Unattended Site Monitoring for Unstaffed Dispenser Facilities
The Iowa DNR UST Section has documented spill events that have gone unnoticed. Major and even minor system leaks, that go unresolved, can have a catastrophic impact on the environment and may impact drinking water supplies or create hazardous vapor levels in adjacent properties.
Quick and expedited response are important in any release event and necessary to minimize overall impacts. In the event of a system malfunction, UST systems generally alert the operator of an issue that may indicate a leaking UST system. Audible alarms, automatic shut-off, and dispensers tripping into “slow flow” are all system failure indicators.
Sites that are not attended during all hours of operation pose a risk that may go unchecked or unnoticed until significant product has been released to the environment. Unstaffed pressurized systems pose the greatest risk of a catastrophic loss for obvious reasons.
New rules have been enacted that focus on fast response to a potential leaking unstaffed and pressurized fuel system. These rules are in effect immediately and all operators of unstaffed pressurized sites must have these sites in compliance no later than July 1, 2014. Enforcement actions may not take place until after this date. If you experience a DNR field agent attempting to enforce these new rules prior to that date, please contact Jeff Hove at your PMCI office.
The new rules apply to any site that dispenses fuel, through a pressurized system, while a Class A, B, or C operator is NOT present and where electronic line leak detectors (ELLD) are not present.
As many have experienced, ELLD automatic shut-off systems create headaches when the system is tripped for no apparent reason. If a dispenser goes into shut-off mode, we typically have to hire service providers to investigate the issue and reset the dispenser. Costs can add-up quickly and unnecessarily as the majority of these events do not represent a leak to the environment. Costs to install a new ELLD system range from $6,000 to $15,000 and maintenance/service call costs add to that price quickly.
As a cost-effective solution, PMCI has worked with DNR UST Section staff to develop a method of response that will allow PMCI members that ability to meet the new requirements via a 24-hour Response phone number.
Once the site is registered with PMCI, you will receive a unique site identification number and respective DNR approved decal label for your dispensers. The response phone number will be accessible to your clients so that they may report a dispenser that has tripped into restricted flow and may be leaking. Your customer will NOT call you directly, but rather a staff person that has access to your site’s response registration information. This information will include your level A or B operator who will, in-turn, receive a call from the 24-hour response staff person suggesting that you take appropriate actions.
This program is open to all PMCI members. We have received numerous calls from Owners that do not have pressurized systems, but would like to include their unstaffed sites for added security and prevention. PMCI has developed this program to be flexible and available to any retailer that would like the added risk prevention.
If the new rules apply to your site(s) or if you have an unstaffed site that you would like to have included in this program, please fill out the PMCI 24-hour Response Registration form for each site.
If you have a site that has an emergency shut-off switch on the exterior of the building, please note that the following language should be posted per NFPA 30A:
Emergency Instructions should incorporate the following or equivalent wording
- Emergency Instructions in the case of a fire or spill:
- Use emergency stop button. (Location)
- Report emergency by calling (specify local fire number). Report Location.
For more information or enrollment forms call John at PMCI, (515) 224-7545. This service offers exclusive pricing for PMCI members.