Underground Storage Tanks - NIU - Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

Underground Storage Tanks

Northern Illinois University shall operate and maintain all underground storage tanks (USTs) in accordance with the requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regulations contained in 40 CFR Part 280 and the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) regulations 41 IAC 172 and 174-177 to prevent the release of a regulated substance.

The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Department has developed the Underground Storage Tank Operation and Maintenance Plan to prevent oil discharges during the handling, use, or transfer of petroleum products at NIU. This document incorporates the following three components:

  1. An outline for all inspections, testing and maintenance that shall be performed at the facility, specific to university operations;
  2. Directions on how to control and remediate routine releases or spills of regulated product;
  3. Emergency response procedures as defined by the regulations.

All USTs at the university are of double-walled fiberglass construction with spill buckets and overfill alarms. Each UST is monitored by a Veeder-Root tank monitoring system which features automatic tank gauging, in-tank leak detection and electronic line leak detection. The USTs are inspected by a Class A/B operator on a monthly basis. Functionality tests of all tanks, fuel lines, sensors and emergency shut-offs are conducted on an annual basis.

Any release of a regulated substance from an UST may require notification to regulatory agencies in accordance with NIU’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC).