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Underground Storage Tank Alternative Inspections

Organization(s) Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management
Project Description In the fall of 2006, RI DEM was awarded an EPA State Innovation Grant to evaluate inspection alternatives for underground storage tanks. RI DEM, in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, is working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP) and EPA to assess whether an Environmental Results Program (ERP) approach to the Underground Storage Tank (UST) sector can be as effective, or more effective, than traditional enforcement programs in achieving regulatory compliance, and compare the costs and benefits of each approach. Work on the project began in January 2007.

The RI DEM and FL DEP team allows a rather unique comparison to take place. Rhode Island is the only state that currently has an active UST ERP program. Florida has one of the oldest UST inspection and enforcement databases in the country. A goal of the project is to examine the transferability of ERP to other states as an alternative inspection/compliance program, and to provide critical data and data analysis to enhance other states' interest in implementing ERPs.

Over the last several months, major activities that took place included meetings and conference calls, updating of facility and tank baseline data, tabulation of 5-year historical compliance data, 2 ongoing linear regression analyses of 2004 baseline data, and ongoing interstate indicator comparative analysis. Information for the post-certification analysis was gathered as 81 of the 100 randomly-selected facilities were inspected. The project will provide data to help with an upcoming EPA response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which calls for a broad study of alternatives to traditional enforcement.

Project Contact
Name Thomas E. Armstrong
Phone 401-222-4700 ext. 4412
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Multimedia Inspections & Permitting
Activity Keywords Funding and grants, Research and development
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 18 No. 2, Fall 2008 [PDF]


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