Underground / Aboveground Storage Tank Removals

5Underground Storage Tanks/Aboveground Storage Tank Management Services

Underground storage tanks represent the greatest risk to groundwater integrity in the United States. In order to assist our clients in managing the significant risks associated with underground storage tanks. Federated Environmental offers complete underground storage tank management services. In addition, Federated Environmental also offers full services in the management of aboveground storage tanks.

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Permitting and Registration Services, Annual Precision Testing

The registration of certain underground storage tanks is required under the Resource, Conservation, and Recovery Act (1976). Federal and state regulations require that most large petroleum underground storage tanks (USTs) be properly registered, and in some cases an actual permit is required. Federated Environmental has extensive experience in the registration of heating fuel oil tanks, waste oil tanks, gasoline tanks, diesel fuel tanks, and other petroleum-containing underground storage tanks.

In addition, Federated Environmental offers annual precision testing of underground storage tanks to ensure that the storage system is free of breaches and that the leak detection requirement for USTs is met. USTs that contain hazardous chemicals are not regulated in the same manner as petroleum USTs. Under the regulations, such USTs are designed as “chemical USTs,” and are subject to their own registration and structural requirements. Federated Environmental has experience and expertise in managing chemical USTs as well.


The federal regulations covering USTs require certain retrofit and upgrade requirements for existing USTs. The retrofit and upgrade requirements include leak detection, corrosion protection, spill/overfill prevention, and on-site physical management protocols. Federated Environmental offers all of these UST retrofit and upgrade requirements including, but not limited to, automatic flow restrictors, automatic shutoffs, continuous pressure alarms, line testing, coating and cathodic protection of existing tank bodies and piping, interior linings, overfill alarms, ball float valves, automatic tank gauging, vapor monitoring, interstitial monitoring, and groundwater monitoring.

New Tank Installations

Federated Environmental can install any and all kinds of underground storage tanks, and follows the procedures recommended by the tank manufacturer and the following publications:

Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code (NFPA 30)

Standard for Installation of Oil Burning Equipment (NFPA 31)

Installation of Underground Storage Tanks for Flammable and Combustible Liquids [Occupational safety and Health Standards, Part II, Part 1910, Section 106(b)(3)]

Petroleum Equipment Institute publication PEI RP-100/87

American Petroleum Institute publication API 1615

In the above proper protocols for leak-free petroleum storage system installations, Federated Environmentalincludes the following important installation items: removal of hard and sharp objects from excavation to prevent damage to tank laminate, 6 to 12” of soft soil bedding, 1’ clearance between the tank body and the excavation walls, 6” pea gravel or crushed stone support on top of tank pad, air integrity testing, use of metal plug connectors, dielectric bushings, non-metallic bushings for piping, interstitial space integrity testing, touch-up of laminate (if needed), installation of hold-down slabs, and/or deadman (no mid-point anchoring, cables or bars), neoprene rubber protection for hold down straps, homogeneous, non-corrosive bedding and fill, and coverage of the installed tank with a minimum of 2’ of clean fill.

Federated Environmental’s underground storage tank installation personnel, after years of seeing tank failures from faulty installations have determined that the above steps greatly reduce or eliminate the incidence  of tank integrity failure. Federated Environmental performs these steps during each new tank installation to ensure that the tank system will function leak –free.

Underground Storage Tank Removals

Federated Environmental can manage your underground storage tank concerns as well. Underground storage tank systems, when they are no longer required or the system has failed, can be removed from the ground or filled with an inert material and abandoned in place. Federated Environmental performs tank removal in accordance with federal and state regulations including the American Petroleum Institute’s publication 1604. This procedure includes clearing the property of utilities, pumping the UST of remaining product, excavating the top surface of the tank, inerting the tank, cutting open the tank, entering a team in personal protective equipment (PPE) to remove unpumpable solids and clean the tank interior, lifting the tank body and piping from the excavation, and refilling the excavation with clean fill in compacted 8” lifts to prevent settlement of the surface at job completion. The tank body and piping is labeled and delivered to an iron scrap facility. At the completion of the tank removal, Federated Environmental completes the appropriate state “Change in Service” reporting to document that the tank(s) have been removed from the property without incident.

In addition, Federated Environmental performs abandonment in place procedures under specific circumstances. Sometimes a tank is placed to a load-bearing wall, under a floor, or another area where removal would represent a potential risk to the integrity of nearby structures. Under these circumstances, the steps for tank removal are followed with the exception of the tank body and piping removal step itself. When the tank has been cut open and cleaned, the tank body is filled to capacity with an inert material such as concrete, fly ash, sand, gravel. Federated Environmental has the experience and technical expertise to make the determination whether this alternative is desirable over tank removal.