Six Things to Know If You Uncover an Underground Storage Tank at Your Site

UST

Did you find an Underground Storage Tank (UST) at your construction site? Don’t panic! While you may think uncovering a UST can lead to delays in your construction schedule, planning ahead and knowing what to do in the situation will simplify things.

Check out these tips below to find out how you can navigate through a UST removal and keep your project on track.

  1. As soon as a UST is uncovered at your site, get in contact with an environmental consultant and have them come to investigate the tank and oversee the removal. They will ensure the appropriate documentation is collected through the process and interface with any regulatory agencies that may need to get involved.
  2. Before the UST is removed, it needs to be evaluated to understand what the tank contains. This will ensure that any residual materials are removed safely and disposed of properly.
  3. Once the tank is removed, your on-site environmental professional will inspect the UST for structural integrity, which includes evidence of corrosion and holes. They will also examine the tank bed for evidence of releases and may collect soil samples for laboratory analysis, if required.
  4. In some situations, your environmental consultant will have to call a regulatory agency regarding the UST. In the event of a petroleum release from a UST in New York State, it is required that the spill be reported within two hours of uncovering the impact. This is no cause for alarm! Your consultant will have been observing site conditions through the process and collecting the appropriate documentation. If a spill has been called in, a representative from the regulatory agency may come to inspect the tank excavation or oversee the UST removal.  
  5. Depending on site conditions, remediation may be required. In these instances, looping in the regulatory agency as soon as possible is imperative so that a plan can be discussed and your project can keep moving.
  6. When it comes time to dispose of the contents of the UST, the tank shell, or any contaminated soil, be sure to maintain a paper trail and that your consultant has ample time to characterize any soil that has to go off site.

Walden’s staff of engineers, geologists, and scientists have overseen many UST removals and spill remediations. If you encounter a tank at your property and are in need of guidance as you remove and dispose of it, give Walden a call at 516-624-7200. We will help keep your project on track!

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