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RULE §334.55Permanent Removal from Service

(a) General provisions.

  (1) Any owner or operator who intends to permanently remove an underground storage tank (UST) from service (by either removing the tank from the ground, abandoning the tank in-place, or conducting a permanent change-in-service) shall provide prior notice of this activity to the agency in accordance with §334.6 of this title (relating to Construction Notification for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and UST Systems).

  (2) The procedures used in permanently removing the UST from service shall conform with accepted industry practices, and shall be in accordance with a code or standard of practice developed by a nationally recognized association or independent testing laboratory.

  (3) The permanent removal from service shall be conducted by qualified personnel possessing the appropriate skills, experience, competence, and, if applicable, any required license or certification to complete the activity in accordance with the provisions of this section and in a manner designed to minimize the possibility of any threats to human health and safety or the environment.

  (4) All USTs that are intended for permanent removal from service shall be emptied of all regulated substances and accumulated sludges or residues, and shall be purged of all residual vapors in accordance with accepted industry procedures commonly employed for the stored regulated substance.

  (5) The handling, transportation, and disposal of any regulated substances removed from a UST system, and any contaminated soils, backfill material, groundwater, wash water, or other similar materials removed from the system or facility, shall be conducted in a safe and environmentally sound manner, and shall be in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations in effect for the type, volume, contaminant concentration, and classification of the removed material.

  (6) As part of the required procedure for the permanent removal of any UST system from service, the owner or operator shall determine whether or not any prior release of a stored regulated substance has occurred from the system.

    (A) This determination shall be performed subsequent to the submittal of notification to the agency as prescribed in §334.6 of this title, but prior to completion of the permanent removal from service.

    (B) This determination shall be made by visual inspection of the area in and immediately surrounding the excavation zone for any above-ground releases and for any exposed below-ground releases, and by using one or both of the following methods or procedures:

      (i) the continual operation (through the time that the stored regulated substances are removed from the UST system) of one or more of the external release monitoring and detection methods operating in accordance with §334.50(d)(5) - (8) of this title (relating to Release Detection); or

      (ii) the performance of a comprehensive site assessment in accordance with the requirements of subsection (e) of this section.

    (C) Any methods or procedures used to make this determination shall be capable of detecting any prior release of stored regulated substances from any portion of the UST system.

    (D) Upon completion of this determination, the owner or operator shall:

      (i) report any confirmed or suspected releases to the agency and comply with all applicable release investigation and corrective action requirements, as prescribed in Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Release Reporting and Corrective Action);

      (ii) prepare or assemble the detailed written records of this determination, which shall include the methods, procedures, results, and names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the persons involved in conducting such determination. Such records shall be maintained in accordance with the applicable provisions in subsection (f) of this section, and a copy of such records shall be filed with the agency in conjunction with the applicable tank registration requirements of §334.7 of this title (relating to Registration for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and UST Systems).

  (7) For a UST to be considered permanently out-of-service, the owner or operator shall either remove the tank from the ground in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, abandon in-place and fill the tank with an acceptable solid inert material in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, or conduct a permanent change-in-service in accordance with subsection (d) of this section. Unused tanks (i.e., tanks at facilities which are closed or out-of-business) shall be considered temporarily out-of-service, and shall be subject to the provisions of §334.54 of this title (relating to Temporary Removal from Service), unless they have been permanently removed from service in accordance with this section.

  (8) The requirements in this section are applicable to all USTs which are permanently removed from service on or after September 29, 1989.

  (9) When directed by the executive director, the owner and operator of a UST system permanently closed before September 29, 1989, must assess the excavation zone and close the UST system in accordance with this subchapter if releases from the UST may, in the judgment of the executive director, pose a current or potential threat to human health and the environment.

(b) Removal from the ground. In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the following requirements shall be applicable for the removal of USTs from the ground.

  (1) Except as provided under paragraph (2) of this subsection, tanks shall be properly emptied, cleaned, and purged of vapors prior to removal from the ground, in accordance with accepted industry procedures commonly employed for the stored regulated substance.

  (2) When an owner or operator can demonstrate good cause for removal of a tank from the ground prior to emptying, cleaning, or purging the vapors, the owner or operator shall obtain approval from the manager of the appropriate regional office (or the manager's designated representative) prior to proceeding with the removal. In this situation, the tank removal shall be accomplished only under the direct supervision of agency personnel and/or local fire officials, and all conditions and requirements imposed by such supervisory officials shall be strictly followed.

  (3) Prior to removing the tank from the ground, all connected piping and other ancillary equipment shall be emptied, disconnected, and properly plugged, capped, or removed.

  (4) Storage of removed tanks.

    (A) After removal, a tank shall be transported from the site within 24 hours of removal, unless prior approval of a longer on-site storage period is obtained from the manager of the appropriate regional office (or the manager's designated representative).

    (B) The on-site storage of tanks for a period of 24 hours or less shall be in a designated temporary storage area which shall be an adequate distance from known ignition sources and which shall be clearly identified with appropriate barriers and warning signs to restrict access by unauthorized persons.

    (C) On-site storage of removed tanks for more than 24 hours (when approved by the regional manager), and off-site storage for any period, shall only be allowed in locked, securely fenced, or similarly restricted areas where unauthorized persons will not have access.

    (D) No later than 24 hours after removal, all removed tanks (regardless of condition) shall be legibly and permanently labeled (in letters at least two inches high) with the name of the former contents, a flammability warning (if applicable), and a warning that the tank is unsuitable for the storage of drinking water or the storage of human or animal food products.

    (E) The residual vapor levels in any removed tank which is stored at the UST facility shall be maintained at nonexplosive and nonignitable levels for the entire time that the tank remains at the facility.

    (F) Regardless of where the tank is stored, not later than ten days after the tank has been removed from the ground, any residual liquids or vapors shall be permanently removed to render the tank nonignitable and nonexplosive.

  (5) Transportation and disposal of removed tanks.

    (A) The methods and procedures used for the handling, transporting, and disposing of any removed USTs (and parts of such tanks) shall be protective of human health and safety and the environment, and shall be in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

    (B) Removed tanks (and any parts of such tanks) which have been emptied, thoroughly cleaned of all remaining substances and any remaining residues, and permanently purged of vapors may be appropriately disposed by scrapping, junking, or reusing for purposes unrelated to the underground storage of regulated substances.

    (C) Prior to transporting any removed tank from the UST facility, the following minimum preparation procedures shall be followed.


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