DEQ’s Office of Land Resources (OLR), Regulated Waste Operations staff inspect underground storage tanks to determine compliance with state and federal laws. They also respond to public complaints and to facilities that report suspected or confirmed releases. If informal enforcement efforts prove unsuccessful, the enforcement coordinator begins with formal enforcement actions.
Compliance assistance is provided to the regulated community (owners, operators, licensed companies and contractors, testers, and individuals), consultants, and the general public concerning regulatory and technical requirements for underground storage tank systems.
Compliance inspections are conducted by the OLR’s Regulated Storage Tanks inspectors to determine if storage tank facilities are in compliance with state and federal regulations. Inspections of underground storage tank systems focus on the facility meeting release detection and release prevention requirements and other operational, upgrade, or closure requirements as applicable. Inspectors are present during new tank system installations, repairs of existing tank systems, and tank system closures.
LUST AND LAST Investigations
Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) investigations are conducted at facilities that report a suspected release. The investigation consists of recording the report in the LUST database, determining compliance status of the facility, and conducting an investigation to determine if the release is confirmed. If the release is confirmed, the facility's Initial Response to a Release (IRR) report is reviewed, the Initial Site Characterization (ISC) Report is reviewed, and a LUST case referral is made (if necessary) to the RST Technical Branch for further review or assessment.
Leaking Aboveground Storage Tank (LAST) investigations are conducted at facilities that report releases from aboveground storage tanks that range in size from 1,320-40,000 gallons and store a refined petroleum product as defined in Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Regulation 12. The technical operational requirements are enforced through the Arkansas fire marshal's office. Reporting and tracking requirements for LAST investigations are the same as for LUST investigations.
Complaint investigations are conducted on complaints received from the public and the regulated community concerning all environmental or regulatory aspects of the operation of underground storage tank systems, as well as contractors and individuals who perform installations, upgrades, repairs, testing, or permanent closure of underground storage tanks.
Emergency response is conducted for regulated storage tank systems when spills, overfills, or releases warrant this type of response. Inspectors are also on 24-hour emergency response rotations to respond to spills, releases, or upset conditions after hours in order to monitor the necessity and adequacy of a response by the spiller.
Enforcement Case Development
Enforcement case development is initiated by the inspection staff or other RST personnel as an informal enforcement action. Whenever informal efforts (i.e., inspections, follow-up inspections, warning letters, etc.) have been unsuccessful, the case documentation is compiled by division staff and referred to the OLR’s Enforcement Coordinator. If formal enforcement action is deemed appropriate, the enforcement coordinator develops the appropriate enforcement action, which includes warning letters, compliance meetings, Consent Administrative Orders, Notices of Violation, Emergency Orders, and Default Administrative Orders.