Category: Managing Risk

As of October 13th 2018, the Illinois Office of State Fire Marshall (OSFM) requires that all Illinois UST owner and operators  conduct regular operation and maintenance walkthrough inspections. 

The Regulations Explained

The new OSFM regulations require that Class A Operators (who are responsible for operating and maintaining the UST systems) and Class B Operators (who are responsible for daily operation, maintenance, and record keeping for the UST systems) must perform walkthrough inspections of each UST system and must record the results of each inspection on a checklist. These checklists must be maintained with the facility records.  

Monthly Requirements

As a part of the requirements, the walkthrough inspections must be completed at least once every thirty days, now referred to as ‘The 30 Day Rule‘. As a part of the 30 day rule inspections, owner are required to inspect:
  • Release detection methods, monitoring systems and associated sensors
  • Spill and overfill prevention and spill containment equipment and manholes
  • Dispensers, hoses, breakaways and hardware 
  • Operational status of impressed current cathodic protection systems which includes:
    • Checking and recording that the power is on
    • Verifying that the voltage, amps and hour meter have the appropriate readings required under Section 175.510(f)
    • Creating a log entry that shows date of inspection, initials of inspector, hour, volt and amp readings, and power on verification.

Yearly Requirements

Once per year, UST Owners are required to:
  • Inspect all containment sumps
    • Document any visual damage to the sumps, covers and lids
    • Document any presence of regulated substances or any indication that a release may have occurred
    • Inspect sumps and the interstitial areas for any double-walled sumps with interstitial monitoring are free of water, product and debris
  • Inspect all UST equipment including:
    • Emergency stops for the presence or absence of visible damage to any UST component
  • Document  emergency stops and verify that they were tested by the owner/operator or a contractor for interconnection and pump shutdown
  • Document that the shear valves were visually inspected by the owner/operator or a contractor
  • Verify all required signs and ensure they are fully visible and all communication systems are in place and operational
  • Maintain all daily, 30-day, monthly and annual inspections, testing, reporting and records 
  • If applicable, the tank gauge stick or groundwater bailers, for operability and serviceability (manual tank gauging or groundwater monitoring)
We have over 50 years combined experience in the fuel compliance industry – let us take over your walkthrough inspection requirements. Our employees and trainers are Joint B Operators, so we can perform onsite Operator C training to attendees as needed and complete all the new requirements. Email us to get more information or schedule a pilot with us today! Read the original press release here:

Cope’s Supermarket Inc. and Norma Jean Cope in Ravenswood, West Virginia are tied up in a non-compliance lawsuit that could cost the companies up to $25,000 per day in damages. The lawsuit is spearheaded by Harold D. Ward, the acting director of the Division of Water and Waste Management of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

According to the WV DEP office, the defendants own and operate three underground storage tanks in Ravenswood and have failed to correct documented violations that were reported back in 2016. The consequences of this lawsuit could result in civil penalties of up to “$25,000 per day for continued noncompliance and $10,000 per day all other violations of the USTA, costs, disbursements, attorney, witness and consultant fees, and other relief as the court deems just”.

If you’re struggling to navigate the EPA’s newest regulations, we’d be happy to explain both the federal and state UST requirements. We pride ourselves in covering the entire compliance supply chain from fulfilling your monthly and yearly physical inspection requirements to obtaining valuable data related to your site inefficiencies. More often than not, our services reduce your overhead costs and save you time, money, and stress. For more information or to ask us any compliance-related questions, please contact us at or call us at 888-400-3511.

To read more and continue to monitor these lawsuits, see the original article here:

A Quick Summary of the Legal Changes:

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) published the new changes on August 27th, 2018 based on the June 20th Rule Development Workshops. The new law states that “Any visual inspection of any part of a storage tank system, dispenser, pipe, valve, pump, or other wetted portion of the system containing regulated substances that reveals uncontrolled pitting corrosion, structural damage, leakage, or other similar problems”. In other words, the FDEP has specifically included “pitting corrosion” as an incident under  62-761.430.

What Does that Mean for You and Why Does this Matter Right Now?

For our present and future Florida clients who no longer inspect the inside of their sumps, owners are now required to report pitting corrosion as an incident and investigate it. If pitting corrosion is identified within the sump, the owner is responsible for the repairs.

How Can You Prevent Additional Overhead Costs?

Thankfully, our team is prepared to handle any potential sump corrosion. Out team uses the Zerust ( product to fix corrosion issues, reducing overhead costs, and enhancing overall customer experience. We foresee this ruling change becoming an issue if sumps are not inspected for pitting corrosion. Our inspectors provides a 5-day notice of an inspection between our sump inspections. When the inspector opens the sumps, there could be an incident for pump head and other components that are pitting from the corrosion. Consequently, a NCL could be issued and the client would have 14 days to have it resolved under the new law.

For Further Reading Taken from the FDEP Website:

Chapter 62-761, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.):

  • Chapter 62-761, F.A.C., August 2018 Coded Draft Rules to be Amended
  • Form 62-761.900(2) Storage Tank Facility Registration Form August 2018
  • Form 62-761.900(3) Financial Mechanisms for Storage Tanks August 2018
  • Instructions for Conducting Sampling During Underground Storage Tank Closure, August 2018

Chapter 62-762, F.A.C., August 2018 Coded Draft Rules to be Amended

  • Form 62-762.901(2) Storage Tank Facility Registration Form August 2018
  • Instructions for Conducting Sampling During Aboveground Storage Tank Closure, August 2018
Additional Rulemaking documents located on the Storage Tank Systems Rulemaking webpage from the June 20, 2018, Rule Development Workshops did not have additional changes after the workshops.
On May 9th, 2018, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted revisions to their underground and aboveground storage tank regulations. This is part of 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 334. These rules will publish to the Register on May 25th, and will be effective on May 31, 2018. These changes incorporate revisions from the EPA’s 2015 regulation revisions to Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 280. While this is not an exhaustive list, the regulations include the following: – Periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems to conduct walkthrough inspections and test UST system components – Requirements to ensure UST system compatibility before storing certain biofuel blends – New requirements to annually test specific release-detection equipment – Changes to comply with existing EPA release-detection requirements to monitor at least every 30 days (instead of every 35 days), and – Minor rule revisions relating to the fee on delivery of petroleum products to reflect changes that were statutorily implemented in the Texas Water Code in 2015. The state of Mississippi has also posted the redline to their proposed regulations on May 7th and are available for public viewing here. Some proposed regulation changes include the following: – Periodic operation and maintenance requirements both for 30-day and annual inspections – Previously deferred USTs such as airport hydrant systems and emergency generator tanks are now subject to UST regulations. – Updated codes of practice – New Testing requirements and frequencies – Newly added criteria for what can result in the red tagging of your facility – Updates to record retention requirements – 30-day release detection requirements – New criteria and guidelines for planned and unplanned repairs to UST systems and ancillary equipment
Overfill prevention and testing of overfill at sites is critical for staying in compliance, and for the protection of the environment. A fuel station in Marquette, Michigan was accidentally overfilled, causing a spill of gasoline into the street and into the storm drain system according to the EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. While the EPA estimated 400-700 gallons, inventory controls and the state determine around 180 gallons were spilled during the incident. Upon review of the site, it was found that the overfill alarm had an intrusion of ice into the system which was a manufacturer defect. Cleanup efforts have taken place at the site, the sewer system, and the nearby river is currently being monitored for potential contamination. As of yet, no contamination in the soil or air has been detected in the surrounding area. More information on this story can be found here.
The Effects of Gasoline Drips

By Zachary Poznak

The drops of gasoline that escape from the nozzle when you fill up your car can have a lasting impact of the environment. In a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, they investigate the effect of these drips over time.

Every ten years, “the team conservatively estimated that some 356 gallons of gasoline leak from pumps.” The leaked gas accumulates in the concrete and will eventually reach the soil underneath. Even if only a small proportion of this leaked fuel reaches the soil, it can seep into groundwater and create a hazard for nearby residents. Gasoline contains benzene, which is a known carcinogen.

There has not been extensive research into the health effects of living near gas stations, but these researchers think that should change “especially as newer stations are being built with an increasing number of pumps.”

To see how 7G can help reduce environmental pollution and mitigate health risks, visit our website at or give us a call at 888.400.3511.

Tully, Andy. “Tiny Gasoline Drips Can Create Big Problems.” 9 Oct. 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <>.
It’s no secret that compliance is a hot-button issue in today’s society. As such, environmental standards change often and are different in various regions. Maintaining a working understanding of the current compliance landscape is a key factor in managing the risk of accidents, fines, and lawsuits.
To make sure your business stays in compliance, you need to be aggressive. Maintaining internal systems to monitor systems, pipes, and tanks is a must. Otherwise, you’ll be playing catch up come inspection time.

John Cruden, the president of the Environmental Law Institute and a former deputy assistant attorney general for the environmental and natural resources division of the US Department of Justice, spoke at ALM’s 2014 Environmental Compliance and Commitment Legal Summit in New York City. He said that compliance has much to do with “preventing what he called unforced errors, the bad things that result not from intentional lawbreaking but from oversights that could otherwise have been prevented had the company been more careful about compliance in their environment, health, and safety function.” These ‘unforced errors’ can end up racking up tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

He also said that maintaining a compliance department is imperative to proactively avoid legal repercussions. However, keeping up with regulations, employee training, and periodic inspections can be both time-consuming and expensive. 7G Environmental Compliance Management can replace any and all internal programs, for a fraction of the cost. We can eliminate your compliance-related risk a minimize costs related to potential spills and accidents.

4 Lessons of Environmental Compliance from the NCAA and the Dallas Cowboys.

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner and superstar quarterback of 7G’s hometown FSU Seminole, Jameis Winston, just cannot get a break. He gets himself into precarious situations with coeds. He absentmindedly walks out of grocery stores without paying for crab legs. He stands up in public places yelling vulgar profanities.

“Why do I care,” you ask? You needn’t care about a college kid and his growing pains as a superstar athlete. However, if you are like me, you do ask, “Why can’t FSU and the NCAA prevent this type of behavior?” More conceptually, “Why doesn’t FSU better manage and minimize its risk?”

FSU could repeat profits of more than $10 million from its football program this year.   Those profits could increase significantly by going back-to-back National Champs and/or having one of two repeat Heisman Trophy winners in history.

How can FSU leave tens of millions of dollars to the behavioral whims of a 20-year-old athlete? It baffles me. Take his keys, institute a curfew, hire a full-time chaperone. Do something. Tim Cook, an educated professional and CEO of Apple, has a PR specialist who recently cut off a journalist mid-question to avoid a improbably slip by Cook, but FSU leaves its most visible and publicly scrutinized athlete to stand on tables in public and yell whatever comes to his mind. More baffling is the fact that this is not a new phenomenon, nor is it distinct to FSU. See Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU, West Virginia, Alabama, Nebraska, Baylor, Ohio State, and FSU again.

The same conceptual problem is pervasive throughout the retail and commercial petroleum industry. Each petroleum storage tank system (“PSTS”) is a figurative Jameis Winston. Every PSTS represents a valuable asset that enables a significant profit. However, when left out of sight and out of mind, PSTSs will likely put you in an unexpected tight spot that could cost you thousands of dollars, and possibly over a million.

The President of FSU must wince every time Jameis Winston’s name hits the news. PSTS owners and operators feel that same pit in their stomach when they are notified about a PSTS failing, going into a significant alarm, having an overfill, etc. Yet like FSU, many PSTS owners fail to proactively manage the risk associated with their volatile assets.

Enter Dez Bryant.

A few years back Dez Bryant was another Jameis Winston except he caught passes instead of tossing them. Bryant was considered the best receiver in 2009 and a possible Heisman contender before a suspension for failing to fully disclose his interaction with Deion Sanders. (See ESPN). Oklahoma State University lost a lot of potential revenue from the suspension by not proactively managing their risk.

Enter Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

Dez Bryant was obviously going pro, just like Jameis Winston. However, Bryant was still available late in the first round of the 2010 draft due to concerns about his off-field issues, when the Cowboys took a chance on him. Bryant proved to have the on-field talent but, had several public missteps, such as a confrontation with mall security, lawsuits due to unpaid debts, and was arrested in July 2012 for domestic violence against his mother. (See ESPN).

Jerry had enough. In August 2012, he took matters into his own hands and implemented strict conduct guidelines for Bryant including: a midnight curfew, bi-weekly counseling, a driver, and most important, a rotating security team with one man accompanying Bryant at all times. (See ESPN).

The result.

In 2013, Dez Bryant had no personal issues to distract his game (or Jerry’s business). He is arguably the Cowboys best player. (See ESPN).   Bryant’s stats improved in 2012 and 2013. They look good for 2014. He has a touchdown in each of the last 4 games. Dez Bryant jersey sales rank 15th overall in the NFL. The Cowboys rank 4th in merchandise sales. Dallas is number one in ticket sales. Leave it to Jerry Jones to make a smart business decision to manage his risk, thus protecting his asset and his business.

The lessons.

PSTS owners and operators should learn a little of what to do from Jerry, and what not to do from FSU. Here are 4 things to take from Jerry’s actions that can help you manage your risk and maximize the value of your PSTS asset.

  1. Invest Wisely. Simply because an investment is not shiny and unblemished does not mean you should walk away from the opportunity. The secret is risk awareness and management, not risk aversion and elimination. This is the same for college football players and PSTS.  Do your due diligence.

  2. Have Realistic Expectations.  20 year old athletes screw up. PSTS components wear, leak, and fail.  Environmental managers and PSTS owners and operators are human, and have all been negligent at some time. And yes, regulators are becoming stricter and regulations more burdensome.   As a PSTS owner or operator, you need to know the environmental compliance world like the back of your hand. Your bottom line depends on it.  If you do not want to internalize the burden of managing environmental compliance, you need to get help.

  3. Manage Risk. By investing wisely and setting realistic expectations for managing your PSTSs you begin to manage your risk. Each company and its PSTS portfolio are different. You need to manage the risk accordingly. FSU needs to get one asset, Jameis Winston, under control. Ohio State, a few years back, needed a major overhaul of its program due to rampant violations of NCAA policies, arrests, etc. Accordingly, you may need a good environmental manager and a good maintenance team.   However, you may need a third party compliance consultant, inspectors, remote monitoring, and supplemental insurance. The worst thing you can do is put your head in the sand, wait for the storm to arrive, and hope it blows over.

  4. Make Money.  Most PSTS owners and operators view preventative risk management practices as a waste of money or a hit to their bottom line. I am sure Jerry’s disciplinary plan for Dez Bryant was not cheap. Moreover, the Cowboys faced no legal liability as a result of Bryant’s personal troubles. Regardless, Jerry still took action to maximize his return on investment by managing his risk.
PSTS owners need to internalize that compliance is no different. PSTS owners, operators or compliance managers are never awarded for “not having to pay penalties” or “not having a release” in a year.   Contrarily, when a release happens, regulatory penalties are assessed, an insurance claim is denied, or major PSTS repairs are needed, watch a company scramble and panic. It is only then that management practices finally change because of the realization that the amount of money spent controlling the damage is so disproportionately higher than managing risk proactively.

I hope that FSU recognizes the apparent risk Jameis Winston presents to organization and that they do not wait until they loose a game because he is suspended, or worse, loose millions in revenue due to missing a repeat national championship. I hope that PSTS owners and operators take action and manage environmental risk before a release or an enforcement action disrupts their business.

(and I hope Jerry Jones comes up with a recipe for winning like he has for making money)