UST Release Response
If an owner or operator of an underground storage tank facility suspects that a release has occurred, they must report it to the state or local implementing agency within 24 hours, or the timeframe required by the implementing agency. In addition to reporting the suspected release, the owner or operator should immediately act to stop the release.
Once the release has been reported, the implementing agency will determine rather quickly if a release has occurred or not by conducting a tightness test of the entire system and investigating the facility for any additional information on the presence and source of the product. Meanwhile, the owner/operator can take the following steps to lessen the impact of the release:
- Take immediate action to stop or contain the release.
- Remove explosive vapors or fire hazards. Local fire department can help or advise with this task.
- Remove petroleum from the UST system to prevent further product from being released.
- Investigate to determine if the release has damaged or might damage the environment.
Once the implementing agency has determined the extent of the release, based on their investigation and the information provided by the owner/operator, the owner/operator may have to develop and submit a Corrective Action Plan. The Corrective Action Plan is typically developed with an environmental consulting company and will show how cleanup requirements will be met.