Recently, the southeastern United States was slammed by a monster storm—Hurricane Matthew. The destructive hurricane created significant storm surges and caused severe flooding along much of the Atlantic coast. When major flooding occurs, underground storage tank (UST) systems can lift out of the ground, rupture, and release oil or other regulated substances. A single UST release can ruin adjacent private property and rack up huge compliance and enforcement costs.
After severe flooding or a storm like Hurricane Matthew, UST owners and operators must evaluate their tanks before putting them back into operation. These steps are practical measures intended to prevent subsequent accidental releases, ensure safety, and protect public health and the environment, as well as lessen any enforcement penalties.