Why would I want to permanently remove my Petroleum Underground Storage Tanks from service?

As an owner/ operator, in order to minimize your risk when your operations no longer require the service of  Petroleum Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) at the property, you should permanently remove them along with the piping and dispensers. There is always a risk that your tank could release a substance leading to expensive remediation and cleanup fees.
Additionally, tank systems that do not meet applicable technical standards, as described in Chapter 334, Subchapter C, may need to be repaired, upgraded, or permanently removed from service, as applicable.

 What are my options?

The three options for permanently removing your UST from service are as follows:

  • remove the tank from the ground
  • permanently fill the tank in place
  • or organize a permanent change in service

Each option has benefits and disadvantages over the other options.
1. Removing the tank from the ground eliminates the chance of contamination in the future. However, it may not be a feasible solution if the UST is under a permanent structure.
2. Permanently filling your UST with an inert material may make your property more difficult to sell in the future, as compared to the other options. You should also contact the city and county governments to make sure abandonment in place is allowed in your locality. A lender or a potential buyer may require additional sampling to ensure that there is no soil contamination.
3. Thoroughly cleaning the UST to prevent contaminating the new stored substance is difficult and may be unsuitablel. If you carry out a change in service, you must use your UST for a beneficial purpose and the tank must be thoroughly cleaned of all regulated substances prior to reuse. In addition to the benefits and disadvantages of each option, the cost may vary.
To determine the best solution for you, discuss the benefits, downsides, and costs of each option with your TCEQ-registered contractor.

Information Credit: TCEQ

Underground Storage Tank Tips

A subsurface investigation should be done for the following:

  • Before purchasing property, to ensure the intrinsic value of the property is not effected.
  • If inheritance is involved, having a subsurface investigation should be done to ensure family members won’t be held responsible for remediation and or cleanup fees if the tank is in fact a leaking tank.
  • You, your coworkers, neighbors or customers smell escaped product or see anything like an oily sheen on water near the facility.
  • You, your coworkers, neighbors or customers complain the water tastes or smells like petroleum.

Should you have a reportable release as a result of the UST removal, then you are required to complete release reporting and corrective action to the TCEQ, and you should retain the services of a TCEQ licensed Corrective Action Specialist.