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Underground Storage Tanks

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Preventing MTBE Leaks

What is being done to prevent leaks from underground storage tanks (UST)?

The EPA believes that it is unacceptable to have any fuel component reach water sources. EPA's federal UST regulations are helping prevent contamination of water supplies from UST releases. However, no set of regulations can prevent all releases. Even with the most ideal regulations, there will continue to be some equipment failures and installation mistakes that result in releases. Nonetheless, EPA is working with states to improve the compliance rate with the leak detection requirements and the regulations that require all substandard UST's be upgraded (with spill, overfill, and corrosion protection), replaced, or properly closed. EPA is also undertaking a major multi-year effort with states to increase UST owners’ and operators’ compliance rates through technical assistance, inspections, and enforcement.

What is being done to prevent leaks from pipelines?

Regulation of gasoline pipelines, another potential source of leaks, is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). DOT oversees an extensive pipeline safety program Exit EPA disclaimer to minimize releases from pipelines.

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Additional Information

You can access additional documents on MTBE in gasoline that is stored in underground storage tanks from the Office of Underground Storage Tanks Web site.

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