Why ?

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Why use a Liquid Leak Detection and Level Monitoring System?

One of the main reasons to use a liquid leak detection and level monitoring system is to reduce the liability in the event of a leak in either an Underground Storage Tank (UST) or Aboveground Storage Tank (AST).  Leaking storage tanks are a significant source of environmental contamination and can:
  • Pose a fire and explosion threat
  • Contaminate soil, groundwater, streams, rivers and lakes
  • Contaminate drinking water
  • Contaminate adjacent properties

An undetected leaking storage tank can also pose a huge financial threat to owners.  Irresponsible owners can face personal and corporate fines, jail terms, not to mention the large clean up costs.

With a tank monitoring system, environmental and financial threats posed by leaking storage tanks can be minimized by quickly alerting responsible parties and allowing them to respond in a timely manner.

Having a liquid leak detection and level monitoring system is not only, environmentally and financially, the right thing to do, it is the law.  In Canada, the management of storage tanks is governed by both federal and provincial legislation.  The following is a listing of Federal legislations concerning the management of storage tanks:

  • Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.  Environmental Code of Practice for Underground Storage Tank Systems Containing Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products.
  • Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.  Environmental Code of Practice for Aboveground Storage Tank Systems Containing Petroleum Products.
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act.  Technical Guidelines for Underground Storage Tank Systems Containing Petroleum products and Allied Petroleum Products, Canada Gazette, Part I.
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act.  Technical Guidelines for Aboveground Storage Tank Systems Containing Petroleum Products, Canada Gazette, Part I.
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act.  Registration of Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products on Federal Lands Regulations.  Canada Gazette, Part IV.
  • National Fire Code of Canada 1995: Part 4 Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

Provincial Legislation (not limited to this list):

  • British Colombia: Petroleum Storage and Distribution Facilities Storm Water Regulation, B.C. Reg. 168/94.
  • Alberta: Storage Tank System Management Regulation, Alta. Reg. 254/2000.
  • Saskatchewan: Oil and Gas Conservation Regulations, 1985, R.S.S., c. O-2, r. 1, as amended by: 39/87; 40/87; 32/88; 7/89; 25/89; 34/89; 96/90; 79/91; 72/92; 48/95; 50/97; 50/98; 106/2000.
  • Manitoba: Storage and Handling of Gasoline and Associated Products Regulation 97/98R.
  • Ontario: Gasoline Handling Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990.
  • Quebec: Act Respecting Petroleum Products and Equipment, R.S.Q. c. U-1.1.
  • New Brunswick: Petroleum Product Storage and Handling Regulation - Clean Environment Act, N.B. Reg. 87-97.
  • Prince Edward Island: Petroleum Products Act Regulations, EC 38/91, as amended by: EC 639/93; 639/97; 762/98; 699/2000.
  • Nova Scotia: Petroleum Storage Regulations, N.S. Reg. 62/95.

Legislations are always being reviewed and updated.  Check with your state/provincial protection agency or a qualified representative to understand the requirements for your location.

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American states have environmental protection agencies that require some compliancy for leak prevention and detection systems.  Each state agency has their procedures and regulations but all work closely with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  An example of the responsibilities held by a state environmental agency is shown below:

The OSFM (Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshall) is authorized to:

  • Certify tank installation and removal contractors.
  • Monitor compliance regarding leak prevention and detection requirements.
  • Issue permits for tank installations, repairs, upgrades, closures, and removals.
  • Administer financial responsibility requirements.
  • Determine if tank owners and operators meet eligibility and deductibility requirements for reimbursement of cleanup costs.
  • Require investigations to determine if UST releases have occurred and if they threaten human health or the environment.
  • Order tank owners or operators to remove the USTs and perform initial abatement measures when UST releases threaten human health or the environment.

The Illinois EPA is authorized to:

  • Review and evaluate technical plans and reports to determine if tank owners or operators are complying with environmental laws and regulations governing leaking UST site investigations and cleanups.
  • Require tank owners or operators to perform corrective action when UST releases threaten human health or the environment.
  • Review and evaluate tank owners' and operators' budgets and claims for reimbursement from the UST Fund.
  • Issue No Further Remediation (NFR) Letters to tank owners or operators once the Leaking UST Program requirements and cleanup objectives have been met.
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