How Can I Tell If A Release Has Occurred?
Various warning signals can indicate that your underground storage tank (UST) may be leaking and creating problems for the environment and your business. You can minimize these problems by paying careful attention to early warning signals and reacting to them quickly before major problems develop.
You should suspect a leak when you discover any of the following warning signals:
- You, your coworkers, or customers smell escaped product or see anything like an oily sheen on water near the facility.
- Your neighbors complain of vapors in their basements or about water that tastes or smells like petroleum.
- Someone reports unusual operating conditions at your facility, such as erratic behavior of the dispensing pump.
- You receive or generate results from leak detection monitoring and testing that indicate a leak.
If you suspect that a release may have occurred, you must immediately notify your state or local implementing agency. If your tank is in Indian Country, then you must contact the EPA Regional UST program office. Quick action on your part can minimize the extent of environmental damage and the threat to human health and safety, and it can minimize your share of the high costs that can result from cleaning up extensive releases and responding to third-party liability claims. See the answer to "How Do You Report A Release From An UST System?" for more details on reporting releases.