting to know each other
again. Van had spent a few days in
the hospital getting checked out. No
one believed his story of being asleep
for a quarter  century (although he
did have  a crazy long beard),  but
otherwise the doctors proclaimed
him sane and healthy. Over all those
years Phil had grown his dad's UST
installation and service business con-
siderably.  He was gently giving Van
the lowdown on all that had changed
in the tank world.
    "So whatever  happened  to
those rules I was reading when I fell
asleep?" asked Van as they drove  to a
jobsite together.
    "They went into  effect in 1988
and have  played a big  role in
revamping the whole UST business,"
explained  Phil.

Where Have All the Gas
Stations Gone?
"Gosh, looks like a lot of the places
I used to service are gone now," Van
noted as  they passed  through an
intersection that used to have a  gas
station on each corner. Now there
were two fast  food joints, a used car
lot, and a beauty salon—not a  gas
pump in sight—though the beauty
salon looked like  it might have been
a gas station in another life.
    "Oh yeah," agreed Phil, "the
rules made tank owners think twice.
Commercial operations took a look
at whether they really needed to
have their own tanks to  fuel their
vehicles. Retailers had to  look hard
at their bottom line  to see if they
were making enough money off fuel
dispensing to justify the risks and the
costs. Nationally, the underground
storage tank population is down by
72 percent since  1988—from about
2.1 million to fewer than 600,000.  But
we're using about 20 percent more
gasoline today, so that means each
facility is selling a lot more gas out of
larger tanks. It's way more efficient
and better for most everyone con-
    "What about all those old tanks
that aren't  being used anymore?"
asked Van. "Seems like those might
get to a point where they're gonna
rot out and collapse."
    "Well," said Phil, "it's not like
you remember when people used
to just walk away from tanks that
had leaked or that they didn't want
anymore. Ever since the rules, most
tanks that aren't going to be used
any longer are removed. And not
only that, if there's contamination—
and there is most of the time—the
contamination has to be cleaned
    "Cleaned up?" quipped Van.
"I remember when you dug a tank
out of the ground you filled in the
excavation as fast as possible so you
wouldn't have a fire hazard from the
gas and fumes in the hole."
    "You'd be in a lot of trouble if
you did that today, dad. Nowadays
you've got to take soil samples and
groundwater samples  and have
them analyzed before you can call a
hole clean. A whole cleanup indus-
try has sprung up around doing just
that at gas station sites. Nationally,
tens of billions of dollars have been
spent cleaning up leaking tank sys-
tem sites. While you were sleeping,
I started a subsidiary cleanup com-
pany for a while in the 1990s because
there was  so much cleanup work
with all the tanks being dug up. I
sold that off a while ago to get back
to just doing the UST service and
installation work."

They're Double-Walled Too?
They arrived at the worksite where
a new tank was being lowered into
the excavation. "Whoa, that is one
mother of a tank!" exclaimed Van.
    "Yep, we put in lots of compart-
mented tanks these days. That one
is 20,000 gallons with two compart-
    "Hmm, I  see it's fiberglass,"
noted Van. "I never thought I'd see
the day when there'd  be fiberglass
tanks going in around here. Don't
they cost a lot more?"
    "The days of burying old tin
cans in the ground are gone, Dad.
Everything has to be corrosion pro-
tected now. Some people still use
steel tanks, but even  then they're
usually coated with fiberglass. Noth-
ing is as cheap nowadays as those
old bare steel tanks you used to
    "What's that dome on the top of
the tank?
    "Oh, that's the brine reservoir
for the leak detection system. It's a
double-walled tank with liquid in
between the walls so you can tell if
there's a leak."

                                                                              September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
    "So they're double-walled too?!"
    "Yeah Dad, for several years now
that's all we've been putting in."
    "Well,  ain't that something,"
marveled Van. "All the big oil guys
used to say inventory control was all
you needed for leak detection. When
I used to try to sell double-walled
tanks in  the '80s owners looked at
me like I was from another planet.
They couldn't understand why any-
body would want to bury that much
money where no customer was ever
going to see it."
    "Well, leak detection for single-
walled systems wasn't working out
so well, so rules changed beginning
in 2005 so that most states have gone
to nothing but double-walled tanks."
    "What's the blue stuff on that
    "That's  double-walled  flex
    "Flex pipe?"
    "Yeah, it's the joints in the piping
that always leaked, right? With flex
pipe, you drastically cut down on the
number of joints, which really helps
with the  piping leaks, although pip-
ing is still where we have the biggest
    "Wonder why  I didn't think of
that," said Van. "And  what are those
big tubs?"
    "Those are the sumps that go
around the submersible and under-
neath the dispensers. They catch all
the leaks from those areas. They'll
have sensors in them that will sound
an alarm  if there's a problem."
    Van was shaking his head. "I'll
bet there's a lot of old oil company
men turning over in their graves to
think about all this money and tech-
nology going into the ground. To
think we  used to say all it took to put
in a tank was a backhoe and a cou-
ple of six packs on a Saturday after-
    "Not any more,  Dad. Things
are pretty complicated these days.
There's blueprints  and permits and
checklists and certificates and safety
rules and lots more than you  ever
had to think about."
    As Phil checked in with the job
foreman  to be sure everything was
going smoothly, Van watched as the
huge crane carefully lowered the
tank into the excavation. "I guess the
days of rolling  a tank into the hole
and hoping it lands with the bungs
up are gone," he thought.
    "Okay, things are looking good
here, Dad," said Phil, waving him
over to his truck. "Let's go check
out a site that we just finished. They
opened for business yesterday and I
want to make sure everything is run-
ning smoothly."

Where Are the Service Bays?
"Man,  this sure is fancier than what
I remember," said Van as they drove
into the parking lot of the new gas
station/C-store/deli operation.
"Where are the service bays?"
    "Well dad, gas stations where
you bring your car for repairs are
getting to be few and far between.
Most retail fuel facilities sell food
now, not tires, batteries, and acces-
sories. "
    "Those dispensers look pretty
fancy. I'll bet those are pricey!"
    "Yeah, they're a lot fancier than
what you used to put in. Most every-
thing is electronic now. No more
gears and dials in the meters or dis-
    Van did a double take. "Did that
person just put a credit card in that
    "That's right  dad. It's called a
card reader in dispenser or GRIND.
People don't have to go into the store
anymore to pay. They can pay right
at the pump."

"Holy smokes!" declared Van. "And
what's that different colored pump
over there?"
    "That's an E85  dispenser,"
chuckled Phil. "E85 is a blend of 85
percent ethanol and 15 percent gaso-
line. All the other gasoline dispens-
ers here are pumping E10, that's
what you used to call gasohol, with
10 percent ethanol. About 10 per-
cent of fuel these days is corn-based
ethanol. And there's some folks say
we should use even more  ethanol
because it's homegrown."
    "Ethanol? Whatever happened
to  Methanol? That's what I  remem-
ber all the environmental folks push-
ing when I went to sleep."
    "Well, there were some pretty
big issues with methanol like com-
patibility with existing storage sys-
tems and the fact that you had to
have special cars to use it. Oil compa-
nies had been adding this stuff called
MtBE to gasoline in the '80s to help
replace the octane we were losing by
phasing out the lead we used to have
in gasoline. It turned out some stud-
ies said that MtBE could help reduce
emissions as well. It was compatible
with storage systems and you could
use it in existing vehicles, so you
could reduce tailpipe emissions a lot
sooner because you didn't have to
replace the country's entire vehicle
fleet. So MtBE was in the gasoline
for most of the '90s until it started
showing up in groundwater all over
the place. Seems like our storage sys-
tems weren't quite as leak-tight as
we hoped they were, and MtBE was
getting  out  into the environment.
So then  Congress said  we had to
use more renewable fuel, so  there's
ethanol in most of our gasoline these
days. We're seeing more biodiesel
now too. "
    "Man, sounds like a lot was hap-
pening while I was snoozin'!"

That's One Fancy Gauge Stick!
As they entered the new store, Phil
waved to his father, "Let's  go out
back, Dad. I want to show you this
new tank gauge. It's the  latest. It
lets the owner monitor his  inven-
tory from anywhere, sends alarm
messages, does everything but brew
your coffee. With the right software
and these tank gauges, a single per-
son can manage inventory, deliver-
ies,  and  leak detection for hundreds
of facilities and not even work up a
    "Wow, I remember a salesman
trying  to sell me on these. They
looked pretty Mickey Mouse to me
back then. Why would anyone want
to spend $5,000 on a fancy gauge
stick, when you could get a wooden
one for ten bucks?"
    "Well, Dad, after the EPA rules
required leak detection, it was pretty
clear that tank gauges were the only
means of leak detection that actu-
ally gave you a business benefit by
helping  you with your inventory as
well as meeting your leak detection
requirements,  so ATGs, that's what
they're called, really kind of took off
in the 1990s. Pretty much everybody
has them nowadays."

PEI Is Still Doing RPs
Back at  the office, Van noticed a
vaguely familiar document on Phil's
desk. "Is that the PEI Recommended
Practice  on Tank Installation?"
                 • continued on page 4

LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
• When Winkle Woke Up
from page 3

    "Yes, it is Dad. In fact, PEI has
a whole library of RPs now. There's
RPs on how to maintain dispensers
and tanks, how to build marinas and
vehicle  lubrication facilities—you
name it. The old seat of the pants
approach just doesn't cut it anymore.
People like to have standards to refer
to,  especially since most of the big
oil guys are leaving retailing. So it's
a good thing that organizations like
PEI and STI have stepped in to give
us some solid guidelines."

Big Oil Is  Leaving Retailing?
"Big oil is leaving retailing!? So
who's running gas stations nowa-
days?" asked Van.
    "Well  it  depends. In populated
areas there are some pretty substan-
tial regional marketers that run really
good operations. And what we call
"big box" retailers like Sam's Club
and Costco are selling a lot of gaso-
line too. But in less populated areas
it's mostly just mom 'n pop opera-
tions, and a lot of them are being
run by folks from other countries
going after their piece of the Ameri-
can dream. Sometimes I  feel like a
diplomat trying to understand all
these foreign cultures so I can keep in
touch with my customers. It's a real
   "Well Phil, I gotta say I admire
what you've done with my company.
I'm sure I'd never be able to deal
with all this new stuff. This world's
just gotten too complicated for me."
   "Well, Dad, you had a great rep-
utation for quality service around
here, and  you had some real good
technicians working for you too, so
when you disappeared it wasn't too
hard to keep things going. But I'm
real glad I have a business degree
to help me figure all this out. And I
spend a lot of time just keeping up
with changes in equipment, regula-
tions, and customers. I expect it's
only going to get more complicated
as time goes on. But that's what
keeps it interesting."
   "Well, maybe so, but I think I'm
ready for another nap!" •

  Marcel Moreau is a nationally rec-
  ognized petroleum storage specialist
  whose column, "Tank-nically Speak-
   ing," is a regular feature o/LUST-
 Line. Marcel can be reached at marcel.
Hiding  in  Plain  Sight

Inventorying South Carolina's Petroleum Sites

by Mark Berenbrok

       Gas stations have been a common fixture of the American landscape in both rural and urban areas since the 1920s.
       Given the possibility that contaminated soils or a long-forgotten UST could be lurking just beneath the surface,
       communities attempting to address vacated petroleum sites, referred to as brownfields, often face a challenge
in developing a comprehensive inventory. Locating the corner gas station that closed three years ago is easy. But what
about that much less obvious gas station that closed in the 1960s and the building has been remodeled and repurposed?
Memories fade, people move away, buildings are demolished, and parking lots are repaved. The gas station your grand-
father frequented may now be the sandwich shop that went out of business last year.
    Many South Carolina communities have applied for and received USEPA grants to inventory and assess both haz-
ardous substance and petroleum sites in areas they have targeted for development or revitalization projects. The South
Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) assists grantees  in compiling inventories, develop-
ing work plans, conducting site assessments, and understanding assessment results. Petroleum brownfields such as for-
mer gas stations present a unique challenge because they're numerous and usually small. Educating stakeholders about
the many sources of petroleum and how those sources are regulated are key components of our outreach.

The Tip of the Iceberg
Grantees often begin their inventory
with a windshield survey of gas sta-
tions and bulk terminals. They may
supplement it with  a list of sites
from the state petroleum program.
But this may be a mere glimpse at
what is actually buried out there. The
user of any list needs to know how it
was compiled and what it does and
doesn't include to understand its
limitations. For example:
  •  Any list of UST sites is going to
    be biased toward facilities that
    have operated since 1974. Since
    gas stations have been open-
    ing and closing since the 1920s
    you're going to miss a consider-
    able number of sites if you limit
    yourself to a  list from a state
    agency. We have found that an
    inventory composed only of reg-
    ulated UST sites will include less
    than half of the potential popula-
    tion of petroleum sites.
    Some states regulate  heating
    oil tanks  and ASTs  (above-
    ground storage tanks)  in addi-
    tion to USTs. Some lists may only
    include AST and heating oil sites
    if a release has  been reported.
   Petroleum  facilities that no
   longer  exist (called historic
   sources) include gas stations,
   garages, bulk terminals, heat-
   ing oil tanks, dry cleaners, and
   fleet tanks. These sources should
   be included when building an
   Historic sources often cause
   greater delay in site redevel-
   opment than existing sources.
   Finding contaminated soil or
   that forgotten set of USTs dur-
   ing grading activities can bring
   everything to a grinding halt.

                                                                                  September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
Petroleum 101
Stakeholders need a history lesson
about petroleum use in the twentieth
century. In Petroleum 101 guidance
sessions we cover gas stations, bulk
terminals, railroad lines, abandoned
sites, mystery USTs, and the types of
issues you can expect to encounter at
a long-closed  site. We also provide
an overview of how our regulatory
program works because of misin-
formation  about responsibility and
assessment requirements for petro-
leum contamination.
    UST programs have been reg-
istering sites since the mid-1980s
and overseeing site assessment and
cleanup for just as long. This infor-
mation is a treasure trove for com-
munities that are  often unaware of
site conditions and assessment work
that has been performed. Having a
DHEC liaison for petroleum issues
allows communities to get  prompt,
consistent  answers and builds a
healthy working relationship.

Mapping It Out in Dillon
Dillon is a small city of approximately
6,800 located  in  rural northeast-
ern South Carolina. In 2009 the city
received a USEPA brownfield assess-
ment grant to develop an inventory of
petroleum  sites and conduct Phase I
and Phase II assessments.
    The city had been working with
DHEC on a large derelict manufactur-
ing site prior to 2009 and was famil-
iar  with the brownfields program
and staff. This experience was key
to allowing the city  to incorporate
petroleum brownfields into  its over-
all brownfields initiative. A DHEC
brownfields program staff  member
was assigned as a liaison and assisted
the city throughout the project.
    To allow  the city to identify
potential sites, we  created a Google®
map  of  petroleum sources that
included DHEC records and Sanborn
Fire Insurance maps (Figure 1). (San-
born Maps were originally created
for assessing  fire insurance liabil-
ity in urbanized areas in the United
States. Since 1867, they have pro-
vided detailed information regard-
ing town and building information
in approximately  12,000 U.S. towns
and cities.) The Dillon Google® map
included registered UST sites, AST
sites, and  dry cleaners. Approxi-
mately 140 existing and historic sites
were shown on the map along with
                                      Sanborn Site 1945-S4-002
                                      Last JpdateJ fcv berenbmk on Nov 2, 2009
                                      Filling Station
                                      Address: 100 block of E Harrison St
                                ^H   Directions  Search nearby Save to map  mor
                                              \7*~-  ' '
FIGURE 1. A Google® map of downtown Dillon, South Carolina. Each placemark represents a
petroleum source.
   X   **

 UST Site #02906
 Last Updated by berenbmk 2! minutes ago

 Facility Name: Strickland's Exxon
 Address 201 N Hwy 301 N
 Information Source SCDHEC LIST Program
 Dillon County Tax Map # 069-10 31-004
 UST Permit #: 02906

 Click here for information about this site.
                                     \  Directions Search nearby  Save to map more**
FIGURE 2. Placemarks are color-coded. Clicking a placemark opens an information box for
each site.

a brief description for each (Figure
2). Tax parcel identification numbers
were included if they were  avail-
able from DHEC records. The map
allowed the city to easily identify
sites for follow-up with the depart-
ment's liaison and was a valuable
tool for stakeholders.
The Payoff
By  educating stakeholders, giving
them the tools to easily identify sites,
and providing them with a liaison,
DHEC has enabled communities to
begin building comprehensive petro-
leum brownfields inventories. Creat-
ing an inventory is just the first step
in moving forward with a desired
economic improvement goal. Absen-
tee landlords, site qualification and
access, mystery USTs, and assess-
ment problems are future issues,
but an upfront  investment in time
and resources can make the journey
                                      easier. I
 Mark Berenbrok is Petroleum Brown-
   fields Coordinator with the South
  Carolina Department of Health and
  Environmental Control Brownfields
     Section. He can be reached at

LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
What's  the   Deal   with   Methane  at

LUST  Spill   Sites?  Part  1
by John T. Wilson, Mark Toso, DougMackay, Nick de Sieyes, and George E. DeVaull
This article (Parts 1 and 2) is specifically intended to discuss methane produced from releases ofethanol and gasoline-ethanol mix-
tures. There may be other sources of methane at a site, including leaks of natural gas or methane produced from the natural decay of
buried plant tissues or from the decay of organic wastes in landfills. Since the explosion hazard associated with methane gas is pretty
dramatic, and gets people's immediate attention, we will discuss this in Part 1. In Part 2 we will discuss methane gas specifically
with regard to petroleum vapor intrusion at LUST sites.
     The effects of methane can be
     direct or indirect. The direct
     effects occur in enclosed
spaces, and the indirect effects occur
in soil gas. In enclosed spaces meth-
ane can be a simple asphyxiant (dis-
placing oxygen from air), or it can
form an explosive mixture with air
(HSDB, 2012). In soil gas there are
two potential issues with methane:
(1) the aerobic biodegradation of
methane can use up oxygen that oth-
erwise would be available for bio-
degradation of benzene and other
petroleum hydrocarbons, and (2) the
generation of such a volume of bio-
genie methane that existing soil gas
is displaced. Because high concentra-
tions of methane can limit biodegra-
dation of benzene and other gasoline
hydrocarbons, the chances of petro-
leum hydrocarbon vapor intrusion
may increase. Displacement of soil
gas and the flow of methane can
result in further migration of the
gasoline hydrocarbon vapors, which
also increases the chances of vapor

What's the Chance of an
Explosion? When Should We
Worry About It?
The direct acute  hazard to people
and property is associated  with the
accumulation of flammable con-
centrations within enclosed spaces,
such as vaults, sewers, crawl spaces,
basements, and sumps. A flammable
gas can explode if it is confined. An
explosion is simply a flame with
no place to go.  We will discuss the
flammable range of concentrations
instead of the explosive range. The
flammable range defines the explo-
sive range.
   As will be  discussed in detail
later, methane is one end product
of the anaerobic biodegradation of
hydrocarbons as well as ethanol and
other biofuels. The explosive gases at
a fuel spill are actually a mixture of
methane and petroleum hydrocar-
bons. Gasoline vapors and methane
in soil gas are not immediately flam-
mable. The thermal mass of the soil
matrix "quenches" the propagation
of a flame. The vapors must migrate
to an enclosed space and mix  and
dilute with air (oxygen) and attain a
concentration within the flammable
range before there is a hazard.
   The accumulation of flammable
concentrations is most likely when
liquid gasoline is present within an
enclosed space (e.g., a vault, sewer,
crawl space, basement, sump), or
there is a direct connection between
the liquid gasoline and the enclosed
space. It  is easy enough to smell
gasoline at explosive concentrations,
and most  people who smell gaso-
line are smart enough to call the fire
department  before they  call their
state underground storage tank pro-
gram. It is more difficult to detect a
flammable mixture that is composed
mostly or almost entirely of meth-
ane. Methane itself has no odor. The
real concern is the flammability of
mixtures of methane.
   The flammable range of meth-
ane in air is usually described in a
Coward's Diagram (Figure 1). The
name of the diagram is no reflection
on the courage of UST field staff. It is
the family name of the chemist who
first worked out the flammable con-
centrations of methane gas in coal
mines (Coward and Jones, 1931).
Figure 1 indicates that there is a very
restricted range of concentrations
that are flammable, as such. There
is a much wider range of concentra-
tions that can be flammable when
mixed with more air.
   Jewell  and Wilson (2011) mea-
sured the concentrations of meth-
                Not capable of
              forming flammable
               mixtures with air
                                             Capable of
                                         forming flammable
                                           mixtures with air
           0     10     20     30     40     50
                             Methane % v/v
                  60     70
FIGURE 1. Coward's Diagram showing the range of flammable concentrations of methane in air.

                                                                              September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
ane and oxygen in soil gas at twelve
gasoline service  stations in Okla-
homa with recent confirmed gaso-
line releases. The results are depicted
by the red squares in Figure 1. The
methane in soil gas at the sites was
not flammable. However, soil gas at
five of the twelve sites could theo-
retically be mixed with air to form a
flammable mixture.
    Explosions caused  by meth-
ane have happened in the past. As
a result, there are regulations and
guidance to manage the risk from
municipal landfills (CFR 40: 258.23),
coal mines (CFR 30: 57.22001), natu-
ral gas distribution systems (ANSI/
GPTC Z380.1), and oil and gas opera-
tions (API, 1997a, API, 1997b).
    To our knowledge, there are no
verified cases of fires or explosions
directly attributed to biogenic meth-
ane at a spill of conventional gasoline
or E10 at a gasoline service station.
    If five of twelve gasoline spill
sites in Oklahoma have potentially
explosive concentrations of meth-
ane, why don't we see a problem at
gasoline service stations? The answer
may be related to mechanisms that
move methane through the soil gas.
If methane is redistributed in the soil
gas by diffusion,  the rate of redis-
tribution is slow and is likely to be
slower than the rate of biodegrada-
tion. If methane gas actually flows
through the subsurface, there is  a
greater chance of attaining explosive
concentrations in a building.
    The air in a building turns over.
As a result, a significant  amount of
methane must flow into  a building
before it reaches explosive  concen-
trations. The flow of soil gas into
a building depends in part on the
difference in pressure between the
indoor air and the soil gas beneath
the building. For  many  build-
ings, explosive conditions will not
develop unless that pressure dif-
ference reaches a  critical  value (Cal
EPA, 2012; Sepich, 2012). The criti-
cal difference in pressure is usually
on the scale of a few inches of water.
The California Environmental Pro-
tection Agency has developed a sys-
tematic approach to evaluate the risk
of an explosion in a building based
on the concentration of methane in
soil gas and the difference in pres-
sure between the building and the
soil gas (Cal EPA, 2012).
Aerobic Methane Biodegrada-
tion When Methane Diffuses to
the Surface
If methane simply volatilizes from
the soil water in the capillary fringe,
and then moves by diffusion through
the soil gas, there is a chance for aero-
bic microorganisms to degrade the
methane before it escapes the soil gas.
Oxygen can diffuse down into the
soil from the atmosphere as rapidly
as methane diffuses upward from the
groundwater or smear zone.
    In a recent paper, Ma et al. (2012)
compared the vertical distribution of
methane and oxygen in soil gas in a
large sand tank experiment. They
added a 10 percent solution of etha-
nol to flowing  groundwater in the
tank. The  ethanol was biodegraded
to produce methane and the concen-
trations of methane in the ground-
water reached high levels (20 to 23
mg/L). At equilibrium, air in con-
tact with water containing 20 mg/L
methane  would  contain 800,000
ppmv methane.
    Ma et al. (2012) used a flux cham-
ber to capture methane that moved
all the way through the soil gas and
escaped the sand tank. The maxi-
mum concentration of methane in
the air in the flux  chamber was very
much lower, only 21 ppmv. Table 1
compares an estimate of the potential
rate of production of methane to the
actual rate of escape of methane from
the soil surface (the efflux) expressed
in mg per square meter of surface
area per day. The water table was 1.5
feet below the soil surface. Over this
short interval, aerobic biodegrada-
tion reduced the flux of methane sev-
eral hundred fold.
    The aerobic biodegradation of
methane in soil gas over short ver-
tical intervals has also been docu-
mented below existing buildings.
Lundegard et al. (2008) studied the
vertical  distribution of methane
below a slab-on-grade house overly-
ing residual petroleum NAPL. The
NAPL source area was located 6 feet
below the slab. The concentration
of methane in soil gas at a depth of
6 feet was 14 percent. Methane was
not detectable in soil gas at 1.6 feet
below the slab. Fischer et al. (1996)
monitored concentrations of meth-
ane below a slab-on-grade building
at a gasoline service station. The con-
centration of methane in soil gas at
a depth of 2 feet was 5.2 percent. At
a depth of 0.7 feet, methane was not
detectable (<0.15%).

Aerobic Methane Biodegrada-
tion When Methane Flows as a
Gas to the Surface
Little is known of methane produc-
tion associated with spills of gasoline
with concentrations of ethanol higher
than 10  percent. Spills  of E85  or
denatured fuel-grade ethanol (E95)
have a greater potential to produce
significant quantities of methane. If
the methane comes out of solution
in groundwater as bubbles, and the
bubbles move into the unsaturated
zone, enough methane may enter the
soil gas to cause the soil gas to flow
toward the surface. The methane is
then redistributed by advective flow
instead of diffusion. Oxygen would
have to diffuse against the current
of flowing soil gas. At some point
the flow of methane would wash out
                • continued on page 8

Aquifer in
Houston, TX
Tank Farm in
Midwestern USA
Release at LIST
Spill Site
Potential Methane
Measured Methane
Not Available

De Sieyes
TABLE 1. Comparison of the measured release of methane at the land surface above a spill of
ethanol to the potential production of methane from the release.

LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
• Methane at LUST Spill Sites
from page 7

the diffusion of oxygen and greatly
reduce the chances for aerobic meth-
ane biodegradation in the soil gas.
    What is the chance that meth-
ane from a spill of E85 or denatured
fuel-grade ethanol (E95) would pro-
   Efflux location (LI-COR)
   Efflux location (GC)
   Elevation contour (m
   Efflux location (GC)
   Elevation contour (m
                            Panel  B
FIGURE 2. Release of carbon dioxide and methane to the soil
surface at an E95 spill site in Minnesota.
duce so much methane that it would
exceed the supply of oxygen and
overwhelm the natural capacity for
aerobic biodegradation of meth-
ane in the soil gas? Several of us are
investigating that issue at a spill of
fuel-grade denatured ethanol at a
tank farm in Minnesota.
    In  December  2010,  a leaking
valve was discovered  on the pip-
ing outside a 168,000-gallon ethanol
storage tank. The total volume of
ethanol spilled is unknown. During
characterization of the spill site in
October 2011, ethanol was detected
in core samples that were taken six to
ten feet below ground surface and as
far as 18 feet from the leaking valve.
Methane concentrations in the same
depth intervals were as high as 23
                Automated  flux
            chambers  (manufac-
            tured by LI-COR, Lin-
            coln, Nebraska) were
            employed to measure
            the efflux of methane
            and  carbon dioxide
            from the soil surface.
            They were deployed
            in  a  dense  44-point
            grid in the area of the
            spill. The  maximum
            efflux of carbon diox-
            ide at the ground sur-
            face  was  relatively
            high, approximately
            60,000 mg/m2-day (1.3
            moles/m2-day; Panel
            A of Figure 2). By
            comparison, methane
            efflux was detectable
            but orders of magni-
            tude lower, with maxi-
            mum values in  the
            range of 9 mg/m2-day
            (0.5  moles/m2-day;
            Panel B of Figure 2).
                Although the total
            measured  gas efflux
            from the site was 43
            moles of carbon com-
            pounds per day,  only
            a very small fraction
            of  this  carbon  flux
            occurred as methane.
            The data suggest that
            the six to  ten feet of
            unsaturated  mate-
             rial above the ethanol
             source was sufficient
             to  oxidize the bulk
             of  methane emanat-
ing from the site prior to discharge
to the atmosphere. However, as the
source zone matures it is possible
that the rate of methane production
will increase and thus that methane
will make up a larger portion of the
carbon efflux from the site.
    Table 1 compares the reduction
in emissions (measured as a flux
from the surface) in the experimen-
tal sand tank aquifer in Texas and
the field spill in Minnesota. In both
cases, there was a substantial reduc-
tion in methane that escaped the
soil, and there is little possibility that
methane could escape the soil and
attain flammable concentrations in
an enclosed space.
    This is in contrast to the behav-
ior of methane at two sites in Min-
nesota where E95 was spilled after
tanker cars on a railroad derailed.
The sites are described in Spalding
et al. (2011). The emission of meth-
ane at the soil surface was evaluated
by measuring the concentration of
methane  in inverted galvanized
steel tubs. At the spill sites at Cam-
bria and Balaton, Minnesota, the
concentrations  of methane  that
accumulated  in  the air in the  tubs
were 1.6 and  2.7 percent respec-
tively (Toso, 2008).
    At the Balaton site the depth
to groundwater was 12 feet and the
concentrations of methane in soil
gas were as high as 53 percent. At
this site the efflux of methane was so
great that 12 feet of unsaturated zone
was not adequate to allow aerobic
biodegradation of the methane and
prevent emissions of methane at the
land surface.

Impacts from  methane can be bro-
ken out into direct impacts, such as
explosions, and indirect  impacts,
such as petroleum vapor intrusion.
Impacts can be also be assigned to
two major categories of fuels, one
category that includes conventional
petroleum gasoline and E10 and the
other category  that includes E85 and
denatured fuel grade ethanol (E95).
    To date, there is no evidence that
methane from biodegradation of con-
ventional petroleum gasoline or E10
at LUST sites has caused an explo-
sion. Less is known about the explo-
sion hazard associated with methane
from releases of E85 or E95. Studies
at one field site and one pilot-scale
study show that aerobic biodegrada-
tion of methane  in the unsaturated
soil can prevent explosive concentra-
tions of methane from escaping from
the soil surface.  At two other field
studies, the concentrations of meth-
ane that escaped the soil were just
below the explosive limit.
    In Part 2 we'll discuss the impact
of methane concentrations on petro-
leum vapor intrusion.
                • continued on page 13

                                                                         September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
Cleanup  Corner
A Neat Little Column by Gary Lynn
Gary Lynn is Petroleum Remediation Manager for the State of New Hampshire Department of
Environmental Services (NHDES). He can be reached at

Something's  Gotta  Give

   It's the Clash of the Titans. On one side we have water associations, the beef industry, environmental groups,
   Americans for Prosperity, the National Taxpayers Union, and consumer protection groups. On the other side,
   we have the Renewable Fuels Association,  Petroleum Manufacturer's Association, National Association of
Convenience Stores, and a number of Big Agriculture trade associations. Why are these lobbying titans fighting
each other and what issue could possibly create such an unusual grouping of allies?
    It's a piece of legislation called the Domestic Fuels Protection Act of 2012, which has unified these disparate
groups and deeply stirred the passion of numerous trade associations. To fully understand why this act is the
subject of such fervor, you need to be aware of some of the issues involving alcohol that are not typically dis-
cussed in polite tank program circles.
    Let's start with the Renewable Fuel Standard and the "blend wall." The Energy Independence and Security
Act of 2007 mandates that U.S. refineries and petroleum importers use a steadily increasing percentage of
renewable fuel in motor fuels. USEPA publishes the renewable fuel standard each year in the Federal Register,
and the petroleum industry must purchase offsets if it does not achieve the standard.
    In the January 9, 2012 Federal Register, USEPA specified a 2012 total renewable fuel standard of 9.23 per-
cent. If all of the gasoline sold in the U.S. is E10 (10% ethanol) and ethanol is for all intents and purposes how
the renewable fuel standard is reached, the maximum percentage of renewable fuel in gasoline is about 10 per-
    Given that gasoline in some parts of the country is not blended with ethanol, 9.23 percent hits a wall built by
how much ethanol can be mixed into the E10 blend, hence the image of the blend wall. Next year the renew-
able fuel standard will rise and the blend wall will be blocking the petroleum industry from  complying with the
mandate. (Note: NHDES has recently tested gasoline samples and found the gasoline frequently tested at 11 %
ethanol. Perhaps this is the first phase of the response to hitting the wall.)
The Clashes
What are the issues? (Even if this Act
fizzles, the issues won't go away.)
For starters, the corn industry wants
higher ethanol sales to help keep
corn prices high. The beef industry
wants the opposite, low corn prices.
The Renewable Fuels Association
is impatient with impediments to
higher ethanol sales. The  refiners
and major oil companies are in a dif-
ferent bind. They are mandated to
sell more ethanol and will be penal-
ized when they cannot achieve the
additional ethanol use because of the
blend wall.
   The easiest answer to the blend
wall is to raise the ethanol content
in gasoline by selling E15. Unfortu-
nately, E15 poses some compatibility
issues with older cars,  older small
engines, and older tank systems. For
these E15 compatibility-related con-
cerns, the Domestic Fuels Protection
Act of 2012 requires the development
of a federal compatibility standard
and provides relief from liability
issues that are impeding the intro-
duction of E15.
   What should the tank regulatory
community position be on this piece
of legislation? The misfueling liabil-
ity relief provisions protect manufac-
turers from liability resulting from
people using E15 in engines that are
not compatible with the fuel. The con-
sumer protection groups are unhappy
with this provision of the legislation
but there is a reasonable argument for
liability protection when the federal
renewable  fuel standard essentially
mandates the use of E15. My south-
ern friends would say "we don't have
a dog in that hunt." Other liability-
related provisions are far more prob-
lematic, however.
The Liability Thing
Let's start with how the current ver-
sion of the Act would override all
state and local compatibility regula-
tions and establish a precedent for
carving out territory where state UST
regulations cannot be more stringent
than federal rules. The proposed leg-
islation grandfathers as compatible
all tanks, tank systems, or dispens-
ing equipment listed by a nationally
recognized laboratory as compatible
with the fuel or fuel additive. The list
of equipment that is compatible with
pure ethanol is different than the list
of equipment that is compatible with
ethanol-gasoline blends. Under the
current version of the legislation that
distinction would be lost; the owner
receives liability protection even if
his equipment hasn't been found
compatible with the ethanol blend as
               • continued on page 10

LUSTLine Bulletin 71  • September 2012
• Cleanup Corner from page 9

long as pure ethanol is listed as com-
patible with his equipment.
    Overriding state regulations
is also a problem. State authority
to require removal of incompat-
ible equipment will be lost in situa-
tions where compatibility problems
are identified after a National Test-
ing  Lab lists  the  equipment as
compatible.  For example, the UL
standard for non-metallic piping (UL
971) has undergone four revisions to
address problems in flexible piping
compatibility issues.
    The legislation  is silent  on
whether the liability protection
applies only to the latest revised UL
standard in place at the time of bill
enactment or more broadly to any
equipment that was listed as com-
patible by a national testing labora-
tory at the date the equipment was
installed. For example, second gen-
eration Enviroflex piping was listed
by a National Testing Laboratory as
compatible under an older version of
the testing standard. Owners of facil-
ities that installed this product can
argue that they were granted liabil-
ity protection under the Act because
they acted in good faith by installing
an approved product.
    If this interpretation of the Act
is upheld, states would lose the abil-
ity to require removal or upgrade of
second generation Enviroflex pip-
ing when piping deteriorates due
to compatibility issues since the
Act overrides liability under state
and local law. To determine the full
potential impact, all products ever
approved by a National Testing Lab-
oratory would have to be evaluated.
    Finally, there is no time limit to
the liability protection. Accelerated
aging studies typically show equip-
ment performance deteriorates over
time. Thirty years in service is dif-
ferent than five years but the liabil-
ity protection continues unchanged
as long as the equipment was listed
as compatible and the failure can be
blamed on compatibility issues.
    The Act puts financial assurance
providers,  such as state reimburse-
ment funds, on the hook to pay for
some of the liability. Sec 9014. Com-
patibility (b)(2) of the Act states: "A
provider of financial assurance shall
not deny payment for any claim
on the basis [that the equipment] is

not compatible with a fuel or fuel
additive." This sets up a brand new
appeal route when claims are denied.
    Liability  protection  for tank
system compatibility issues is very
broad in the current version of the
Act. It covers "any person"  and
extends to "any federal, state, or local
law (including common law)" as
long as the liability is related to tank
system incompatibility. This essen-
tially overrides existing state liability
frameworks for releases. There could
be a catastrophic spill related to a
cerns that he would be "eating some
humble pie."
    My concern about all of these
poorly understood liability pro-
tection provisions is that at some
point in time states are going to ask
for spill cleanups or for reasonable
equipment-related protective mea-
sures from tank system owners and
the liability protection provisions of
the Act are going to radically curtail
the state's ability to clean up and pre-
vent spills.
    The ongoing drought drives home the need to review the current renewable
     fuels content mandate and reexamine whether the existing mandates are
   consistently achievable and make economic sense. The oil industry shouldn't
  be held hostage to the vicissitudes of weather and crop yields or the availability
  of cellulosic ethanol; providing more flexibility in the renewable fuels mandates
       of current law is the right answer to the current set of E15 problems.
compatibility issue and no responsi-
ble party to clean up the release due
to the liability protection extended
by the Act. This would strain state
spill cleanup funds that address sites
without responsible parties.

What Is More...
Finally, the current version of the
Act throws out all current and future
litigation against impacts from gaso-
line additives that are approved for
use in fuel. The liability protection
is provided regardless of the behav-
ior of the manufacturer. This provi-
sion of the Act has caused AWWA
and other drinking water groups to
oppose passage of the Act. Senator
Waxman expressed the concern that
liability protection is being extended
to "7,500 registered fuel additives."
    Allen Brooks of the New Hamp-
shire Attorney General's Office
stated that: "Given the sweeping
nature of the immunity provided,
we believe  the petroleum  com-
pany defendant will likely raise this
immunity at every turn in an attempt
to either dismiss or seriously cur-
tail our groundwater contamination
case." He was referring to the state's
current MtBE litigation but the appli-
cation of the Act would extend to
other contaminants as well. Even
Shimkus, the bill sponsor, noted in
response to some of the liability con-
Something's Gotta Give
Something's  got to give  and  it
shouldn't be the current system of
well thought out and smoothly oper-
ating state laws and release preven-
tion efforts. The current version of
the Domestic  Fuels Protection Act
takes the wrong tack  on fixing this
clash of interests. This  year's domes-
tic drought crises will impact the
corn crop, run up corn prices, impact
ethanol production, and increase eth-
anol prices.
    The ongoing drought  drives
home the need to review the current
renewable fuels content mandate
and reexamine whether the existing
mandates are consistently achievable
and make economic sense. The oil
industry shouldn't be held hostage to
the vicissitudes of weather and crop
yields or the availability of cellulosic
ethanol; providing more flexibility
in the renewable fuels mandates of
current law is the right answer to
the current set of E15 problems. This
could be coupled with much more
narrowly focused liability protection
for  misfueling to encourage states
and retailers to use E15 if it makes
sense based on economics and com-
patibility  with hardware. Let's fix
current law instead of wiping out
laws that work. •

                                                                           September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
Unlocking  the  Mystery  of  FR
A straight-talking column by Jill Williams Hall, 5enior Planner with the
Delaware Department of natural Resources and Environmental Control
(DftREQ. 5he can be reached

Getting  Past  the  "Chicken

Little  Syndrome"

  In the world of underground tank insurance, the most recent blip on our
  radar screen has been the decision by Zurich Insurance to no longer pro-
  vide standalone U5T insurance. My first reaction was somewhat akin to
a favorite story I used to read  to my children—Chicken Little. After a single
acorn falls on her head, Chicken Little decides that the sky is falling and sets
off to the tell the King that the world is ending. Ah, what turmoil a single acorn
can create—or in the case of tank insurance, the  loss of a single company.
What we need  to avoid in this situation is what has become known as the
"Chicken Little Syndrome," which according to Wikipedia can result in "infer-
ring catastrophic conclusions possibly resulting in paralysis."
   5o what do tank owner/operators do if their insurance carrier has left the
building? Instead of invoking the Chicken Little Syndrome and becoming para-
lyzed,  this can be a great time for them to review  their insurance policy and
be sure they are purchasing the best product they can.  There are still many
companies that offer U5T and AST insurance. A list of known U5T insurance
providers can be found on the U5EPA website at
inslist.htm or they can check with their state's Department of Insurance.
   As I stated  in my LL #70 article, tank insurance comes in a  variety of fla-
vors, all of which meet the minimum financial responsibility requirements. All
policies must provide coverage in specified amounts for cleaning up contamina-
tion and paying for any resulting property damage or bodily injury (check state
regulations for the specific required limits).  After meeting these basic require-
ments, owner/operators will need to make  choices on what they want in their
policy. These choices will of course make a difference in cost and most impor-
tantly what the insurance will and will not pay for in the event of a release.
Building Your Policy
Brick by Brick
Think of tank insurance like a build-
ing project. You get to  select each
brick needed to construct the policy
of your choice. So what are your
building material choices?

• Suspected Release or  Confirmed
Release Policy?
While all tank pollution policies
must provide coverage for clean-
ing up UST system releases, it is not
a requirement that a policy cover
the costs of investigating to confirm
whether a release has actually hap-
pened. Costs such as tank testing,
soil or groundwater sampling, and
laboratory analysis will  most likely
not be covered under a confirmed
release policy.  The language  in a
confirmed release policy typically
contains statements such as:  Any
costs, charges, or expenses incurred by
the insured to confirm the existence of
a release shall not be considered cleanup
costs, or, This insurance applies to pay
for corrective action due to Confirmed
    The cost of a confirmed release
policy may be less than that of a sus-
pected release policy but be aware
that if there is not conclusive evi-
dence  that a release has occurred
from the UST system the  owner/
operators has to bear the cost of  any
investigation ordered by the state to
confirm or deny a release.
    Conversely,  a suspected release
policy  typically covers  the costs to
investigate whether a  release  has
occurred from the tank  system cov-
ered by the policy. These costs may
include testing tanks and piping for
tightness, sampling soil and ground-
water, or drilling test pits.
    When  deciding whether to
choose a confirmed or suspected
release policy you  should clarify
with your insurance provider exactly
what will or will not be covered by
the policy in the event you suspect
there is a release or if a regulatory
agency requires you to investigate
such a possibility. You should be sure
to ask the insurer if you must have
a directive from a governmental
agency requiring you to investigate
before the provider will step in.

• Noncompliance Exclusion or Not?
Many tank  insurance policies  con-
tain language that allows the insur-
ance company to deny a claim to
pay for a cleanup  if  the tank sys-
tem was not in compliance with
regulations. This gets a little tricky
because the language in the policy
may contain wording such as "will-
ful" or "deliberate"  noncompliance.
The intention of an  action making it
willful or deliberate can be debated
and thus the grounds for denying a
claim based on this  exclusion can be
open to interpretation and debate,
from both the insured  and the insur-
ance company's point of view. Some
policies do not contain any language
stating that claims that are attributed
to the insured's noncompliance are
not covered.

  What Is a  Retroactive Date?
A  release from an  UST system is
covered only if it  occurred after
the "retroactive date" stated in
the policy. A retroactive date is the
date stated in the  policy that the
coverage begins. Any release that
occurred before this date will not be
covered by  the insurance  policy. If
you change insurance providers it
is important that you hold on to the
same retroactive date as that in the
old policy. While it may cost more for
a retroactive date that is several years
back, it may be wise to do so. Tank
               • continued on page 12

LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
• "Chicken Little Syndrome"
from page 11                      <==

releases are often not discov-   *<
ered immediately and it may,
in fact, be difficult to estab-  tf
lish exactly when the release
occurred. If the retroactive
date is  a month ago, and
the release can be proven to
have happened a year ago,
the release is not covered by
the insurance policy.

• What Does Claims Made
Tank insurance policies are
what is known as  "claims
made." This means  that the
policy only provides coverage
for claims made during the time
the policy is in effect. The policy only
pays for releases reported during the
time period the policy is in effect.
Releases reported after the policy
expiration date are not covered, even
if the release  occurred during the
policy period. The insured does not
typically have a choice in this as vir-
tually all tank insurance policies are
claims made.

• What About Older Tanks?
If your tanks are beginning to reach
maturity, typically around twenty
years of age, you should inquire as to
whether your insurance provider has
any policy  on issuing insurance on
"older" tanks. Some companies have
made decisions not to insure tanks
over a certain age—typically about
twenty years. What  can happen in
this instance is that  if your tanks
reach a certain age  the insurance
provider may offer several options
which may or may not be accept-
able to you. If you are considering
purchasing an older  tank and must
obtain insurance you should thor-
oughly investigate what polices are
available and at what cost. It may be
more prudent to remove and replace
older tanks or not to  purchase them
in the first place. Renewals on poli-
cies with tanks over twenty-six years
old may be difficult to obtain or the
cost may be prohibitive.
    Issues  on coverage for older
tanks also include the fact that if the
same insurance provider has cov-
ered a group of tanks for many years
and maintained a long-standing ret-
roactive date it may be difficult to

           impossible to keep that
             date with a new pro-
              vider. A new insur-
               ance provider may
                not be willing to
                 issue a  policy
                  with a retroactive
                  date back to the
                  original or the
                  cost to keep the
                  original retroac-
                  tive date  may
                  be  very high.
                  If  you  obtain
                  a policy with a
                  current retroac-
                 tive  date and if
                historic contami-
               nation is found, the
              costs of the historic
             cleanup  might not be
           covered. Thus you end
       up with what is known as a
"gap in coverage."

• What Is an Extended Reporting
Period (Tail Coverage)?
The federal UST regulations require
that all tank insurance include a six-
month extended reporting period.
An extended  reporting period  does
not extend  the policy; it extends the
amount of time you have to make
a claim to  the insurance company.
The release must still have occurred
during the time the policy was in
effect and after the retroactive, but
you have six months after  the pol-
icy expiration date to make a claim
to the insurance company. This is
important  because many releases
are not discovered  immediately and
the policy may have expired before
the release is discovered. While a six
month extended reporting period is
required by the federal UST regula-
tions you may have the option to
purchase a longer reporting period.

• Natural Resource Damages
Exclusion or Inclusion?
In both the Comprehensive Environ-
mental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the
Oil Pollution Act  (OPA), there are
two parts to the "natural resources"
definition. First, natural resources
are defined  broadly to include
land, fish, wildlife, biota, air, water,
groundwater, drinking water  sup-
plies, and other such resources. Sec-
ond, the resource must belong to, be
managed by, held in trust by, apper-
tain  to, or  otherwise be controlled
by the United States, any state, an
Indian Tribe, a  local government,
or a foreign government. Damages
are defined as injury to, destruction
of, or loss of natural resources. The
measure of damages under CER-
CLA and OPA is the cost of restor-
ing injured natural resources to their
baseline condition, compensation for
the interim loss of injured resources
pending recovery, and the reasonable
costs of a damage assessment (see
    Natural  Resource Damage
(NRD) costs can be significant. Some
tank insurance policies may contain
an exclusion that expressly elimi-
nates coverage for such damages.
You should  check your policy to
see if such an exclusion exists and
if so determine the increased cost to
include coverage. NRD damages and
restoration costs can be significant.

  What Is a Storage Tank Versus a
Storage Tank System?
Be sure to understand exactly  what
part of your UST system is covered
or not covered by your insurance
policy. In the Definitions section of
the insurance policy there is always
a definition of  "storage tank" or
"storage tank system."  Differences
in definition can determine  whether
a release is covered based on the part
of the tank system from which the
rel      ease is determined to have
occurred. If the definition covers
only the tanks and the connected
piping, releases from other  portions
of the system such as the dispens-
ing equipment may not be  covered.
A definition of an UST  system that
specifically includes the tank, piping,
ancillary equipment, containment
systems, and dispensing equipment
is more likely to cover a release from
any portion of the tank system.

• What Are the Claims Reporting
Policies differ in the time  require-
ments for reporting a claim to the
insurance company. Some  use lan-
guage such as "as soon as practica-
ble" or "as soon as possible" or they
may have a specific time limit, such
as "within seven days of discovery."
The bottom line is that some policies
are more forgiving than others so in
all instances report a release as soon
as possible.

                                                                                           September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
It's About Doing the Resarch
Research what you are purchasing
and make informed decision before
purchasing tank insurance.That way
your tank insurance house will still be
standing after a release occurs.
    Further  information  can  be
found at: •
  • ASTSWMO Guide  to Tank
  • EPA Dollars And Sense - Finan-
    cial Responsibility Requirements
    for USTs:
    O UST/pubs/dolsens. pdf
  • ASTSWMO Information  for
    Evaluating  UST  Financial
    Responsibility Options: http://
     EPA Financial Responsibility
     EPA List of Known Insurance
     Providers for  USTs: http://iviviv. •
 Thoughts  from  OUST on  Changes in  the
 Insurance Industry
   n June, OUST Director Carolyn Hoskinson sent the following [edited] memo to the
   states in response to news that Zurich American Insurance  Company (Zurich) was
 getting out of the UST insurance business.
    To ensure UST owners and operators (o/os) are buying and retaining appro-
    priate coverage  for their UST systems, they should understand and be atten-
    tive to the underlying language, terms, and conditions of their policies.
    The particular development that sparked my desire to send this reminder
    was  that USEPA recently learned that Zurich will no longer issue new UST
    insurance policies  and will not renew  existing UST insurance policies.
    Because Zurich  has  been one of the major national UST insurance providers
    over the years, USEPA is aware that many UST o/os across the United States
    have used Zurich's UST insurance policies to provide coverage against cor-
    rective actions and third-party  damages. If you are one of them, and you are
    now converting to a new policy, now would be a great time to read it care-
    fully and ensure you have the coverage that you need.
    But I'm addressing this memo  to all o/os, and the states who oversee them,
    because it is essential for everyone to carefully discuss their policies with
    their insurance agents or brokers to make sure owners fully understand the
    coverage they are purchasing and what their responsibilities are under their
    policies, should they have a release from  their UST systems. You don't want
    to find out after a release that  you bought a policy that isn't going to cover
    To my state colleagues: remember that when you're inspecting your facili-
    ties,  and confirming that they  are meeting their FR obligations, it is impor-
    tant  to ensure that not only do they have a policy, but that it meets the
    specific federal and state requirements.

 See Jill Hall's article, "Unlocking the Mystery of FR," to see a list that includes
 Carolyn's recommended insurance resources. •
• Methane at LUST Spill Sites
from page 8

  John Wilson is a Research Microbiolo-
  gist with U.S. EPA. He can be reached
  Mark Toso is a hydrogeologist with the
  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
          He can be reached at
   DougMackay is an Adjunct Profes-
  sor in the Department of Land, Air &
  Water Resources at the University of
  California, Davis. He can be reached at
 Nick de Sieyes is a Postdoctoral Scholar
    in the Department of Land, Air &
  Water Resources at the University of
  California, Davis. He can be reached at
 George DeVaull is a Senior Consultant,
  Soil and Groundwater Management,
    Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc.,
  Houston, Texas. He can be reached at
This paper has been reviewed in accordance with
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's peer
and administrative review policies and approved for

Cal EPA. 2012. Evaluation of biogenic methane: a
  guidance prepared for the evaluation of biogenic
  methane in constructed fills and dairy sites. Cali-
  fornia Environmental Protection Agency, Depart-
  ment of Toxic Substances Control. March 28, 2012.
  Available at:
  ane_March_2012. pdf.
Coward, M.R and G. W. Jones. 1931. Limits of inflam-
  mability of gases and vapors. U.S. Bureau of Mines
  Bulletin, 279.
Fischer, M.L., A.J. Bentley, K.A. Dunkm, A.T. Hodg-
  son, W.W. Nazaroff, R.G. Sextro and J.M. Daisey.
  1996. Factors affecting indoor air concentrations of
  volatile organic compounds at a site of subsurface
  gasoline contamination, Environmental Science &
  Technology 30: 2948-2957.
HSDB, 2012: National  Libraries of Medicine, Haz-
  ardous Substances Databank (74-82-8, methane),
  Available at:
  search/a? dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+167.
Jewell, K.P. and J.T. Wilson. 2011. A new screening
  method for methane in soil gas using existing
  groundwater monitoring wells. Ground Water Mon-
  itoring & Remediation 31(3): 22-94.
Lundegard, P. D., Johnson, P.  C., Dahlen, P. 2008.
  Oxygen transport from the atmosphere to soil gas
  beneath a slab-on-grade foundation overlying
  petroleum-impacted soil. Environmental Science &
  Technology 42: 5534-5540.
Ma, ]., W.G. Rixey, G.E. DeVaull, B.P. Stafford and
  P. J. J. Alvarez. 2012. Methane bioattenuation and
  implications for explosion risk reduction along
  the groundwater to soil surface pathway above a
  plume of dissolved ethanol. Environmental Science
  & Technology 46: 6013-6019.
Mackay, D.M., N.R. de Sieyes, M.D. Emarson, K.P.
  Feris, A.A. Pappas, LA. Wood, Li. Jacobson, L.G.
  Justice, M.N. Noske, K.M. Scow, and J.T. Wilson.
  2006. Impact of ethanol on the natural attenuation
  of benzene, toluene, and o-xylene in a normally
  sulfate-reducing aquifer. Environmental Science and
  Technology 40 (19): 6123-6130.
Sepich, J. 2012. "Methane Soil Gas Identification and
  Mitigation," American Society of Civil Engineers
  Texas Section, Spring Meeting, San Antonio, April
Spaldmg, R. R, M. A. Toso, M. E. Exner, G. Hattan,
  T. M. Higgms, A. C. Sekely, and S. D. Jensen. 2011.
  Long-term groundwater monitoring results  at
  large, sudden denatured ethanol releases. Ground
  Water Monitoring and Remediation 31 (3): 69-81, DOI
Toso, M.A. 2008. Investigation of ethanol and ethanol-
  blended fuel releases: implications for site investi-
  gation and cleanup. Presented at the 20th Annual
  National Tanks  Conference and Expo, Atlanta, GA
  March 18, 2008. Available at:

LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
  A Message from Carolyn Hoskinson
  Director, USEPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks

  Alas,  the   Lingering
   UST  Release
       In the December2010 LUSTLine, I wrote about USEPA's
       study to reduce the underground storage tank cleanup
       backlog (see "Move Over Sisyphus, Here's a Real Chal-
  lenge: Reducing The National LUST Cleanup Backlog"). That
  study, which we released in September 2011, provided us with
  an insightful look at the remaining UST cleanups. Since then
  we have been working with states to develop strategies and
  keep all UST release cleanups moving forward to closure.
      I readily admit we still have lots more work ahead of us
  to address the approximately 85,000 UST releases remain-
  ing to be cleaned up. Conversely, I readily concede that over
  the past few decades the UST program has toiled long and
  hard to close a whopping 419,000 releases, or 83 percent of
  UST  releases. That is great progress! (Dare I say "eat your
  heart out" to other cleanup programs?) Nonetheless,  I want
  to ensure we continue  using a wide array of strategies and
  approaches to keep cleanups moving toward completion.
      Our decades  of experience show that the process of
  confirming a release, cleaning it up, and  closing a site takes
  time—an average of five to  seven years  for that process to
  reach completion. Just as cleanup costs at leaking UST sites
  can vary widely depending on the extent of contamination and
  whether or not groundwater is affected, so too can the time
  to clean up and close a site vary. Other factors such as speed
  of the selected remedy and geology of the contaminated area
  also affect the length of cleanups.
      That said, I believe we can all agree that many UST release
  cleanups are not moving along according to that average time,
  or even what I believe  is a reasonable amount of time. Many
  UST release cleanups are not progressing at a steady pace and
  are taking much longer to reach completion.
      The bottom line is that we all want to see UST releases,
  including those stalled ones, cleaned up. That's our job, and
  along with  preventing releases, cleaning up releases is  one of
  the key goals of the UST program. Plus it is the right thing for
  our environment and our health.

  What Did the Study Show Us?
  Our September 2011 study provided a thoughtful, methodi-
  cal look at a large portion of the UST release universe. We
  gained useful insight from the study about the remaining UST
  releases. Based on data in the study and what we heard from
  states, UST releases to be cleaned up essentially fall into two
  categories: current workload (those releases the UST program
  is actively  addressing) and legacy releases  (those releases
  that linger on the to-do list).
      I fully expect that state UST programs will continue to do
  what they have done for decades. They will make significant
and meaningful progress on releases in the workload pipe-
line. It is those stalled, legacy releases that warrant additional
attention. USEPA will focus our sights on those releases to
determine what the national UST program can do to address
    Based on data in the study and conversations with states,
there are common themes  that impact cleanups: money (or
rather lack of it, including releases not covered by insurance
or outside state fund coverage); technical issues; abandoned
releases; and recalcitrant owners and operators. While there
are many similarities  in  states' approaches to cleaning  up
releases, each program is unique. That means states are tai-
loring the strategies they use to address legacy releases to
meet their state-specific circumstances and needs.

What Are States Doing Now?
Many states are currently using a wide range of strategies to
successfully chip away at their legacy releases. Here are some
examples of proven techniques states are using now.

Money. Although money is always an issue, sometimes we
can get a bigger bang for the buck or find another rock to peek
  •  Florida recently allocated money to screen UST releases
     based on their threat  to human health and the environ-
     ment.  Florida determined that releases posing a threat
     will receive money for cleanup and those not posing a
     threat will be closed.  Florida intends to screen approxi-
     mately 8,000 releases under this initiative.

Inventory Assessment. Whether a file-by-file review or
targeted search for release cases close to closure, understand-
ing which types of UST releases still need  to be addressed
helps identify opportunities for closing releases.
  •  Missouri successfully used technical contractors to
     review files. Augmenting state staff, contractors assisted
     with reviewing paperwork for both low and high priority
     releases. The result was closing several lower priority
     releases and faster cleanup at higher  priority releases.
     In particular, Missouri closed 113 low priority releases
     through this project and significantly cut review time for
     high priority releases.

Staffing Solution. Limitations on the number of state staff
for oversight can slow cleanups. Using an alternative to state
staff can increase the number of cleanups.
  •  New Jersey in 2012 started a program where licensed
     site remediation professionals (LSRPs) directly over-
     see cleanups. New Jersey's statute lays out prescrip-
     tive requirements that LSRPs follow when overseeing

                                                                         September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
  Message From Carolyn Hoskinson, continued
      cleanups. New Jersey licenses LSRPs, audits LSRPs'
      work, and conducts program enforcement. In the first
      half of fiscal year 2012, New Jersey completed 350
      cleanups, which is more than they addressed during fis-
      cal year 2011.

  Where Do We Go from Here?
  At a basic level, cleaning up releases is one of the UST pro-
  gram's key goals and  a cornerstone to what we do. And that
                 includes cleaning up all releases, the current workload as well
                 as legacy releases.
                    We all need to work toward the common goals of mov-
                 ing UST release cleanups forward, looking for efficient ways
                 to close release sites, and ensuring our solutions protect
                 human health and the environment. I  believe that eventually
                 our UST cleanup program will reach a steady state, where leg-
                 acy releases have been addressed and only workload releases
                 remain. I'm looking forward to that day. •
Corn  Crop  Leads  to Calls
for USEPA  to Revisit
Ethanol Quota
                              Regular    Q C Q 9
                                            %^ %j ^y
                             American Madt
by Ellen Frye
      U.S. Department of Agricul-
      ture July 30 reports indicate
      that 48 percent of the nation's
2012 corn crop was rated in poor to
very poor condition, a result of the
worst drought the U.S. has experi-
enced in 55 years. USEPA has been
under intense pressure from groups,
including livestock producers, gov-
ernors and members of Congress
from  livestock-producing states,
humanitarian interests such as the
U.N. Food and Agriculture Organi-
zation, and the American Petroleum
Institute, to change or at least tem-
porarily waive the Renewable Fuels
Standard (RFS). The RFS, created in
2005 as a bipartisan effort to establish
more investment in domestic energy
production, mandates that 13.2 bil-
lion gallons of ethanol be produced
this year — 42 percent of this year's
corn crop.
   A  central issue for those who
want the waiver (aside from those
concerned with increasing petro-
leum sales) is concern that the grow-
ing share of corn as a fuel source is
driving up the price of corn as a food
source, and the drought has dramati-
cally exacerbated this problem. The
International Food Policy Research
Institute has recommended the U.S.
immediately stop using corn to make
ethanol for fuel "to prevent a poten-
tial global food price crisis."
   At the other end of the spectrum
are groups such as the Renewable
Fuels Association, the National Corn
Growers Association, and other agri-
businesses. Although a number of
ethanol plants have reduced or tem-
porarily halted production, plunging
U.S. ethanol production to a two-year
low, these interests argue that corn
ethanol is helping ensure U.S. energy
independence,  keeping gasoline
prices lower, reducing pollution, and
protecting U.S. companies and jobs.
   US EPA is requesting public com-
ments on the RFS waiver requests
filed by Arkansas Governor Mike
Beebe and North Carolina Governor
Beverly Perdue in mid-August. The
request was published in the Federal
Register on August 30. Comments
will be accepted for 30 days, unless
an extension is sought and granted.
Publication in the Federal Register
begins the clock on the 90-day period
in which USEPA must rule on the
petition request. That makes a deci-
sion likely in mid-November.
   There is  currently no indica-
tion from USEPA that it  will waive
the RFS mandate. The Interna-
tional Energy Agency (IEA) says
for the RFS to be waived "it needs
to be proved that it is inducing eco-
nomic harm  on livestock produc-
ers who can  not afford  to pay for
corn at the heightened price levels."
According to the IEA, "Most refin-
ers have adjusted to replace around
10 percent of their gasoline produc-
tion with ethanol and in addition
have adopted  ethanol as an octane
enhancement  for regular gasoline,
both of which could mean domes-
tic demand might  remain strong
even without the mandatory ethanol
quota in place."
   The good news is that scientists
are working on profitable substitutes
for corn to make ethanol, including
grain sorghum. Now if we  could
only do something about that feast
or famine weather—one year  its the
floods, the next the droughts?

Gearing Up for E15?
Meanwhile, on June  15, USEPA gave
final approval for 57 companies to
sell gasoline-ethanol blends contain-
ing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15).
   This action came as  a result of
USEPA's final  approval of the com-
panies' misfueling mitigation plans
(MMPs). This means that these 57
companies have met all Clean Air
Act requirements related  to E15 and
may lawfully introduce E15 into the
marketplace. Petroleum marketers
are reminded that there are a num-
ber of additional factors, including
requirements  under other federal,
state, and local laws, that may affect
the distribution of E15. YEP! •


LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
But  You Can  Judge a  Tank by Its  Standards

by Wayne B. Geyer

       At the 2012 National UST Conference in St. Louis (and also in the December 2011 LUSTLine), Marcel Moreau reported on
       double-walled and jacketed tank failures in Maine over the past five years. Marcel and I happened to sit next to each other at
       a luncheon the day after his presentation in St. Louis. I expressed my surprise to Marcel that the Steel Tank Institute (STI)
had not "experienced" a rash of failures in its administration program for STI-labeled tanks. Marcel, in turn, was surprised that STI
was not aware of the Maine data. I expressed an interest in doing some further investigation.
What's Behind the STI Label?
In order to continue, I need to take
a moment to discuss what makes a
tank an STI tank. LUSTLine readers
are probably familiar with under-
ground storage tanks bearing the
STI label, but they may not be aware
of the program STI administers that
permits a manufacturer to label a
tank as an STI technology.
  •  Tanks bearing the names ACT-
    100®, sti-P3®, Permatank®, and
    ACT-100U®  are fabricated to
    written standards. All revisions
    to the standards are reviewed by
    tank fabricators and approved
    by the governing body. STI's
    staff engineers administer STI
  •  STI's underground tank technol-
    ogies meet the requirements of
    codes and regulations mandat-
    ing that tanks be listed by third-
    party test laboratories. STI staff
    work closely with Underwriters
    Laboratories  and is thoroughly
    involved in the UL standards
    development  process, while also
    ensuring that STI tank technolo-
    gies are in compliance with those
  •  STI employs a full-time qual-
    ity control director who over-
    sees an inspection team. These
    personnel  randomly perform
    industry-supported inspections
    of tank fabricator  construction
    processes, assuring high-quality
    workmanship and compliance
    with STI and UL requirements.
    Many of the inspectors are for-
    mer quality assurance personnel
    in tank fabrication shops.
  •  STI mandates that tank fabri-
    cators labeling tanks with the
    STI name must purchase third-
    party warranty and environ-
    mental impairment insurance.
    The insurer has a strong claims-
    handling  reputation, and STI

    and the fabricators receive regu-
    lar feedback to validate steel
    tank performance and compli-
    ance with quality standards and
    design requirements. For exam-
    ple, based on over two decades
    of claim-handling experience,
    we know that external corro-
    sion failures of properly installed
    and maintained STI-labeled steel
    USTs is a thing of the past.
 •  Every tank built with the STI
    label is required to have an
    associated inspection form on
    file. STI also expects tank own-
    ers to file a warranty validation
    card with STI. STI maintains a
    database of over 400,000 tanks,
    recording tank capacities and
    dimensions, year of fabrication
    and installation, type of fuel
    stored,  tank  installation loca-
    tions, and other important infor-

The Investigation
So, Marcel agreed to furnish me with
data from the State of Maine records,
including facility name, location,
tank manufacturer name, capacity
and product stored, type of tank, and
dates of installation and discovery of
liquid in the interstice. I also received
a history of third-party warranty
insurance claims in the State of Maine.
While the records were considerably
more complete than I had anticipated,
there was some important informa-
tion lacking. For example, the cause
of release to establish how liquid
entered the interstice was not identi-
fied in a majority of incidents.
    I compared  some of these
records against STI's database and
the  insurance claim dates and was
able to determine that approximately
10 percent of the tanks had the STI
label. This low number was perhaps
the  reason STI was not aware of the
failure history in Maine. I performed
additional  evaluation of the data
(again with the caveat that not all the
data were available; nor did I discuss
the data with State of Maine regula-
tors), and here is what I found:
 • Over 40 percent of the tanks
   were built to a non-STI labeled
   jacketed tank technology  by a
   manufacturer in the Northeast
   who later went bankrupt. This
   company was in business for
   less than 10 years. There was
   no industry-supported quality
   inspection program or third-
   party warranty insurance pro-
 • More  than  20 percent of the
   tanks  were  a non-STI labeled
   polyethylene jacketed tank  tech-
   nology. The company providing
   the jacket to steel tank manufac-
   turers  made polyethylene  flex-
   ible pipe systems, and is also no
   longer in business. There was
   no industry-supported quality
   inspection program or third-
   party warranty insurance pro-
 • Some systems built by  a com-
   pany in Canada were noted to
   be cathodically protected. These
   tanks may have been built to
   ULC standards. The Canadian
   company is no longer in busi-
   ness. There was no industry-
   supported quality inspection
   program or third-party warranty
   insurance program.

Quality Versus  Commitment
Readers will draw their own conclu-
sions from these data, but at STI, we
believe that our program makes a
difference in performance.
   I must add one more important
comment. Many STI tank fabricators
are second- or third-generation, fam-
ily-owned  businesses. As such, they
are in business for the long term,
not just to  make a quick buck today
without caring  about the  future

                                                                          September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
integrity of their product. I remem-
ber one such company with a long
and successful history. When it was
bought out, the new owner began
offering performance commitments
far beyond the industry norm, only
to go out of business several years
   Tanks manufactured by compa-
nies with a substantial track record
show better performance, regardless
of whether the tank is labeled and
registered with STL They have good
reputations in the industry for ser-
vicing their customers and providing
a high quality product.
   The good news is that double-
walled steel tanks and jacketed tanks
are functioning the way environ-
mental regulators  intended them
to function. Releases from second-
ary-contained steel tanks are usu-
ally small and within the interstice,
rather than catastrophic releases into
the external environment; as a result,
no hazardous liquids are released.
    Over the next  decade of tank
operations, regulators and owner/
operators will continue to face chal-
lenges in preventing releases to the
environment. A new generation of
sumps, overfill protection devices,
and  similar  equipment should
address some of these concerns.
Compatibility with new fuels will
continue to challenge existing elas-
tomeric and nonmetallic materials.
Owner/operators will face the per-
sistent challenges of keeping tank
bottoms free from water and sludge
and filters free from clogging.
   The importance of tank  fab-
rication standardization, indus-
try support of technology, quality
inspections, and  cause-of-release
investigations will only expand in
significance to the industry. •

 Wayne Geyer is Executive Vice Presi-
  dent of the Steel Tank Institute/Steel
 Plate Fabricators Association. He can
  be reached at
NEIWPCC Providing  Timely  Training  for State
UST/LUST  Personnel
by Jaclyn Harrison
     The New England Interstate
     Water Pollution Control Com-
     mission (NEIWPCC) has been
working with USEPA's Office of
Underground Storage Tanks (OUST)
for over 25 years to enhance informa-
tion sharing among state, territorial,
and tribal UST, LUST, and Financial
Responsibility programs. Funded
through a cooperative agreement
been actively developing inspector-
training opportunities for the past
two years. Due to the success of these
offerings, this year, NEIWPCC will
be expanding its training initiatives
to include corrective action topics.
   Our goal  is  to  develop and
deliver training courses—available
both in-person and online—that
reflect the needs of the states and are
directed toward protecting the envi-
ronment and human health from
potential UST releases. The courses
assist in increasing  national UST
compliance by enhancing the qual-
ity of UST enforcement inspections.
Likewise, corrective action train-
ing will help establish or improve
employee technical capabilities,
increase LUST and Financial Respon-
sibility program performance, and
hopefully minimalize the impact of
releases to the environment.
   Our challenge is to come up
with a menu of different options and
approaches from which regions can
pick and choose and at the same time
provide consistent national opportu-
nities. NEIWPCC works with advi-
sory committees to develop regional
and national trainings that meet the
needs of each USEPA region. The
committees are comprised of state,
tribal, and federal staff who are will-
ing to lend some of their time and
expertise to training development.
Regions have a variety of options to
choose from based on the recommen-
dations of these committees and are
able to choose the programs that best
meet the needs of the states in their
    In a time of  increasing budget-
ary constraints, more  and  more
state UST/LUST program staff are
trying hard to do more with less.
Many agencies do not have funding
for training or funding to reimburse
travel expenses to attend  out-of-state
training opportunities.  NEIWPCC
is trying to step in and fill this niche
both by offering  free training to
state, territory, and tribal employees
and reimbursing travel expenses for
these employees. The result is train-
ing that leads to increased job satis-
faction and motivation, efficiency
and consistency, capacity to adopt
new technologies and methods,
increased innovation, and reduced
employee turnover.
Two Types of Training
We provide state UST/LUST pro-
gram personnel with two types of

Online, Issue-Specific  Training.
Our webinars are given live  and
then recorded and archived on the
NEIWPCC website for future view-
ing. This way those who were not
able to participate in the  live event
can download and view the webinar
at their convenience. Subjects offered
in these  webinars  have included
tank and line testing, secondary  con-
tainment, corrosion and cathodic
protection, new installations, high-
throughput facilities, and  automatic
tank gauges.

In-Person Advanced Classroom
Training. Sessions last approximately
two days and include information
delivery and attendee discussions on
identified topics, as well as involve-
ment from manufacturers and ven-
dors to learn about  new  products.
NEIWPCC works with a planning
team to identify key questions and
topics that should be addressed in
each session. Examples of classroom
training include alternative fuels and
compatibility, inventory control and
SIR, Veeder-Root, interstitial moni-
toring, and leak detectors. At one
training session, Crompco, a tank
               • continued on page 20


LUSTLine Bulletin 71 • September 2012
 from Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI)

 PEI Publishes LIST  Equipment Testing Recommended  Practice
        USEPA's 1988 underground storage tank regula-
        tion required owners and operators to install
        improved UST system equipment to detect and
 prevent releases; however, it did not require proper
 operation and maintenance for some of that equipment.
     USEPA believes that owners and operators need to
 properly operate and maintain their VST system equip-
 ment in order to prevent and quickly detect releases.
 As a result, USEPA proposed in November 2011 to add
 requirements for periodic spill, overfill, secondary con-
 tainment, and release detection testing and verification.
 These tests,  according to USEPA's proposal, must be
 conducted according to one of the following:
  •  Requirements developed by the manufacturer of the
  •  A code of practice developed by a nationally recog-
     nized association or independent testing laboratory;
  •  Requirements determined by the implementing
     agency to be no less protective of human health and
     the environment than the first two bulleted items.
     In the November 18, 2011, Federal Register notice,
 USEPA wrote that it knows of one code of practice cur-
 rently being  developed that may address tightness and
 operability testing of equipment. That code of practice,
 PEI's Recommended Practices for the Testing and Verification
 of Spill, Overfill, Leak Detection and Secondary Containment
 Equipment at UST Facilities (PEI/RP1200), was finalized
 in July and is now available to those who wish to know
 more about the subject. USEPA plans to review the rec-
 ommended practice and decide whether to include it in
 the final UST regulation.
                                       The test meth-
                                   ods in this recom-
                                   mended practice
                                   relative to integ-
                                   rity testing  of
                                   spill buckets, con-
                                   tainment sumps,
                                   and secondary
                                   containment  are
                                   based on current
                                   industry practices
                                   and are intended
                                   to demonstrate
                                   that a leak from
                                   the  primary con-
                                   tainment will  be
                                   detected before it
                                   reaches the envi-
                                       The  docu-
                                   ment  describes
                                   the  wet (liquid-
                                   filled)  and dry
The plumber's plug provides a leak-tight
connection to draw a vacuum on the tank
interstitial space.
                                                     (vacuum) method for testing the integrity of tank second-
                                                     ary-containment systems. A pressure test (5 psig) is used to
                                                     test the integrity of piping interstitial space.
                                                        The document outlines hydrostatic and vacuum test
                                                     procedures for single-walled spill buckets and a vacuum
                                                     method for testing the integrity of the primary and sec-
                                                     ondary containment of double-walled spill buckets. The
                                                     integrity of containment sumps is tested hydrostatically.
                                                     While vacuum test methods are available for containment
                                                     sumps, the recommended practice does not describe how
                                                     to use that test method  but rather refers the user to the
                                                     manufacturer's instructions.
    The test fluid level in the tank sump must be at least 4 inches
    above the highest sump penetration or sidewall seam.

    Although the effectiveness of overfill prevention
devices can be tested by attempting to overfill a UST with
product and determining how well the device functions,
this approach is not recommended by the committee
responsible for writing this recommended practice. The
committee stresses that any malfunction in the overfill
prevention device when attempting to overfill the tank
could result in a product  release that could cause a threat
to public health and safety as well as environmental dam-
    Instead,  automatic shutoff devices (flapper valves),
ball float valves, and overfill alarms are inspected to ver-
ify  that they are installed correctly, operating properly,
and will shut off flow (flappers and ball floats) or provide
a warning (alarms) at the specified level required in the
federal UST rules.
    The inspection and testing of electronic monitoring
systems and automatic line leak detectors (mechanical
and electronic) are covered in PEI/RP1200, as are shear
valves and emergency stop switches.
    Sample test data sheets that can be used when con-
ducting testing and verification of spill, overfill, leak
detection and secondary containment equipment, shear
valves, and emergency stops at UST facilities are included
in one of the appendices. Electronic versions of the forms
also are available at

                                                                               September 2012 • LUSTLine Bulletin 71
    PEI's document is not without its detractors. Sev-
eral comments to USEPA's proposal assumed (correctly,
in our opinion) that since many of the UST equipment
manufacturers do not have prescribed methods for test-
ing their equipment while in-use, the only method for
meeting USEPA's testing requirement will be a code of
practice developed by a nationally recognized associa-
tion. This causes heartburn for some tank owners. The
Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey commented
that the testing and inspection procedures described in
PEI's document use untried, overly aggressive methods.
    The Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store
Association (LOMCSA) is concerned that testing parame-
ters will be followed that will lead to a high rate of failure
resulting in the unnecessary and very costly replacement
of otherwise functional and structurally sound UST com-
ponents. Moreover, LOMCSA objects to USEPA's reliance
on industry standards for testing and inspection pro-
cedures developed by organizations that  stand to ben-
efit financially for the sales and installation of new UST
equipment. LOMCSA believes such standards are biased
against  small business petroleum marketers who have
no real input or influence over the drafting of such stan-
    And finally, the Petroleum Marketers Association
of America maintains that given the impact this recom-
mended practice will have on regulatory compliance costs,
USEPA should withdraw the proposed  rule until after a
final PEI/RP1200 is published and an Initial Regulatory
Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) can be conducted based on the
known costs of the proposed interstitial testing require-
    It is now up to USEPA to decide whether or not to
include the recommended practice in its final UST reg-
ulations. I believe the committee that  wrote the docu-
ment—made up of representatives from equipment
suppliers, tank owners, leak detection and release pre-
vention testers, industry-related association and the
regulatory community—were fair and open to all people
and organizations who commented on its draft publica-
    The single-copy price for PEI/RP1200  is $40 for
PEI members: $95 for nonmembers.  Member pricing is
extended to all regulatory officials. For more information
about this special pricing for regulators, contact Sondra
Sutton at PEI: 918-236-3967 or •
                  Report  on  Ultra  Low Sulfur
                  Fuel Equipment Corrosion
                  Blames Acetic  Acid
                       Since 2007, the fuel storage industry has been reporting
                       unexpected corrosion of metal components in systems
                       storing and dispensing ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD).
                  Reports and pictures  received  from Petroleum Equipment
                  Institute (PEI) members show (gross) corrosion coating the
                  majority of metallic equipment in both the wetted and  unwet-
                  ted portions of USTs storing ULSD.  Robert Renkes, PEI Execu-
                  tive Vice President, has been keeping us  up to date on this in
                      To investigate the  problem in an objective manner, eight
                  stakeholders in  the industry, including PEI, funded a research
                  project through the Clean Diesel Fuel Alliance (CDFA).  That
                  project, undertaken by Battelle Memorial Institute, has now
                  been completed, and a 146-page  PDF report, Corrosion in Sys-
                  tems Storing and Dispensing Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, Hypoth-
                  eses Investigation, discussing the findings has been  posted
                  on the CDFA website (
                      The report  concludes that corrosion in systems  storing
                  and dispensing ULSD is likely due to the dispersal of acetic acid
                  throughout tank systems. The acetic acid  is likely produced by
                  Acetobacter bacteria feeding on low levels of ethanol contami-
                  nation. The cross-contamination could be due to switch  loading
                  or manifolded vent systems, although the report urges further
                  study to establish the "causal link."
                      The acetic acid  is deposited throughout the system  when it
                  is dispersed into the humid vapor space (ranging from  72 per-
                  cent to 95 percent) by the higher vapor pressure and by distur-
                  bances during fuel deliveries. This results in a cycle of  wetting
                  and drying of the equipment concentrating  the acetic acid on the
                  metallic equipment and corroding it "quite severely and rapidly."
                      Battelle recommends further research on this issue. For
                  example, Battelle suggests a larger and more diverse  sample
                  set, with the sites sampled multiple times over a period of time.
                  In particular, Battelle proposes that steel USTs and tanks with-
                  out corrosion problems be investigated. Furthermore,  Battelle
                  advises that the source and magnitude of  the ethanol contami-
                  nation should be determined.
                      So, in the next issue of LUSTLine, Robert  Renkes, in his
                  Field Notes column, will discuss the next steps in this ULSD
                  conundrum. •
 Subscription Form
 Mailing Address.
 Email Address	
 _l One-year subscription: $18.00
 _l Federal, state, or local government: Exempt from fee. (For home delivery, include request on agency letterhead.)
 Please enclose a check or money order (drawn on a U.S. bank) made payable to NEIWPCC.
 Send to:  New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission 116 John Street, Lowell, MA 01852-1124
 Phone: (978) 323-7929 • Fax: (978) 323-7919 • •

New England Interstate Water
Pollution Control Commission
116 John Street
Lowell, MA 01852-1124

were a lot of inewer .n pertors        t ^
   —"thatdon°U   inspectors go to see
• NEIWPCC Training for UST/LUST Personnel from page 17

testing company, opened lids, pulled
drop tubes, and then walked trainees
through some of the testing they do.
    At the completion of each train-
ing session we ask  attendees  to
respond to an online feedback survey,
which covers the webinar/class struc-
ture, content,  and opportunities for
improvement.  Results are compiled
and provided  to the  speakers and
advisory committees to enhance the
development of future training. These
surveys also provide an opportunity
for attendees to suggest future topics
for classroom or webinar trainings.
    To find information on webinars,
classes, and other online resources,
visit Please
continue to check back regularly as we
expand our  online clearinghouse for
corrective action training. If you would
like the opportunity to provide feed-
back and guidance on training needs,
contact Jaclyn Harrison, NEIWPCC's
tanks program manager,  at 978-349-
2507 or •
                                           What Webinar
                                     Participants Are Saying...
                                   £°ldj!!'am frateful that ™ch-needed
                                    o wi     n
                                   mg will not allow it.
                                                     and lack °f f«nd-
   I He \Jl tJV-
  delivery of them
  nuestions from tl "=»•---


   had been in
      i _ n^-
                      ili ly t-"-
                      the inspector
                      >ry helpful to
                                   "Keep it up. Now that we can't travel this is a
                                   good way to share information."
                                   "Thanks for the effort from all involved in
                                   giving us valuable information on doing our

                                   "I have learned more about corrosion protec
                                  Jon from these three presenters than C
                                  >n fiveyears of on the job training. Thanks"
                                  "Thanks for the opportunity to get a good
                                   overview from experts in the field."
had been involved         ^ we,,
the class. Relating « ac ual e    ^ very
                                            Aug.1985/Bulletin #1 -
                                            Sept. 2012/Bulletin #71


                                                • USTLine Index