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Underground Storage Tanks

Underground storage tanks pose threat of environmental hazards

Underground storage tanks are commonly used to store petroleum products and other chemical substances. For example, many homes have underground heating oil tanks. Many businesses and municipal highway departments also store gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil, or chemicals in on-site tanks. Industries use underground storage tanks to hold chemicals used in industrial processes or to store hazardous wastes for pickup by a licensed hauler. The EPA estimates that more than half a million underground storage tanks store petroleum or other hazardous substances, declaring that the greatest potential threat from a leaking underground storage tank is contamination of groundwater.

A hole in the ground where an underground storage tank was removed

Tanks that meet federal/state standards for new and upgraded systems are less likely to fail, but they are not foolproof. Abandoned underground storage tanks pose another problem because their location is often unknown. Aboveground storage tanks can also pose a threat to groundwater if a spill or leak occurs and adequate barriers are not in place.

Improper chemical storage, sloppy materials handling, and poor-quality containers can be major threats to groundwater. Tanker trucks, train cars and other transportation methods pose another chemical storage hazard. In 2020 alone, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Hazardous Material Safety reported 14,939 incidents of spills or leakage attributable to loading, unloading, in transit or in transit storage situations. At the site of an accidental spill, the chemicals are often diluted with water and then washed into the soil, increasing the possibility of groundwater contamination.

Employee using equipment on underground storage site

Underground storage tank services from top-tier Agency Term Contractor

Regulated removal and closure of storage systems can be a lengthy and costly process. AMRC can help reduce costs while ensuring a quick and effective resolution with our turnkey UST-related soil and groundwater analysis and remediation services. As a top-tier Agency Term Contractor, AMRC has performed dozens of contamination assessments, created remedial action plans and achieved closures at sites with leaking underground storage tanks throughout Florida.

Our underground storage tank services Include:

  • Compliance audits
  • Contaminant assessments
  • Geologic/hydrogeologic investigations
  • Drilling and sampling of soil
  • Monitoring well drilling and installation
  • Groundwater sampling
  • Soil samples
  • Computer modeling of contaminant plumes
  • Corrective action plans
  • Remedial investigation/feasibility studies
  • Risk assessments
  • Remedial design and operations
  • Tank removals

We also provide underground storage tank compliance management:

  • Tank removal or abandonment in place
  • Precision leak testing
  • Corrosion protection verification
  • Repair of defective tanks, lines or protective systems
  • Construction observation for installation of new designs
  • Health and Safety plan preparation and implementation
Field Report

Based on the data collected during the assessment, AMRC can design an effective and cost-conscious remedial approach which may include:

  • Natural attenuation / Monitoring only
  • Bioremediation
  • Free product recovery
  • Groundwater extraction and treatment
  • Soil excavation and disposal/treatment
  • Air sparging/Soil vapor extraction
  • Dual-phase extraction
  • In situ chemical oxidation
  • Pursuance of Covenant-Not-To-Sue / Deed restrictions
  • Combinations of remedial methods

AMRC’s staff includes a Florida licensed Professional Engineer, a licensed Professional Geologist, and a licensed General Contractor. Together, we have successfully completed numerous remediation projects throughout Florida. We can provide and coordinate all necessary permitting, installation, operations, maintenance, equipment, product removal/disposal, and environmental sampling. Our services also include the preparation of all required reports and submittal to the regulatory agency.

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Low Score Site Initiative (LSSI)

Sites with leaking underground storage tanks were evaluated by FDEP and received a ranking from 1 to 100. State and federal funding has been made available to pay for the remediation of these contaminated sites. The state of Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has initiated a program called “Low Score Site Initiative” or LSSI for sites ranked below 30.

The LSSI is strictly voluntary and has a limited funding cap of $35,000 per site for assessment activities and an additional $35,000 for remediation activities. Additionally, a maximum of 10 sites per responsible party are allowed to participate during each fiscal year. Funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. There are over 12,000 eligible sites and only about 300 will be worked on annually under the currently approved bill.

There are three different potential outcomes that can be determined through the LSSI program:

1. Site Rehabilitation Completion Order (SRCO) where there was no evidence of contamination identified during the investigation.

2. LSSI No Further Action Order (NFA) where there was minimal contamination detected and the contaminated plume is found to be either stable or shrinking and the plume is not a threat to human health or the environment.

3. LSSI NFA with conditions (NFAC) where minimal contamination was detected, but the top two feet of soil is contaminated.

The benefits for site and business owners that participate in the LSSI program include:

  • Obtaining valuable information about the property for little to no cost to the site owner
  • Under the current funding, the property owner/responsible party is not required to pay deductibles
  • Potentially increasing the property’s value
  • Limit liability to both the seller and buyer
  • Allow a greater sales potential for the site owner
  • Acceptance into the program in the future may be limited due to budget or regulatory constraints so participation now may be the answer to resolving open discharges at the site

There is little or no cost for participation in the program, but you must choose a Designated Cleanup Contractor.

AMRC Environmental can assist the property owner or Responsible Party as the Designed Cleanup Contractor for the site. AMRC offers a no-cost initial consultation.

Please contact us at 239-936-8266 to discuss your eligibility in the programs.

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