All underground storage tanks (USTs) that contain substances that are hazardous as per the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) have to fulfill certain requirements. This includes the following:
- All hazardous USTs should have secondary containment or an additional wall around the perimeter. A single wall cannot prevent leaks from escaping into the environment while a secondary wall can allow operators to detect and contain the situation quickly. Monitoring devices can indicate the presence of a leak in the space between these walls.
- The excavation zone around a UST system should be lined with a liner that cannot be breached by leaked hazardous chemicals.
- In case of a leak, appropriate steps need to be taken that can prevent further leaks and allow operators to contain what has been released.
- All hazardous leaks and spills that exceed certain quantities need to be reported to the National Response Center within 24 hours. However, if the spills are smaller than those quantities and can be contained quickly, they need not be reported at all. The information the implementing agency receives will help them determine what you can do after a leak.