A great number of gasoline stations were constructed in Texas in the 1970s through 1990s. A shortage of gasoline caught the country by surprise and a great many stations were built to prevent long lines when the price of crude collapsed in the mid to late 80s.
The underground storage tanks installed during those times are now 30 to 50 years old. If they were constructed of metal, even with asphaltic coatings or electric corrosion protective systems, chances are they maybe subject to leakage.
As Gasoline Station Managers try to renew their insurance polices, they find out another ugly truth. The cost of insuring a tank older than 30 years is very expensive with very high premiums, or possibly the insurance company will not offer coverage.
Removal and replacement of underground storage tanks might be the best way to go. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, TCEQ, require that a Release Determination Assessment and report be performed by a licensed environmental consultant (EC) concurrent with a tank removal. This involves the EC working with a licensed tank removal contractor to make observation of the tank conditions during removal and collect soil and groundwater samples using a special sampling technique from critical tank system locations. The samples are sent into a laboratory to be analyzed for certain toxic components found in fuel to see if a leak may have occurred. The whole tank system is evaluated – dispensers and piping included. Sometimes even the underlying groundwater must be tested.
The observations and testing results are documented in a report and submitted to the TCEQ. A knowledgeable EC will use their knowledge to properly assess the situation and not give the false impression of a release through a careful methodical sampling process.
If you are a owner or manager of a gasoline station and find yourself in these circumstances or just need advice, please call Terrain Solutions, Inc. We are a licensed EC with over 25 years of experience in the Gulf Coast area with Gasoline Station assessments. Don’t trust a Release Determination Assessment to just anyone. After all, it is your business and you deserve a professional.