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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 580. Underground Storage Tanks: Technical Standards and Corrective Action Requirements

9VAC25-580-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Aboveground release" means any release to the surface of the land or to surface water. This includes releases from the aboveground portion of a UST system and aboveground releases associated with overfills and transfer operations as the regulated substance moves to or from a UST system.

"Airport hydrant fuel distribution system" or "airport hydrant system" means an UST system that fuels aircraft and operates under high pressure with large diameter piping that typically terminates into one or more hydrants (fill stands). The airport hydrant system begins where fuel enters one or more tanks from an external source such as a pipeline, barge, rail car, or other motor fuel carrier.

"Ancillary equipment" means any devices including such devices as piping, fittings, flanges, valves, and pumps used to distribute, meter, or control the flow of regulated substances to and from an UST.

"Belowground release" means any release to the subsurface of the land and to groundwater. This includes releases from the belowground portions of an underground storage tank system and belowground releases associated with overfills and transfer operations as the regulated substance moves to or from an underground storage tank.

"Beneath the surface of the ground" means beneath the ground surface or otherwise covered with earthen materials.

"Board" means the State Water Control Board. When used outside the context of the promulgation of regulations, including regulations to establish general permits, "board" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Building official" means the executive official of the local government building department empowered by § 36-105 of the Code of Virginia to enforce and administer the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) (§ 36-97 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

"Cathodic protection" is a technique to prevent corrosion of a metal surface by making that surface the cathode of an electrochemical cell. For example, a tank system can be cathodically protected through the application of either galvanic anodes or impressed current.

"Cathodic protection tester" means a person who can demonstrate an understanding of the principles and measurements of all common types of cathodic protection systems as applied to buried or submerged metal piping and tank systems. At a minimum, such persons must have education and experience in soil resistivity, stray current, structure-to-soil potential, and component electrical isolation measurements of buried metal piping and tank systems.

"CERCLA" means the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 USC § 9601 et seq.).

"Compatible" means the ability of two or more substances to maintain their respective physical and chemical properties upon contact with one another for the design life of the tank system under conditions likely to be encountered in the UST.

"Connected piping" means all underground piping including valves, elbows, joints, flanges, and flexible connectors attached to a tank system through which regulated substances flow. For the purpose of determining how much piping is connected to any individual UST system, the piping that joins two UST systems should be allocated equally between them.

"Containment sump" means a liquid-tight container that protects the environment by containing leaks and spills of regulated substances from piping, dispensers, pumps, and related components in the containment area. Containment sumps may be single walled or secondarily contained and located at the top of the tank (tank top or submersible turbine pump sump), underneath the dispenser (under-dispenser containment sump), or at other points in the piping run (transition or intermediate sump).

"Corrosion expert" means a person who, by reason of thorough knowledge of the physical sciences and the principles of engineering and mathematics acquired by a professional education and related practical experience, is qualified to engage in the practice of corrosion control on buried or submerged metal piping systems and metal tanks. Such a person must be accredited or certified as being qualified by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers or be a registered professional engineer who has certification or licensing that includes education and experience in corrosion control of buried or submerged metal piping systems and metal tanks.

"De minimis" means trivial and beyond the intent of regulation, as that term is used at 53 FR 37108-37109.

"Delivery prohibition" is prohibiting the delivery, deposit, or acceptance of product to an underground storage tank system that has been determined to be ineligible by the department for such delivery, deposit, or acceptance.

"Delivery prohibition tag" means a tag, device, or mechanism on the tank's fill pipes that clearly identifies an underground storage tank system as ineligible for product delivery. The tag or device is easily visible to the product deliverer and clearly states and conveys that it is unlawful to deliver to, deposit into, or accept product into the ineligible underground storage tank system. The tag, device, or mechanism is generally tamper resistant.

"Department" means the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Dielectric material" means a material that does not conduct direct electrical current. Dielectric coatings are used to electrically isolate UST systems from the surrounding soils. Dielectric bushings are used to electrically isolate portions of the UST system (e.g., tank from piping).

"Director" means the director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Dispenser" means equipment located aboveground that dispenses regulated substances from the UST system.

"Dispenser system" means the dispenser and the equipment necessary to connect the dispenser to the underground storage tank system.

"Electrical equipment" means underground equipment that contains dielectric fluid that is necessary for the operation of equipment such as transformers and buried electrical cable.

"Excavation zone" means the volume containing the tank system and backfill material bounded by the ground surface, walls, and floor of the pit and trenches into which the UST system is placed at the time of installation.

"Existing tank system" means a tank system used to contain an accumulation of regulated substances or for which installation has commenced on or before December 22, 1988. Installation is considered to have commenced if:

1. The owner or operator has obtained all federal, state, and local approvals or permits necessary to begin physical construction of the site or installation of the tank system; and if

2. a. Either a continuous onsite physical construction or installation program has begun; or

b. The owner or operator has entered into contractual obligations, which cannot be canceled or modified without substantial loss, for physical construction at the site or installation of the tank system to be completed within a reasonable time.

"Farm tank" is a tank located on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising animals, including fish, and associated residences and improvements. A farm tank must be located on the farm property. "Farm" includes fish hatcheries, rangeland and nurseries with growing operations.

"Field-constructed tank" means a tank constructed in the field. For example, a tank constructed of concrete that is poured in the field, or a steel or fiberglass tank primarily fabricated in the field is considered field constructed.

"Flow-through process tank" is a tank that forms an integral part of a production process through which there is a steady, variable, recurring, or intermittent flow of materials during the operation of the process. Flow-through process tanks do not include tanks used for the storage of materials prior to their introduction into the production process or for the storage of finished products or by-products from the production process.

"Free product" refers to a regulated substance that is present as a nonaqueous phase liquid (e.g., liquid not dissolved in water).

"Gathering lines" means any pipeline, equipment, facility, or building used in the transportation of oil or gas during oil or gas production or gathering operations.

"Hazardous substance UST system" means an underground storage tank system that contains a hazardous substance defined in § 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (42 USC § 9601 et seq.) (but not including any substance regulated as a hazardous waste under subtitle C of RCRA) or any mixture of such substances and petroleum, and which is not a petroleum UST system.

"Heating oil" means petroleum that is No. 1, No. 2, No. 4-light, No. 4-heavy, No. 5-light, No. 5-heavy, and No. 6 technical grades of fuel oil; other residual fuel oils (including Navy Special Fuel Oil and Bunker C); and other fuels when used as substitutes for one of these fuel oils. Heating oil is typically used in the operation of heating equipment, boilers, or furnaces.

"Hydraulic lift tank" means a tank holding hydraulic fluid for a closed-loop mechanical system that uses compressed air or hydraulic fluid to operate lifts, elevators, and other similar devices.

"Liquid trap" means sumps, well cellars, and other traps used in association with oil and gas production, gathering, and extraction operations (including gas production plants), for the purpose of collecting oil, water, and other liquids. These liquid traps may temporarily collect liquids for subsequent disposition or reinjection into a production or pipeline stream, or may collect and separate liquids from a gas stream.

"Maintenance" means the normal operational upkeep to prevent an underground storage tank system from releasing product.

"Motor fuel" means a complex blend of hydrocarbons typically used in the operation of a motor engine, such as motor gasoline, aviation gasoline, No. 1 or No. 2 diesel fuel, or any blend containing one or more of these substances (for example, motor gasoline blended with alcohol).

"New tank system" means a tank system that will be used to contain an accumulation of regulated substances and for which installation has commenced after December 22, 1988 (See also "existing tank system").

"Noncommercial purposes" with respect to motor fuel means not for resale.

"On the premises where stored" with respect to heating oil means UST systems located on the same property where the stored heating oil is used.

"Operational life" refers to the period beginning when installation of the tank system has commenced until the time the tank system is properly closed under Part VII (9VAC25-580-310 et seq.) of this chapter.

"Operator" means any person in control of, or having responsibility for, the daily operation of the UST system.

"Overfill release" is a release that occurs when a tank is filled beyond its capacity, resulting in a discharge of the regulated substance to the environment.

"Owner" means:

1. In the case of a UST system in use on November 8, 1984, or brought into use after that date, any person who owns an UST system used for storage, use, or dispensing of regulated substances; and

2. In the case of any UST system in use before November 8, 1984, but no longer in use on that date, any person who owned such UST immediately before the discontinuation of its use.

The term "owner" shall not include any person who, without participating in the management of an underground storage tank or being otherwise engaged in petroleum production, refining, and marketing, holds indicia of ownership primarily to protect the holder's security interest in the tank.

"Person" means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation, including a government corporation, partnership, association, any state or agency thereof, municipality, county, town, commission, political subdivision of a state, any interstate body, consortium, joint venture, commercial entity, the government of the United States or any unit or agency thereof.

"Petroleum UST system" means an underground storage tank system that contains petroleum or a mixture of petroleum with de minimis quantities of other regulated substances. Such systems include those containing motor fuels, jet fuels, distillate fuel oils, residual fuel oils, lubricants, petroleum solvents, and used oils.

"Pipe" or "piping" means a hollow cylinder or tubular conduit that is constructed of nonearthen materials.

"Pipeline facilities (including gathering lines)" are new and existing pipe rights-of-way and any associated equipment, facilities, or buildings.

"Product deliverer" is any person who delivers or deposits product into an underground storage tank.

"RCRA" means the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 as amended (42 USC § 6901 et seq.).

"Regulated substance" means an element, compound, mixture, solution, or substance that, when released into the environment, may present substantial danger to the public health or welfare, or the environment. The term "regulated substance" includes:

1. Any substance defined in § 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (42 USC § 9601 et seq.), but not any substance regulated as a hazardous waste under subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 (42 USC § 6901 et seq.); and

2. Petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof, that is liquid at standard conditions of temperature and pressure (60°F and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute). The term "regulated substance" includes petroleum and petroleum-based substances comprised of a complex blend of hydrocarbons, such as motor fuels, jet fuels, distillate fuel oils, residual fuel oils, lubricants, petroleum solvents, and used oils.

"Release" means any spilling, leaking, emitting, discharging, escaping, leaching or disposing from an UST into groundwater, surface water or subsurface soils.

"Release detection" means determining whether a release of a regulated substance has occurred from the UST system into the environment or a leak has occurred into the interstitial space between the UST system and its secondary barrier or secondary containment around it.

"Repair" means to restore to proper operating condition a tank, a pipe, spill prevention equipment, overfill prevention equipment, corrosion protection equipment, release detection equipment, or other UST system component that has caused a release of product from the UST system or has failed to function properly.

"Replaced" means:

1. For a tank - to remove a tank and install another tank.

2. For piping - to remove 50% or more of piping and install other piping, excluding connectors, connected to a single tank. For tanks with multiple piping runs, this definition applies independently to each piping run.

"Residential tank" is a tank located on property used primarily for dwelling purposes.

"SARA" means the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986.

"Secondary containment" or "secondarily contained" means a release prevention and release detection system for a tank or piping. This system has an inner and outer barrier with an interstitial space that is monitored for leaks. This term includes containment sumps when used for interstitial monitoring of piping.

"Septic tank" is a water-tight covered receptacle designed to receive or process, through liquid separation or biological digestion, the sewage discharged from a building sewer. The effluent from such receptacle is distributed for disposal through the soil, and settled solids and scum from the tank are pumped out periodically and hauled to a treatment facility.

"Storm water or wastewater collection system" means piping, pumps, conduits, and any other equipment necessary to collect and transport the flow of surface water run-off resulting from precipitation, or domestic, commercial, or industrial wastewater to and from retention areas or any areas where treatment is designated to occur. The collection of storm water and wastewater does not include treatment except where incidental to conveyance.

"Surface impoundment" is a natural topographic depression, man-made excavation, or diked area formed primarily of earthen materials (although it may be lined with man-made materials) that is not an injection well.

"Tank" is a stationary device designed to contain an accumulation of regulated substances and constructed of nonearthen materials (e.g., concrete, steel, plastic) that provide structural support.

"Under-dispenser containment" or "UDC" means containment underneath a dispenser system designed to prevent leaks from the dispenser and piping within or above the UDC from reaching soil or groundwater.

"Underground area" means an underground room, such as a basement, cellar, shaft or vault, providing enough space for physical inspection of the exterior of the tank situated on or above the surface of the floor.

"Underground release" means any belowground release.

"Underground storage tank" or "UST" means any one or combination of tanks (including underground pipes connected thereto) that is used to contain an accumulation of regulated substances, and the volume of which (including the volume of underground pipes connected thereto) is 10% or more beneath the surface of the ground. This term does not include any:

1. Farm or residential tank of 1,100 gallons or less capacity used for storing motor fuel for noncommercial purposes;

2. Tank used for storing heating oil for consumption on the premises where stored;

3. Septic tank;

4. Pipeline facility (including gathering lines):

a. Regulated under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (49 USC § 1671 et seq.);

b. Regulated under the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 (49 USC § 2001 et seq.); or

c. Which is an intrastate pipeline facility regulated under state laws comparable to the provisions of the law referred to in subdivision 4 a or 4 b of this definition;

5. Surface impoundment, pit, pond, or lagoon;

6. Storm water or wastewater collection system;

7. Flow-through process tank;

8. Liquid trap or associated gathering lines directly related to oil or gas production and gathering operations; or

9. Storage tank situated in an underground area (such as a basement, cellar, mineworking, drift, shaft, or tunnel) if the storage tank is situated upon or above the surface of the floor.

The term "underground storage tank" or "UST" does not include any pipes connected to any tank that is described in subdivisions 1 through 9 of this definition.

"Upgrade" means the addition or retrofit of some systems such as cathodic protection, lining, or spill and overfill controls to improve the ability of an underground storage tank system to prevent the release of product.

"UST system" or "tank system" means an underground storage tank, connected underground piping, underground ancillary equipment, and containment system, if any.

"Wastewater treatment tank" means a tank that is designed to receive and treat an influent wastewater through physical, chemical, or biological methods.

Statutory Authority

§§ 62.1-44.15 and 62.1-44.34:9 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6901 et seq.; 40 CFR Parts 280 and 281.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR680-13-02 § 1.1, eff. October 25, 1989; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 12, eff. March 24, 2004; Volume 26, Issue 25, eff. September 15, 2010; Volume 34, Issue 1, eff. January 1, 2018; Volume 39, Issue 5, eff. November 23, 2022.

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