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Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

GSA effectively manages underground storage tanks (USTs) in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations.  As the "landlord" of the federal government, GSA must provide a safe and healthful workplace for its associates, tenant agencies and visitors.

GSA's Public Buildings Service (PBS), determines and maintains an inventory of the owner of each regulated UST in its space. Other federal agencies that own or operate UST's within GSA's space are responsible for managing those UST's in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.  Tanks are routinely inspected for leaks and tested for tightness.

An UST is defined as a tank that has 10% or more of its volume underground.  USTs can be used to store petroleum or other hazardous substances.  Inhaling high concentrations of petroleum from leaking underground storage tanks can affect the heart and the lungs, especially in children, the elderly, and individuals with existing heart or lung conditions.  Gaseous leaks from underground storage tanks have the potential to cause hazards to the environment due to explosions or fires.

GSA's UST program minimizes petroleum and other hazardous substance exposure to building occupants and the environment:

  • Yearly site assessments are conducted to determine if there is possible leakage from the underground tank system into the environment.
  • Corrosion protection and spill/overfill preventive devices were installed on all tanks by 1998, as required by EPA regulations.
  • Regulated tanks and piping 15 years old or older by 1994 have been replaced or upgraded.
  • All regulated tanks installed by 1974 or before or of unknown age, are leak tested, closed in place or removed.

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