Compliance with fuel tank maintenance and inspections are critical for all fuel tank owners to keep them serviceable as well as prevent dangerous and costly spill accidents.

Since fuel tanks are highly susceptible to corrosion, it’s essential that owners understand tank inspection policies and how to provide necessary maintenance to reduce progressive damage that could lead to spills.

Owner Responsibilities for Inspections and Maintenance

Regardless of what your company does, if you own above or under ground fuel storage tanks, you are required to maintain them properly and have them periodically examined for safety issues by the governing regulatory agency for your container type.

In doing so, it’s essential that all owners:

  • Understand inspection standards for AST and UST tanks as applicable.
  • Know required inspection schedules.
  • Hire certified 3rd-party contractors to perform required inspections when due.
  • Handle all repairs and maintenance items recommended by inspectors.
  • Keep all inspection and tank maintenance records as required by the regulatory agency.

Above Ground Storage Tank (AST) Inspections

Above ground fuel storage tanks (ASTs) require three types of tank inspections to ensure safety and that all required maintenance is being performed:

  • Formal External Inspection (FEI) - Must be performed and documented by a certified inspector to assess overall tank condition and safety to continue service and to create an inspection and maintenance baseline. FEIs must include examination of primary and secondary units, tank supporters, anchors, foundation and external supports, all gauges, overfill valves and alarms, all normal and emergency vents, insulation and appurtenances, as well as release prevention and spill systems.
  • Monthly Walkthrough Inspection - This is a visual survey performed monthly by the owner.
  • Annual Periodic Inspection - Must be performed and documented by a certified inspector to assess general tank condition and serviceability without suspending operations.

Underground Storage Tank (UST) Inspections

Underground fuel storage tanks (USTs) require a number of yearly and other tank inspections to ensure serviceability as well as be operated by qualified personnel at all times.

Designated UST operators include:

  • Class A - Operators with the main responsibilities of tank operation and maintenance.
  • Class B - Operators with daily on-site responsibilities for tank operation and maintenance.
  • Class C - Operators with daily responsibility of addressing spills and other emergencies.

UST-required inspections performed and documented by a certified inspector to assess overall tank condition and safety include:

  • Monthly - Walkthrough visual tank inspection.
  • Yearly - Annual UST inspection, annual line leak or line tightness test, and annual release detection equipment operations test.
  • Every 3 Years - Suction piping test, sump test, and spill bucket test.
  • Every 5 Years - Tank tightness test.

Fuel Storage Tank Regulatory Enforcement Agencies

In addition to keeping up with all of the above mentioned tank inspections and any required fuel tank maintenance and repairs, tank owners must ensure their containers are inspected by the correct regulatory agencies:

  • ASTs - Installations should be planned and constructed in accordance with Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rules and Steel Tank Institute (STI) Standards plus be inspected by certified inspectors.
  • USTs - Federally regulated by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and each state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Inspection and Maintenance Compliance Necessity

Storing fuel in large tanks requires careful monitoring of those vessels and strict fuel tank inspections performed by certified inspectors to maintain regulatory safety standards.

Stay compliant with fuel storage safety by scheduling tank inspections as required, following all suggestions made for maintaining your containers, and making any repairs that may be necessary.

With thorough inspection and careful maintenance, your company can avoid dealing with costly spills and the repercussions that come with one!

Questions About Fuel Tank Inspections in Oklahoma, Texas, or Surrounding Areas?

Talk to Dunham Engineering About Fuel Tank Maintenance and Inspections!

Call 979-413-4687 for More Info!