View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
View of the Reno Sparks night skyline from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

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Underground Storage Tanks

The implementation and enforcement of the USEPA underground storage tank (UST) regulations as codified in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapters 280-281 (40 CFR 280-281), began in the late 1980`s as a Federal effort to provide a consistent measure of groundwater protection across the nation. Recognizing the environmental and public health problems that could be attributed to soil/groundwater contamination from leaking petroleum tanks, while at the same time recognizing the financial impact that the implementation of the regulations would have upon the owners of the UST systems, the regulations were ultimately devised to achieve specific benchmarks during a reasonable timeframe. The authority to implement the provisions of 40 CFR 280-281 was delegated by the Federal Government to the States. In the case of Nevada, this authority ultimately devolved upon the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), who in turn delegated their authority in Washoe and Clark Counties to the respective Health Divisions.

As noted above, the Federal regulations were originally developed to protect groundwater resources. In order to achieve this goal, the regulations were developed so that sub-standard UST systems were either removed from the ground or upgraded to a specific technical standard that provided minimum engineered controls, or the tools necessary to prevent spills and overfills, provide corrosion protection to the buried portions of the systems, and finally, enable the UST owner/operator to perform leak detection to determine whether the underground tank and piping portions of the system were tight in order to mitigate, as quickly as possible, any release of petroleum contamination to the environment. The technical standard benchmark was to have been achieved by December 22, 1998. Since the 1998 deadline, the focus of the UST program has gradually shifted toward the prevention of environmental contamination from UST systems through the enforcement of the leak detection requirements of 40 CFR 280, Subpart D.

Additional References:

Consultant/Contractor Certification
NRS 459.500 - 459.535 and NAC 459.970 - 459.9729

Water Pollution Control Program
NAC 445A.226 - 445A.348

Cleanup of Petroleum Discharges / Petroleum Hearing Board / State Petroleum Fund
NRS 590.700 - 590.920 and NAC 590.700 - 590.790

Underground Storage Tanks
NRS 459.800 - 459.856 and NAC 459.9921 - 459.9995

Underground Storage Tank System Links

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