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What to Know About Maryland’s New Storage Tank Regulations

Posted: July 18th, 2022

Authors: Sahil B. 

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) updated Oil Pollution Control and Storage Tank Management regulation [Code of Maryland (COMAR) 26.10] became effective on June 13, 2022. The updates to COMAR 26.10 include the creation of new aboveground storage tank (AST) regulations and updates to Maryland’s underground storage tank (UST) regulation for consistency with the requirements of the 2015 revisions to 40 CFR Part 280.

What’s Required for My UST?

Many of the UST requirements under the 2015 revisions to 40 CFR Part 280 were already included under the previous COMAR 26.10 regulations. However, the June 13, 2022, updates require that UST owners in Maryland also:

  • Complete inspections and functional tests of overfill prevention equipment (e.g., overfill alarms and automatic flow shut-off devices) at least every 3 years, with the first test being completed by an MDE-certified tester no later than June 13, 2023.
  • Conduct periodic (i.e., monthly and annual) walkthrough inspections, starting no later than September 11, 2022. MDE has published its preferred monthly and annual walkthrough inspection checklists for facilities to use.
  • Conduct containment sump tightness testing at least every 3 years (changed from every 5 years under the previous rule).
  • Conduct inventory control as a method of release detection in addition to other forms of release detection used on the UST (e.g., automatic tank gauging, interstitial monitoring).
  • Implement release detection and maintain records of release detection for UST systems that store oil solely for use by emergency power generators by October 13, 2022. This includes methods of release detection described above and release detection on piping (i.e., installing and testing leak detectors annually on pressurized piping, tightness testing suction piping at least every 2 years, and maintaining monthly records of release detection). USTs containing heating oil only for consumptive continue to not be required to perform release detection.

The updates to the UST regulations also include some clarifications on existing requirements, such as specifying that sump sensors used for interstitial monitoring must be placed within one inch of the lowest part of the sump.

How About my AST?

Under the previous COMAR 26.10 regulations, there were comparatively few requirements for facilities with ASTs with an aggregate oil storage capacity of less than 10,000 gallons (i.e., did not require an individual oil operations permit). The June 13, 2022, rule updates establish new requirements for shop fabricated and field constructed ASTs found at COMAR 26.10.17 and COMAR 26.10.18, respectively. Notable new requirements for shop fabricated ASTs [particularly those requiring action or are more stringent than Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC)] regulations include:

  • Registering facilities with an aggregate regulated AST capacity of 2,500 gallons or more by December 13, 2023. ASTs excluded from registration and the requirements described below include those that have a capacity of 250 gallons or less, stores edible oils, and oil-filled operational equipment (e.g., oil-filled transformers and hydraulic elevator reservoirs).
  • Conducting monthly and annual inspections, beginning no later than June 13, 2024. The inspection requirements generally follow the Steel Tank Institute (STI) Standard for The Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks (SP001), with the addition of needing to clean normal and emergency vents during the annual inspections (STI SP001 is typically used as the inspection standard for shop fabricated ASTs).
  • Installing tank gauges (e.g., mechanical level gauge or automatic tank gauge) and a method of release detection (e.g., interstitial monitoring on double-walled ASTs) by June 13, 2024, and completing annual testing of the equipment.
  • Meeting similar requirements to piping for UST systems if the AST system has underground piping.
  • Maintaining records of routine inspections and testing for at least 5 years (note that this is more stringent than the SPCC requirement of maintaining records for at least 3 years). Records of integrity testing, repairs, spills, and other formal reports are required to be maintained for at least 5 years after permanent closure or removal of the AST system.

Note: the requirements described above apply to existing AST systems. AST systems that are installed on or after June 13, 2022, are required to comply with all of the above upon installation.

If you have questions on how these new regulations affect your facility, please feel free to reach out to me at sbharucha@all4inc.com or 571-392-2592 x505.


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