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There are over 7,000 registered underground petroleum and hazardous substance storage tanks located at approximately 2,700 facilities in the State of Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Underground Storage Tank (UST) program is responsible for protecting public health and the environment, in particular groundwater, by preventing petroleum and hazardous substance discharges to the greatest extent possible. The staff provides technical expertise, training, and outreach to underground storage facility owners and operators.
For more information on EPA’s Final Revisions (along with Rule Summary, History and Additional Resources), visit the Federal UST Regulations
The EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) has just released two new documents associated with the recently revised UST regulations. Both of these documents are being made electronically available in PDF and WORD formats.
The first, MUSTs for USTs, has been recently updated. This document provides a broad understanding of the recent changes made to the UST regulations as well as some helpful tips to ensure compliance with these requirements.
The second, UST System Compatibility With Biofuels provides a detailed overview explaining the 2015 compatibility requirements. Ensuring UST systems are compatible with the substances they store is a key element to preventing releases to the environment.
Underground Storage Tanks Frequency Asked Questions
Reporting Releases - Iowa law requires owners and operators of Underground Storage Tank (UST) systems to report a confirmed or suspected release of "regulated substances," which includes petroleum, to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) within 24 hours or within 6 hours if a hazardous condition exists [567 Iowa Administrative Code (IAC)—135.6 & Iowa Code section 455B.386].
Environmental Emergency Reporting Hotline Number is 515-725-8694.
Underground storage tanks and piping constructed with steel or other metal in direct contact with the soil must be protected from corrosion with a cathodic protection system. This includes piping steel flex connectors in contact with the soil. These cathodic protection systems are required to have a complete inspection every three years by a qualified cathodic protection tester. The Cathodic Protection System Inspection Report form must be used by the tester to record the results of the system inspection. The form and the testers report must be kept as part of the records and be available for review by the compliance inspectors.
Tank owners/operators with an impressed current cathodic protection system are required to read the ampere and voltage meters on the rectifier at least every 60 days. These readings must be kept as part of the site’s records and made available to the cathodic protection tester for the three year system test. This chart may be used to record the rectifier readings.
542-0156 Chart for Ampere and Voltage Meter Rectifier Readings
There are three documents regarding converting your existing UST system to E-blend fuel (greater than 10 percent ethanol by volume).
Document 1 - Ethanol Conversion, is a guidance document explaining the DNR's concern with E-blend fuel.
Document 2 - Ethanol Checklist, is a checklist of procedures to follow when converting to E-blend fuel. If you are thinking of dedicating a fuel path to E-blend, read this checklist carefully and consult your Iowa licensed installer. The owner/operator and the Iowa licensed installer must complete the checklist. The items on page 1 of the checklist must be compatible in order to store E-Blend. Before converting to E-85, owners / operators and an Iowa licensed installer or professional engineer are asked to complete the checklist and submit a signed copy to the DNR.
In 2005, a cooperative effort involving the DNR, the Fire Marshal Division of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, PMMIC, Iowa Petroleum Equipment Contractors Association, and the renewable fuels industry resulted in the development of rules adopted by the Fire Marshal. These rules allow dispensing of E-85 with equipment which is not listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or an independent testing laboratory for such use. The 2006 Iowa Legislature extended the deadline for dispensers to July 1, 2009. While owners / operators may not be able to buy a UL Marked E-blend dispenser, there are compatible dispenser components available that should be used for E-blend fuel (such as hoses, nozzles, emergency shutoff valves, etc.). Consult Petroleum Equipment Institute’s (PEI) website for compatible equipment.
The 2006 Iowa Legislature also made grant money available for converting existing UST systems. For more information regarding marketing renewable fuels in Iowa and a grant application see the Iowa Renewable Fuels (IRFA) website.
Document 3 - Ethanol Inspection Form, relates to the dispenser phase-in. Owners / operators must inspect their dispensers daily for leaks and equipment failure. Record your observations on the inspection form and try to keep it on site or readily available.
9/2005 - Licensed Installer Letter regarding the checklist for storing and dispensing E-blend fuels and New UL 971 Standards