Tanks

Subpart J regulations apply to stationary tanks storing wastes that are hazardous under Subtitle C of the RCRA. General operating requirements fall into five basic areas:

Tank assessment must be completed to evaluate structural integrity and compatibility with the wastes that the tank system is expected to hold. The assessment covers design standards, corrosion protection, tank tests, waste characteristics, and tankage. Secondary containment and release detection is required unless the tank does not contain free liquids and is located in a building with impermeable floors. A secondary containment system must be designed, installed, and operated to prevent liquid migration out of the tank system, and to detect and collect any releases that occur. Containment systems include liners, vaults, and double-walled tanks. Operating and maintenance requirements require the management of tanks to avoid leaks, ruptures, spills, and corrosion. This includes a freeboard or containment structure to prevent and contain escaping wastes. A shut-off or bypass system must be installed to prevent liquid from flowing into a leaking tank. Response to releases must include immediate removal of the leaking tank contents. The areas surrounding the tank must be visually inspected for leaks and spills. Based on the inspection, further migration of spilled waste must be stopped, and contaminated soils and surface water must be disposed of in accordance with RCRA requirements. All major leaks must be reported to the EPA or state agency. Closure and postclosure requirements include removing all contaminated soils and other hazardous waste residues from the tank storage area at the time of closure. If decontamination is impossible, the storage area must be closed following the requirements for landfill (EPA 1990).

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