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What makes my underground storage tank (UST) commercial Vs. residential?

commercial or residential heating oil tank
commercial or residential heating oil tank

Regardless of where a tank is located be it a residential property, commercial, industrial or agricultural property, if the Underground tank is OVER 1,100 gallons in size it is considered a commercial tank. However, if the underground tank is located at ANY commercial or industrial business, regardless of the size of the tank, it is considered commercial. Even churches that have UST’s are commercial.

So, what does that mean if the underground tank is considered residential?

For residential UST’s in most counties in MD an inspector is not required to be onsite (with a few local exceptions). Also, in many jurisdictions, a tank abandonment can be performed interchangeably with a tank removal.

For residential tanks, as long as they are clean and NOT leaking it is a fairly standard, simple process to complete the job. Then if the tank has leaked the owner will qualify for the state re-imbursement fund for out of pocket costs.

So, what does that mean if the underground tank is considered commercial?

When the tank is commercial, an inspector from the Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE) must be onsite for the work. The inspector will determine the quantity of soil samples to be taken and if any “enhanced” sampling of the soil will be required depending on what the tank was used for. The inspector will require ALL associated piping be removed. Additionally, if there are any potable drinking wells, monitoring wells, pumps, or any other items associated with the UST the inspector has additional requirements for these things as well.

For commercial tanks that wish to be abandoned in place, an approval must first be obtained from the MDE.

For commercial tanks many of these are “registered” with the MDE, and if not they need to be registered.  Then when the project is done, the registration needs to be amended to reflect the tanks have been removed.

The inspector will also require a copy of the closure report, and the MDE will make the final determination of whether or not the case can be closed after onsite work is complete.

The actual process of the work performed onsite does not change that much from one tank to another except and site-specific conditions. With the exception that more often commercial tanks are located beneath a paved surface, either asphalt or concrete. So, that would need to be sawcut and removed prior to removing the tank. The concrete can then be backfilled in the hole with the backfill material, but any asphalt needs to be hauled offsite for proper disposal.

Then the process of patching the disturbed area can begin once everything has been completed and the soil samples have shown there is no contamination.

So, no matter where your tank is located or what your situation is, Call the Environmental Experts at GreenTRAX, Inc. and let us help you thru this process. 410-439-1085 

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