The fuel industry powers everyday life, from home heating systems to vehicles. However, while a number of fuel types have become essential to modern climate control and transportation, these substances can also be potentially hazardous when mishandled.
When you own or oversee a fuel systems business or a company that includes extensive use of fuel storage systems, it's vital that you understand and stay abreast of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) fuel system regulations.
In this blog, we list six primary reasons to stay aware of current regulations that apply to your business and watch for new regulations.
Perhaps the most obvious but also most fundamental reason to know and follow EPA fuel system regulations is to maintain compliance. Failure to comply with these regulations can have consequences that may affect your production, day-to-day business, or plans for your company's future.
It's easier to comply from the start than to scramble to bring your facilities up to code after a failed inspection.
2. Decreased Air Pollution
One of the potential dangers related to fuel storage and distribution is the release of toxic fumes into the air. This risk is primarily associated with aboveground storage tanks (ASTs).
Leaks, spills, and incorrectly built or maintained ASTs can contribute to poor outdoor air quality in your local area. In addition to the harmful effects this pollution may have in the big picture, toxic vapors could cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, fainting, or other serious side effects for people who work near your ASTs.
3. Less Gaseous Buildup
While ASTs can potentially release toxic gases into the air, underground storage tanks (USTs) may allow these gases to travel underground. When gases are released from USTs, the fumes may gather in any open space, including potentially occupied areas like basements.
In addition to the potential danger of symptoms such as those listed in the previous section, gaseous buildup is highly flammable. Any buildup that occurs in an area that may be exposed to flame, such as a mining shaft, could cause an explosion or fire.
4. Prediction of Future Fuel Use Trends
The EPA must evaluate fuel use in the country and update their standards accordingly. When you pay attention to press releases and regulation updates from the EPA, you stay aware of emerging fuel system trends.
For example, the EPA has issued a list of emerging biofuels that may inform where you invest your time and money as a business owner in the future.
5. Reduced Risk of Groundwater Contamination
In addition to the gases potentially released from noncompliant ASTs and USTs, leaky storage tanks can also cause direct contamination. For example, fuel station pumps that develop leaks are common culprits of groundwater contamination.
Because groundwater is a major source of municipal and private water, maintaining groundwater purity is a high priority. Failure to comply with EPA fuel storage regulations can directly lead to the shutdown of wells or reservoirs and reduced availability of potable water in your area.
6. Understanding of Emergency Procedures
Even with full compliance, unforeseen accidents can still occur. Luckily, EPA regulations include emergency response and cleanup procedures for these situations. Understanding what to do if your fuel system leaks, fails, or becomes damaged can prevent harmful secondary effects.
While regulations can sometimes seem like a tedious or unnecessary delay for your business, keep the reasons listed above in mind as you comply with and learn more about the EPA regulations that apply to you.
When you understand and work within the parameters of EPA regulations, you protect your business, your employees, your patrons, and your local environment. Schedule routine maintenance, inspections, and leak detection services as required and needed to ensure both compliance and safety.
For comprehensive fuel systems services, trust the contractors at R & R Petro Services, Inc.