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RULE §334.6Construction Notification for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and UST Systems

(a) General requirements.

  (1) Beginning September 1, 1987, any person who intends either to install a new or replacement underground storage tank (UST), to remove a UST from the ground, or to conduct a permanent abandonment in-place of a UST must comply with the notification requirements of this section prior to initiating such activity.

  (2) On or after September 29, 1989, any person who intends to perform any construction activity listed in subsection (b)(1) of this section must comply with the notification requirements of this section prior to initiating such activity.

  (3) In addition to the construction notification requirements of this section, the owner or operator of an existing or proposed UST system that is located or will be located on the designated recharge or transition zones or contributing zone within the transition zone of the Edwards Aquifer must also secure the requisite approval from the agency prior to conducting certain regulated UST activities, as prescribed under Chapter 213 of this title (relating to Edwards Aquifer).

  (4) Any UST construction activity performed or completed pursuant to a notification submitted under the provisions of this section must meet the applicable technical standards and procedural requirements under Subchapter C of this chapter (relating to Technical Standards).

  (5) In situations where a proposed UST construction activity is necessitated by a suspected or confirmed release of regulated substances, or where the activity contributes to or causes such a release, the owner or operator must comply with the release reporting, investigation, and corrective action requirements of Subchapter D of this chapter (relating to Release Reporting and Corrective Action).

  (6) Construction notifications required under this section may be provided to the agency's central office in Austin or to the agency's appropriate regional office in the area of the activity, unless otherwise specified in this section. The official date of notification must be the date on which the notification is first received in an agency office.

  (7) Construction notification required under this section must be provided by the owner or operator, or an authorized agent or representative of the owner or operator (e.g., a contractor or consultant who has contracted for such construction activity). Construction notifications filed by unauthorized persons are null and void.

(b) Notification for major construction activities.

  (1) Applicable activities.

    (A) For the purposes of this section, a major UST construction activity includes any of the following:

      (i) installation of new or previously used tank systems at a new facility, and the addition or replacement of tanks at an existing facility;

      (ii) removal of existing tank systems from the ground (either temporarily or permanently);

      (iii) permanent abandonment in-place or change-in-service of existing tank systems;

      (iv) tank repairs, including interior and exterior relining or recoating;

      (v) installation of new or replacement piping for existing tanks;

      (vi) addition of secondary containment equipment for new or existing tank or piping systems;

      (vii) any tank integrity assessment or other activities requiring the entrance of any persons into a tank;

      (viii) addition or replacement of any of the following items at existing facilities, when such addition or replacement is necessary for compliance with the minimum upgrading requirements in §334.47(b) of this title (relating to Technical Standards for Existing Underground Storage Tank Systems):

        (I) cathodic protection systems;

        (II) release detection systems;

        (III) spill and overfill prevention equipment; or

        (IV) monitoring well; and

      (ix) switching to a regulated substance containing greater than 10% ethanol or greater than 20% biodiesel.

    (B) The requirements of this section are not applicable to routine and minor maintenance activities related to the tank and piping systems, such as tightening loose fittings and joints, adjusting and calibrating equipment, conducting routine inspections and tests, and the substitution or in-kind replacement of any obsolete or malfunctioning UST system component for any purpose other than required upgrading.

    (C) When a UST system has been taken temporarily out-of-service under §334.54 of this title (relating to Temporary Removal from Service), the owner or operator must first submit a construction notification form before returning the UST system to service.

  (2) Filing requirements. Except as provided under subsection (c) of this section, any owner or operator who intends to perform a major UST construction activity as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection must file a written notification with the agency at least 30 days prior to initiating the activity.

    (A) Such notification should be submitted on the agency's authorized form, as described in paragraph (6) of this subsection.

    (B) When requested by the agency, any person who intends to perform a major UST construction activity must also submit additional supporting information to assure that the construction activity is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter. Supporting information which may be requested by the agency includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

      (i) detailed design plans and specifications (drawn to scale);

      (ii) installation standards and operating instructions for major system components;

      (iii) quality assurance plans;

      (iv) compatibility data related to the stored substances and the materials of construction;

      (v) specific geological, hydrological, and environmental site information;

      (vi) qualifications and experience records of consultants, equipment installers, and contractors;

      (vii) formal plan or procedures for tank removals, changes-in-service, and abandonments in-place;

      (viii) disposal procedures for removed tanks;

      (ix) general contingency plan for release abatement and the clean-up and disposal of any residual regulated substances, contaminated soils, or contaminated water (including wash water, groundwater, or surface water); and

      (x) basis and description for any proposed change-in-service.

    (C) Between 24 and 72 hours prior to the scheduled time of initiation of the proposed activity, the owner or operator must contact the agency's appropriate regional office in the area of the activity to confirm the time of the initiation of the proposed activity. Any revisions to the proposed construction start date must be in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection. This subparagraph does not apply to paragraph (1)(A)(ix) of this subsection.

  (3) Rescheduling. If after the submittal of the initial construction notification, the owner or operator determines that a revision to the previously reported scope or start date for the construction is necessary, the owner or operator must immediately report the revised construction information to the commission's appropriate regional office in the area of the activity. This paragraph does not apply to paragraph (1)(A)(ix) of this subsection.

    (A) If an earlier start date is proposed, and if this date is less than 30 days from the original notification date, then the owner or operator must comply with the requirements of paragraph (4) of this subsection.

    (B) An owner or operator may revise the proposed construction start to a later date as necessary, provided that the agency's appropriate regional office is notified, and provided that original written notifications are properly renewed upon expiration in accordance with paragraph (5) of this subsection.

  (4) Waiver requests. Normally a notification period of at least 30 days is required prior to the initiation of any major UST construction activity. However, if after the submittal of the construction notification, the owner or operator has good cause for an accelerated construction schedule, then the owner or operator may request approval of an earlier construction start date. Such request must be made directly to the agency's appropriate regional office in the area of the activity. The regional director (or the director's designated representative) has the authority to approve or deny such requests, and such decision will be based on the following criteria:

    (A) good cause shown by the owner or operator for an earlier construction start date; and

    (B) the ability of agency personnel to arrange and schedule an adequate inspection of the activity.

  (5) Expiration. A written construction notification for a major UST construction activity is valid for only 180 days after the original notification date or 150 days after the originally anticipated construction start date, whichever is earlier. If the proposed construction has not commenced within this period, the original notification will expire. If the owner or operator still plans to perform the construction after the expiration of this period, a new and updated construction notification form must be filed.

  (6) Notification form.

    (A) Any person who intends to perform a major UST construction activity (as described in paragraph (1) of this subsection) must provide all the applicable construction notification information indicated on the agency's authorized construction notification form.

    (B) The construction notification form must be filled out completely and accurately. Upon completion, the form must be dated and signed by the owner, the operator, or the authorized representative of the owner or operator, and must be timely filed in accordance with subsection (a)(6) of this section.

(c) Alternative notification procedures.

  (1) Only for UST construction activities involving situations described under paragraph (2) of this subsection, the owner or operator may comply with the following alternative notification and reporting procedures in lieu of the normal notification requirements of subsection (b) of this section.

    (A) The owner or operator must provide verbal or written notification to the agency as soon as possible prior to initiating the construction activity. Such notification must be submitted directly to the agency's appropriate regional office in the area of the activity.

    (B) After providing the construction notification prescribed under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the owner or operator may proceed with the construction activity, as directed by the regional director (or the regional director's designated representative). The owner or operator must maintain detailed records of the construction. No later than 30 days after completion of the construction, the owner or operator must submit to the agency a detailed report describing the activity. If the agency determines that the information in such report is insufficient to assure compliance with the applicable requirements of this chapter, then the owner or operator may be required to submit additional information to demonstrate such compliance.

  (2) The alternative notification procedures of paragraph (1) of this subsection may be used only when the following situations occur:

    (A) when an owner or operator of a UST can demonstrate that a release or suspected release of a regulated substance has occurred or is likely to occur as a result of the operation of the UST, when such release is considered an immediate threat to human health or safety or the environment, and when the owner or operator can demonstrate that the expeditious initiation and completion of the proposed construction activity is necessary to prevent or abate such release;

    (B) when an out-of-operation UST system is discovered during unrelated construction activities (e.g., the construction of building excavations, streets, highways, utilities, etc.), when the property owner can reasonably demonstrate no prior knowledge of the existence of the tank, when the expeditious removal or abandonment in-place of the tank is considered necessary or advisable for the completion of the unrelated construction activity, and where any delays in completion of the tank removal or abandonment in-place would cause unreasonable financial hardship due to contract schedules and completion times;

    (C) when any duly authorized public official (e.g., any federal, state, or local fire or safety officer, health or environmental official, law officer, etc.) orders the immediate removal or repair of all or portions of a UST system which poses an immediate threat to human health, safety, or the environment;

    (D) when the activity is necessary to maintain the operational readiness of an emergency generator, as defined by §334.2 of this title (relating to Definitions);

    (E) in any other case where the agency determines that compliance with the notification provisions of subsection (b) of this section would be unreasonable or impractical, or could increase the threat to human health or safety or the environment.

Source Note: The provisions of this §334.6 adopted to be effective September 29, 1989, 14 TexReg 4714; amended to be effective June 25, 1990, 15 TexReg 3424; amended to be effective November 23, 2000, 25 TexReg 11442; amended to be effective April 2, 2002, 27 TexReg 2522; amended to be effective May 31, 2018, 43 TexReg 3390

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