§ 245.304. Investigation and reporting of suspected releases.
(a) The owner or operator of a storage tank system or storage tank facility shall initiate and complete an investigation of a suspected release of a regulated substance as soon as practicable, but no later than 7 days after the indication of a suspected release. An indication of a suspected release includes one or more of the following conditions:
(1) The presence of a regulated substance or an unusual level of vapors from a regulated substance outside of storage tank system components designed to routinely contain or convey product, at or near a storage tank facility.
(2) Evidence of a regulated substance or vapors in soils, basements, sewer lines, utility lines, surface water or groundwater in the surrounding area.
(3) Unusual operating conditions, indicative of a release, such as the erratic behavior of product dispensing equipment.
(4) The sudden or unexpected loss of a regulated substance from a storage tank system or the unexplained presence of water in a storage tank system.
(5) Test, sampling or monitoring results, including the sounding of an alarm, from a release detection method which indicate a release.
(6) The discovery of holes in or damage to a storage tank system during activities such as inspection, repair or removal from service.
(7) Other events, conditions or results which may indicate a release.
(b) The investigation required by subsection (a) shall include a sufficient number of the procedures outlined in this subsection and be sufficiently detailed to confirm whether a release of a regulated substance has occurred. The owner or operator shall investigate the indication of a release by one or more of the following procedures:
(1) A check of product dispensing or other similar equipment.
(2) A check of release detection monitoring devices.
(3) A check of inventory records to detect discrepancies.
(4) A visual inspection of the storage tank system or the area immediately surrounding the storage tank system.
(5) Testing of the storage tank system for tightness or structural soundness.
(6) Sampling and analysis of soil, subsurface soil and backfill, vapor, water or groundwater at a location where contamination from a release would most likely be present.
(7) Other investigation procedures which may be necessary to determine whether a release of a regulated substance has occurred.
(c) Upon completion of the investigation under subsection (a), the owner or operator shall comply with one of the following requirements:
(1) Except as provided in § 245.305(i) (relating to reporting releases), if the investigation confirms that a release has occurred, the owner or operator shall report the release under § 245.305 and initiate corrective action.
(2) If the investigation cannot determine whether a release has occurred, the owner or operator shall report the suspected release within 15 days of the indication of the suspected release to the appropriate regional office of the Department on a form provided by the Department.
(3) If the investigation confirms that a release has not occurred, no further corrective action is required except that the owner or operator shall completely recover and remove the regulated substance. If removal of the regulated substance cannot be accomplished within 24 hours, the owner or operator shall immediately notify the appropriate regional office of the Department by telephone or e-mail.
The provisions of this § 245.304 amended November 30, 2001, effective December 1, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 6615; amended December 21, 2018, effective December 22, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 7875. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (331042) and (347245).
This section cited in 25 Pa. Code § 245.31 (relating to underground storage tank system testing requirements); 25 Pa. Code § 245.309 (relating to site characterization); 25 Pa. Code § 245.435 (relating to reporting and recordkeeping); 25 Pa. Code § 245.444 (relating to methods of release detection for tanks); 25 Pa. Code § 245.516 (relating to recordkeeping requirements); 25 Pa. Code § 245.615 (relating to recordkeeping requirements); 25 Pa. Code § 245.618 (relating to permanent closure or change-in-service); and 25 Pa. Code § 977.34 (relating to claims reporting).
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