Aboveground Tank Inspections in MassachusettsApr 18, 2014
Facilities in Massachusetts can prevent the risk of oil spills and minimize the loss of fuel due to leaks in aboveground storage tanks by conducting regular inspections. Tanks that have a storage capacity of less than 10,000-gallons are not required to have annual inspections but facilities are required to follow the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC) Plan they have developed. If a repair of the tank is made then an integrity test is required. Examples of these integrity tests include, but are not limited to: visual inspection, hydrostatic testing, radiographic testing, ultrasonic testing, acoustic emissions testing, or other systems of non-destructive testing.
Failure to follow SPCC Plans can negate insurance coverage. Your facilities insurance coverage may be at risk if you have a spill and do not have the proper records of inspection.
If you own an aboveground tank that is larger than 10,000-gallon capacity and are storing liquids other than water, you are required by Massachusetts 502 CMR 5.00 to have your tank inspected annually. Massachusetts’s regulations refer to API 653 for the frequency of self-inspections, which is classified as “routine” but should not exceed one month. CommTank recommends that the staff at the storage tank facility conduct monthly inspections and an informal walk-through inspection to be conducted daily. The person that conducts the monthly inspection must be knowledgeable about tank components, operation and spill prevention. For a thorough inspection the inspector should follow these steps:
- Use a checklist such as AST Facility Inspection Form found on most state web sites or this Monthly Inspection Checklist provided by the Steel Tank Institute.
- Fill out the form and note conditions of the tank and piping, and initial and date the form.
- Follow up on findings. Report significant issues to management and fix deficiencies.
Documentation for a regulated aboveground storage tank needs to be available for review by the Massachusetts Fire Marshall at all times. The facility is required to keep all inspection, maintenance and repair records for 5-years beyond the demolition of a regulated tank.
The following items should be checked during monthly inspections:
- Keep facilities clean and free of unnecessary items because clutter would hinder clean up in the event of a leak or spill.
- Ensure all safety equipment is in place and all safety precautions are followed
- Fire extinguishers
- No smoking signs
- Warning and danger signs
- Verify sound security measures are in place to prevent vandalism
- Intact fence with a locking gate.
- Adequate lighting for worker safety and to deter intruders.
- Maintain storage tanks including day tanks. Larger storage tanks should be maintained properly. These items are important components to check:
- Vents: Make sure they are clear of obstructions and in good working order. Check for insect nests or snow and ice.
- Gauges and overfill devices: Shutoff devices and overfill alarms must be tested and check that gauges are reading accurately.
- Paint: The elements can increase tank corrosion and the paint coating is important to maintain. Make note of any chipping and blistering, repair and recoat as necessary
- Corrosion Protection: Check welds on the sides and bottom. Make sure the cathodic protection has sufficient metal left or the electricity is flowing to impressed current systems.
- Soundness: Check for staining around the tank bottom or on seams or welds.
- Tank Signs: All tanks must be labeled with the storage capacity, product type and the flammability or combustibility of the product must be indicated.
- Foundation: The tank must be corrosion free where it meets the foundation. Check beams for cracks and signs of rot. Ensure the concrete is in good condition.
- Piping and Hoses: leaks are commonly found in poorly maintained pipes. Make sure to check:
- Valves: This is the number one source of pipe leaks. Check that the valves turn properly and seat without resistance. Verify that the valves stop the flow of fuel and can be locked or secured.
- Nozzles: Inspect for evidence of rust and or leaks around the nozzles.
- Supports: Check for signs of rot or rust on pipe supports. Insufficient supports can cause cracking of pipes.
- Coating, paint, and wraps: Wear and chipping can expose piping to the elements. Check for signs of rust.
- Corrosion protection: Ensure the proper amount of current is flowing to impressed current systems and there is sufficient metal on sacrificial anodes.
- Soundness: Look for visible stains around pipes and hoses. Check for drips under valve connections and filters.
- Secondary containment: The ability of secondary containment to hold any product during a spill is critical. Check these factors:
- Size: Containment must hold 110% of the storage tanks capacity.
- Dry and Clean: Any unwanted material in the containment would reduce the capacity of the tank. Remove water, ice, or vegetation in the secondary containment.
- Liner: If a liner is not sound it will not hold spilled oil or gas. Verify the liner is in good condition and there are no openings that can’t be plugged.
- Spill Preventions and Response: You can reduce environmental damage and save money by preparing for an oil spill. Here are the items you will need:
- Response Plan: Operators and workers should be trained in how to deal with emergencies. Response plans must be posted in each area that contains fuel.
- Responses Equipment: Facility operators should know how to use oil spill response equipment and where it is located. Locate equipment near the storage tanks in good working condition?
Required Yearly Inspections
Massachusetts regulations require that all regulated aboveground storage tanks (subject to the requirements of 502 C.M.R. 5.00) have an Use Permit issued by the State Fire Marshal and be inspected annually by a certified inspector. During the inspection, the inspector will list any abnormalities or deficiencies noticed. After the inspection a report is produced that will recommend corrections to any problems that may exist. Use Permits expire every five years at which time a thorough inspection utilizing techniques such as visual, internal inspections, ultrasonic thickness inspections, and certified integrity inspections are performed.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 653,“Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction” and the Steel Tank Institute (STI) “SP001 Standard for the Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks” (STI SP001) are two commonly used inspection standards for aboveground storage tanks larger than 10,000-gallons.
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"All at Comm Tank made a very stressful situation for us more than manageable. The men who came to do the work were always on time, extremely polite, and hardworking."
"In 34 minutes they achieved the removal without doing any cutting inside my home! Seeing is believing, which is why I sent you, today, the photos taken of their remarkable effort."
"Recently we hired your company Comm Tank to remove an underground oil storage tank buried in our front yard for many years. We also asked you to install a new aboveground oil storage tank next to our house."
William J. Lewis.
"They left the area cleaner than they found it. They were very friendly and fully explained how the tank was to be cut and removed."
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"I want to thank you all for your excellent customer service and for going above and beyond the call of duty, to get my leaky oil tank problem resolved in time to sell my father's house."
"Paul’s recommendation along with the comfort level I felt dealing with your team made my decision to choose CommTank and easy one. Should I ever hear of anyone in need of a new oil tank I would recommend CommTank without hesitation."
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Billl and Barbara Clough.
"The project was on time, under budget, and everyone connected with the project was very easy to work with, both people on-site and in the office. "
Town of Southborough, Ma
"I want to thank you for the excellent work you and your crew have done at my station."
"I am emailing you with this word of “Thanks” to Comm Tank for one of the most professional companies I have used in quite sometime."
"When I called for an estimate, Margie was very informative and one of the reasons I chose CommTank to do the work."
Jack E. Meyer, M.D..
"I had an oil tank removed yesterday, and the whole operation could not have gone more smoothly."
"What could have been a stressful situation actually went smoothly without any issues or surprises. I would recommend CommTank in a heart beat to anyone in need of their services."
Scott E. Lechter.
"There were many steps throughout the process and at every step I was very well informed. The scheduling, coordination and communication was simply outstanding."
"I want to thank you for your work in the oil tank removal at my mother’s house in Walpole."
"Except for the oil smell for a while, you really couldn't tell that the work had been done; EVERYTHING was neat & tidy and cleaned up both inside and out."
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North Reading, Ma
"Your employees did a nice job and were a credit to your company in their professional work and attitude."
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Prides Crossing, MA
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"We want to tank your for a job well done while removing the underground oil tank."
"I wanted to thank you for a great job on the installation of the new fuel dispenser."
"Thank you for your donation of 200+ gallons of fuel through your CommTank Cares Program to St. Clement Parish Schools. Your generosity is certainly a help to our schools and parish."
Reverend Paulo Cumin.
"just want to express my appreciation for the excellent service that was provide to me in the removing of our 1,000 gallon underground oil tank."
"What I think I’ll never forget was how clean the basement was after the two men had removed the contaminated soil from our house. It had never looked like that!"
"Early this month your company removed my almost 40-year-old tank from my basement and installed a Roth Tank. I was extremely pleased with the results and with the crew that did the work."
"It was neat and clean and they left the area spotless. The gentleman who came back to inspect the job was kind and courteous."
"The City is extremely grateful to CommTank for its assistance in this cleanup. We believe we made a very wise choice in the selection of CommTank. Please feel free to use me as a reference for your team's pursuit of other environmental work."
Thomas G. Ambrosino.
"She called to brag about how professional the service was, and how clean and precise the installation was."
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"I want to thank CommTank for the wonderful job that your crew did yesterday while removing and installing my oil tank."
"Thanks so much for getting your guys out here so quickly to take care of the issue. While they could not tell exactly what caused the seepage, they ended up replacing the red connector with the fill gauge to be safe."
"There were two crews on separate days that did a great job and were very knowledgeable about their job and company."
"As for me the customer, I am very pleased on the workmanship that was performed, and I would recommend ComTank to anyone that needs a new tank."
"Your workers were out at my house in Wayland last week and did a fantastic job removing the oil tank from my basement."
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"They showed up on time, were extraordinarily efficient and neat, provided a comprehensive removal, and were very courteous in all our dealings."
John P Senko.
"You and your entire on-site crew, including Santiago and Carlos, all have been first-rate and first-class."
"Thank you for your competence and professionalism, your cheerful and hard-working staff, your expertise with regulations/compliance issues, and for referring us to Tommasino & Tommasino in Boston."
Richard and Kristen Henshaw.
"Please note that this appreciation comes from a person managing construction for clients for some forty years."
"Excellent work so far. We wish these guys were on all three Boston projects."
Peachtree Corners, GA
"He will refer us to anyone and will definitely be using our services again."
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Mary Louise Thrower.
"Thanks again to you and your team for the high level of workmanship and customer performance you provided."
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"They quickly went to work and solved the problem. As worried as I was, Luis made me feel that everything was going to be ok. Luis was always there no matter how many times I called."
Jeffery J. Graham.
New Bedford, MA
"We were so pleased with the removal of the old furnace."
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"Kevin's response and his team’s effort to help contain and cleanup a small spill were some of the best I have seen in my 40+ years in the petroleum industry."
"The technicians were outstanding. We needed 3 tanks removed from our basement."
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Jamaica Plain, Ma
"Great job, completed on time, very aware of the Safety of our tenants."
Deborah M. McClory.
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Newton Centre, Ma
"The professionalism and courtesy with which you and your crew handled this situation far exceeded my expectations and that of my customer."
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"From the moment I contacted Comm Tank, it was nothing but a positive experience."