Are Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs) A Way To Avoid Regulation?
No. But, some underground storage tank (UST) owners or operators mistakenly think they can avoid environmental and safety requirements by changing to aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). However, ASTs are subject to both federal regulations and state/local regulations. Before choosing an AST option, UST owners and operators should keep the following in mind:
- Replacing an existing UST with an AST still requires closing the existing UST properly proper closure includes notifying your regulatory authority at least 30 days
before you close your UST, conducting any necessary site assessment and remedial
action, having the tank emptied and cleaned safely, and either removing the tank or
leaving it buried but filled with an inactive solid, such as sand.
- Most ASTs need to meet U.S. EPA's Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) requirements (40 CFR, Part 112).
- Some ASTs may need to meet additional state or local regulatory requirements that safeguard human health and the environment from potential threats posed by ASTs. You should check with your state agency in charge of oil pollution control activities for information on state and local requirements.
In addition to regulatory considerations, there are also some other factors you may want to consider. The Steel Tank Institute (STI) has developed a slide show which may assist you in further evaluating this option. Visit STI’s AST/UST Slide Show on the Internet.