Fuel Storage Tank Replacement
Aboveground and underground storage tanks (ASTs and USTs) that do not comply with current standards can be a costly liability for owners. While regulations vary from province to province, in Ontario all abandoned ASTs/USTs must be removed, re-instated with upgrades or decommissioned. If a storage tank has been out of use for a period greater than two years, and there are no plans for future use, it must be decommissioned. Any contaminated soil surrounding the tank must be removed and disposed of in accordance with provincial regulations.
In our 17 years in business, Tri-Phase has removed, upgraded and decommissioned hundreds of storage tanks, containing both hazardous and non-hazardous fuels and/or chemicals. In addition to the removal and disposal of tanks and associated piping, we excavate and dispose of any contaminated soil surrounding the tank and restore the site to its original condition. We will also arrange and complete all administrative requirements set forth by the regional or provincial regulatory agencies, which govern tank removal and waste disposal.
Removing storage tanks is not a simple task. To do it properly you need a licensed and experienced contractor. With UST’s depending on the location of the tank (i.e. proximity to sidewalks, buried utility lines, etc.,) bracing or shoring may be required. At Tri-Phase, we implement and execute a site-specific health and safety and work plan outlining the exact procedures to be followed for this sensitive type of work. One of the major challenges of removing an AST and UST is planning how to best deal with not only the tank itself, but also the area surrounding it. It is imperative to be aware of what utility lines are nearby, and have the work adhere to the guidelines of governing authorities such as the Technical Standard and Safety Authority (TSSA) and / or the Ministry of Environment.
When it comes to handing Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs), protecting the surrounding habitat is critical. Individuals or teams involved in the removal or replacement of ASTs must have certified training and authorization from the governing province or territory. If an AST has been out of commission for a period of one year or more, it must have an internal inspection conducted by a corrosion expert prior to its removal or return to service.
Once the tank has been removed, the surrounding soil must be tested to ensure all the petroleum products have been eradicated and all vapours have been purged. If traces of these contaminants are still present after soil removal, testing must be repeated until all traces are gone. The AST’s piping and transfer equipment must also be removed and properly disposed of.
Both ASTs and USTs must undergo a comprehensive inspection by a TSSA certified technician every 10 years. Unlike USTs, there are no age limit considerations for ASTs specified within the code, nor are there any requirements to determine whether the AST will be replaced if the tank is not leaking. With older single-walled ASTs, it is now mandatory to install a secondary containment enclosure around the bottom to ensure any future leaks can be traced. However, if the AST has a double wall (a standard feature in all new ASTs) then a secondary containment is not necessary.