Why are chemical storage tanks a concern?
Chemical storage tanks are used to store unrefined petroleum, petroleum products (diesel, gasoline), liquefied natural gas, propane, fertilizers, and other chemicals. They can store chemicals for use where the tanks are located and for transfer to a vehicle or ship. Chemical storage tanks are primarily used at farms, industrial and manufacturing sites, vehicle maintenance operations, and shipping areas. They can also be used for home heating oil at homes and for fuel at school bus yards.
A damaged or failed chemical storage tank can cause serious environmental contamination and property damage. If a chemical storage tank leaks or spills, the stored chemicals can flow into lakes and streams, contaminate drinking water and groundwater, and catch fire. A chemical fire can contaminate soil and water, threaten human health, and create hazards to wildlife. Chemical storage tanks can fail because of corrosion or deterioration, poor maintenance, construction flaws, overfills, spills during transfers, and a lack of containment for leaks.
This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.
Managing Above Ground Storage Tanks to Prevent Contamination of Drinking Water (Environmental Protection Agency) (PDF — 167 KB)
Storage Tanks (US Army Corps of Engineers)
Top 10 Things to Know about Drinking Water and Underground Storage Tanks (Environmental Protection Agency) (PDF — 54.32 KB)
Underground Storage Tanks home page (Environmental Protection Agency)
Chemicals in Storage Tanks
Are these chemicals in MY community?
Perchloroethylene (PCE, PERC)
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Last Updated: April 22, 2013