UST Technical Compendium Category 4: Release Investigation, Confirmation, and Corrective Action (RICC)
These interpretations and guidance are based on the 1988 UST regulation.
EPA revised the UST regulations in June 2015. Some of the information in this compendium may no longer apply because of those revisions.
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Question 1: Are typical response actions of the utility
industry to various types of confirmed releases from underground emergency
generator tanks at nuclear power stations in conformance with the final
UST corrective action regulatory requirements of 40 CFR 280.61(b) and 280.62(a)(1)?
[February 21, 1989 letter from Garah Helms of the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group, Edison Electric Institute]
Answer: When a release from an emergency generator
tank is confirmed, the nuclear facility's owner and operator must begin
to take immediate action to prevent further releases, including action
that leads to the removal of as much of the regulated substance from the
UST system as necessary.
[April 4, 1989 Letter to Mr. Helms (PDF) (2 pp, 12K)]
Question 2: Does EPA require tank removal when a tank
fails a tightness test? Is our company's site investigation checklist
[August 21, 1989 letter from R.C. Cronau of R.C. Cronau and Associates, Inc.]
Answer: Section 280.52 (a)(1) specifies that when
a second tightness test is used to confirm a suspected release, the UST
owner must "repair, replace, or upgrade the UST system and begin corrective
action" if the system is non-tight. Thus, repair and upgrading is also
allowed by EPA, in addition to tank removal. However, the actual approach
followed is dependent on site conditions and the implementing agency's
decision as to whether the initial abatement actions, site check activities,
and corrective action measures necessitate tank removal. The submitted
checklist is generally accurate, as far as it goes, for overfill type testing.
It is not complete and does not incorporate level measuring or acoustic
methods, and does not acknowledge the site check alternative mentioned
in the regulations.
[December 1, 1989 Letter to Mr. Cronau (PDF) (2 pp, 13K)]
Question 3: Is a constituent required to remove contaminated
soil that is a result of a spill from over 40 years ago, if this contamination
is discovered while recently installing a new tank?
[May 1991 letter from Senator Helms]
Answer: It is basically the state's decision as to whether
the soil in the area of the old release must be removed. Continue to openly
discuss this evolving situation with those responsible state officials,
including whether this is already a leak from the operating USTs that must
[Undated Letter to Senator Jesse Helms (PDF) (2 pp, 11K, About PDF)]
Question 4: Do old releases have to be reported?
Answer: Yes, owners and operators of USTs subject
to the final rules must report both suspected and confirmed releases (see
40 CFR Part 280.50-3). There is no regulatory distinction between old or
new releases, and it is technically difficult, if not impossible, to determine
the age of a release. The implementing agency can require proper closure
(including site assessment) and corrective action at old sites suspected
of having a release.
[There is no additional material included for this answer]
Question 5: Could EPA please clarify its final regulations
for reporting releases from underground storage tanks?
[December 22, 1988 letter from Gregory P. Underwood]
Answer: Under the new regulations, any leak that is discovered
must be reported immediately to the implementing agency and action undertaken
by the owner and operator to stop additional releases.
[February 27, 1989 letter to Mr. Underwood (PDF) (2 pp, 13K, About PDF)]