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The History Behind the EPA and Underground Storage Tank Compliance

The Environmental Protection Agency has been around since 1970, when it was created by then President Nixon. Its original purpose was to enforce new standards for industrial waste and pollution, in order to protect the environment and therefore its citizens from toxic chemicals. New legislation was created in the 1970s, but it wasn't until the 1980s that the EPA realized more needed to be done.

Over the years, the EPA has become the organization Americans turn to for all things environmental. They inspect businesses, register water treatment facilities and enforce clean air in all areas of our country. 

One of the EPA's biggest jobs is protecting our drinking water from hazardous chemicals and petroleum products. To accomplish this, they've developed strict guidelines for gas stations everywhere.

Gas Stations Have Many Rules to Follow

Gas stations have some of the most stringent requirements for compliance with federal laws because they store and dispense fuels that are toxic if not handled properly. These requirements are set forth by state regulations as well as federal laws like the US EPA's Underground Storage Tank (UST) (Chapter 82, Subchapter IX of US Code).

There are more than a half million underground storage tanks in the United States currently in use. The EPA requires regular inspections to ensure these USTs are in compliance with federal and state regulations. The greatest threat these USTs pose is to groundwater, which serves as a drinking water source for nearly half of all Americans. Contaminated groundwater can lead to numerous health problems, both short and long-term, and costly cleanup for communities.

The Importance of Improving and Maintaining Your Gas Station

It is important to be aware of the history of the EPA and its relationship with underground storage tanks. Throughout the decades since the implementation of EPA guidelines, lawsuits have been brought against oil and gas companies for contaminated groundwater and leaking underground storage tanks. At Southern Tank, all your inspection, maintenance, and repair needs are available in one place. Building a new gas station? They have installation services as well. It is imperative to stay on top of UST maintenance and inspections, both for the safety of your community but also to prevent costly litigation and repairs.