FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
EPCRA Final Rule
Federal Register publication date: February 11, 1999
We want to take this opportunity to answer the most commonly asked questions we have received from SERCs, LEPCs and state UST offices about the new gasoline and diesel fuel thresholds:
No. SERCs, LEPCs and fire departments are not required to make the determination themselves on whether a facility is in compliance with UST requirements. They may obtain compliance information from state UST programs.
Facilities must comply with either federal UST requirements (40 CFR part 280) or, if applicable, the requirements of the state UST program approved by EPA under 40 CFR part 281.
Retail gas stations that were not in compliance with all applicable UST requirements at any time during a calendar year may not apply the new thresholds for EPCRA reporting for that calendar year. The facility must be in compliance with UST requirements at all times during a particular calendar year to use the new thresholds for reporting for that year.
A facility is not in compliance with the UST requirements (and therefore not eligible for the new EPCRA thresholds) when it first fails to meet the UST requirements. For example, if an owner or operator of a retail gas station has a tank system that was not in compliance with UST requirements that went into effect in December of 1998 (see 40 CFR 280.21(a) and 281.31), that owner or operator can not apply the new thresholds in today's rule for the EPCRA section 312 report that is due March 1, 1999.)
Any retail gas station that has at least 10,000 pounds of gasoline or diesel fuel stored in tanks that are not entirely underground must report on the total gasoline or diesel fuel at the facility, including any that is stored entirely underground. Similarly, any retail gas station that has at least 75,000 gallons of gasoline or 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel stored entirely underground must report on the total gasoline or diesel fuel at the facility, including any that is not stored entirely underground. In other words, whether the facility triggers the threshold for underground storage or for aboveground storage, they report on the total gasoline or diesel fuel at the facility.
Yes. The new thresholds are effective beginning with the reports due on or before March 1, 1999, which cover 1998 calendar year inventories.
In general, only the largest of retail gas stations will need to submit gas and diesel inventories for calendar year 1998 under this final regulation - most other owners/operators will no longer have to report under EPCRA Section 312. Regardless of whether retail gas stations qualify for the new gas and diesel EPCRA reporting threshold, these facilities must still report under state UST requirements. Because of this final regulation, UST offices may receive more requests for information and outreach assistance from SERCs. In turn, SERCs/LEPCs can be a valuable source of information on USTs not included in existing databases.
A list of state UST agencies can be found on U.S. EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks homepage at www.epa.gov/swerust1/states/statcon1.htm A list of SERCs and LEPCs can be found by going through CEPPO's webpage on partnering agencies at www.epa.gov/swercepp/partner.htm and scrolling down to the subsection entitled "State and Local Governments". You can also call our hotline at 1-800-424-9346 if you'd prefer to have either the state UST agency or SERC list mailed to you.
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Last Updated: February 19, 1999