montana deq must newsletter

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Underground Storage Tank Section 1520 East Sixth Avenue • Helena, MT 59620-0901 Phone: 406-444-5300 • Fax: 406-444-1374 E-mail: [email protected]UST Web: Petroleum Technical Section • Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST)/Brownfields Section 1100 North Last Chance Gulch. • P. O. Box 200901 • Helena, MT 59620-0901 Phone: 406-841-5016 • Fax: 406-841-5091 Remediation Web: Yellowstone River Oil Spill ... 1 Roundup Flooding and Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites ............... 6 Water Monitoring & Removal For All Storage Systems ...... 7 Petro Factoid...Inspection before Renewal ..................... 8 Are Your Underground Storage Tanks Properly Closed .................................... 9 Underground Storage Tank Fuel Delivery Prohibition .. 1 0 jUST Jargon – Do Not Fill List ...................................... 10 Closing Low-Priority Sites Undergoing Monitored Natural Attenuation .......... 11 Petro Factoid...Financial Responsibility .................... 12 Pilot Project for Groundwater Monitoring ......................... 13 EPA Invests $4.3M to Boost the Revitalization of Properties in Montana Communities ...................... 14 New After-Hours Phone Number for Petroleum Releases:(406) 324-4777 .. 15 Petro Factoid...New Vapor Intrusion Guide by Montana DEQ .................... 15 Petro Board Member Changes ............................... 16 New Data Control Specialist for DEQ Underground Storage Tank Section ........ 16 “Thank You” to Theresa Balazicevich ....................... 17 New Environmental Enforce- ment Specialist at DEQ .... 17 Public Comment Period for Petroleum Mixing Zone Rules Amendments ............ 18 Fund and Release Status Report ................................. 18 Save the Date ......................... 19 MONTANA UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK PROGRAM NEWSLETTER Department of Environmental Quality Inside This Issue Summer Issue 2011 C continued on page 2 SPILL SPILL SPILL Oil residue along the Yellowstone River banks Photo by Montana DEQ, Remediation Division Oil residue along the Yellowstone River banks Photo by Montana DEQ, Remediation Division Yellowstone River Oil Spill – Photo by MT DEQ Yellowstone River Oil Spill – Photo by MT DEQ rews continue to clean up and further assess and track where oil landed following this summer’s Yellowstone River oil spill. On Friday night, July 1, 2011, an estimated 1,200 barrels, or nearly 50,000 gallons, of crude oil spilled into the fast-moving, flood-stage river when ExxonMobil Pipeline’s Silvertip Pipeline broke near Laurel. The 12-inch pipeline was buried about four feet under the river bed. What caused it to sever still is under investigation. At the time, the high water was over the bank, so oil reached shoreline properties, riparian areas, fields and pastures. People were evacuated from

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Summer 2011 issue of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s MUST News


Page 1: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter

Underground Storage Tank Section1520 East Sixth Avenue • Helena, MT 59620-0901

Phone: 406-444-5300 • Fax: 406-444-1374E-mail: [email protected] • UST Web:

Petroleum Technical Section • Petroleum Tank Release Compensation BoardLeaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST)/Brownfields Section

1100 North Last Chance Gulch. • P. O. Box 200901 • Helena, MT 59620-0901Phone: 406-841-5016 • Fax: 406-841-5091Remediation Web:

Yellowstone River Oil Spill ... 1Roundup Flooding and Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites ............... 6Water Monitoring & Removal For All Storage Systems ...... 7Petro Factoid...Inspection before Renewal ..................... 8Are Your Underground Storage Tanks Properly Closed .................................... 9Underground Storage Tank Fuel Delivery Prohibition .. 10jUST Jargon – Do Not Fill List ...................................... 10Closing Low-Priority Sites Undergoing Monitored Natural Attenuation .......... 11Petro Factoid...Financial Responsibility .................... 12Pilot Project for Groundwater Monitoring ......................... 1 3EPA Invests $4.3M to Boost the Revitalization of Properties in Montana Communities ...................... 1 4New After-Hours Phone Number for Petroleum Releases:(406) 324-4777 .. 15Petro Factoid...New Vapor Intrusion Guide by Montana DEQ .................... 15Petro Board Member Changes ............................... 1 6New Data Control Specialist for DEQ Underground Storage Tank Section ........ 1 6“Thank You” to Theresa Balazicevich ....................... 17New Environmental Enforce- ment Specialist at DEQ .... 17Public Comment Period for Petroleum Mixing Zone Rules Amendments ............ 18Fund and Release Status Report ................................. 18Save the Date ......................... 1 9


Department of Environmental Quality

Inside This Issue

Summer Issue 2011

Ccontinued onpage 2


Oil residue along the Yellowstone River banksPhoto by Montana DEQ, Remediation DivisionOil residue along the Yellowstone River banksPhoto by Montana DEQ, Remediation Division

Yellowstone River Oil Spill – Photo by MT DEQYellowstone River Oil Spill – Photo by MT DEQ

rews continue to clean up and further assess and trackwhere oil landed following this summer’s Yellowstone River

oil spill. On Friday night, July 1, 2011, an estimated 1,200barrels, or nearly 50,000 gallons, of crude oil spilled into the

fast-moving, flood-stage river when ExxonMobil Pipeline’sSilvertip Pipeline broke near Laurel. The 12-inch pipeline

was buried about four feet under the river bed. Whatcaused it to sever still is under investigation.

At the time, the high water was over the bank,so oil reached shoreline properties,

riparian areas, fields and pastures.People were evacuated from

Page 2: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter



Yellowstone River Oil Spill - continued from page 1

Governor Brian Schweitzerconducting a public meeting forconcerned citizens.

Aerial tour of the flooding YellowstoneRiver polluted with oil residue.

continued on page 3

their homes as chemicals from the crude oilvaporized into the air during the first few daysafter the spill. Some people sought medical care.At least 230 property owners had contaminationon their land.

The Montana Department of EnvironmentalQuality (DEQ) was appointed the official responseagency for the state; DEQ was on the scene byearly July 3rd and has been supporting andoverseeing the response ever since. Therefore, ourdistribution of this summer issue of MUST News isa little behind schedule. A brief summary of theresponse activities follows.

On July 5, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzerissued an Executive Order declaring an emergencyin Yellowstone, Treasure, Rosebud, Custer, Prairie,Dawson, and Richland Counties along theYellowstone River due to the oil spill. GovernorSchweitzer made it clear that he will holdExxonMobil accountable, and that the cleanup willbe done to Montana’s strict standards.

“The cleanup is done when the state of Montanasays it’s done,” said Governor Schweitzer as hetoured the site early on, and then again to apacked public meeting in Billings, one week afterthe spill.

Governor’s Billings OfficeThe week following the spill, Governor Schweitzerset up a special office in Billings for publicinformation. Citizens were invited to visit theoffice, voice concerns and ask questions. Withinthe first two weeks, the office had received morethan 200 calls, visits and emails. The state also setup a

Emergency response and cleanupThe pollution was worst near the source of thespill at Laurel, 20 miles upstream from Billings.However, Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Tech-nique (SCAT) teams found oil as far as 72 milesdownstream from the spill site. Officials estimatethat only one percent of the oil released will berecovered because the swift current swept much

Aerial view of the Yellowstone River contaminated with oil residue.

Page 3: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Yellowstone River Oil Spill - continued from page 2

continued on page 4


of it away, and also because a significant amounthas evaporated and naturally degraded.

In the first weeks, crews mopped up free-floating oilwith booms and absorbent pads. Due to the floodconditions, a great deal of oil was deposited onvegetation standing above the ground. This blackstreak, standing in some places four feet above theground, is called the “bathtub ring” by many whohave seen it. The smaller vegetation has been cutand removed and the larger trees have been wiped.In places where oil cannot be removed, it may betreated with a dust fixative or other means to protectwildlife. The flood stage waters also deposited largepiles of uprooted trees and other woody debrisalong the river corridor, which have acted as areasprone to oil collection. These debris piles are beingdismantled and the oily portions removed whereverpossible. If traversing or getting equipment to anarea would cause more harm to the ecosystem thangood, any oil in that area will be monitored as itnaturally attenuates, or breaks down.

DEQ has been working with EPA to check, monitorand oversee the scoping, sampling and cleanupdone by ExxonMobil and its contractors. DEQ staffhave been joining SCAT teams, and the state hasdone its own testing of crude oil and started its ownsoil and water sampling program for landowners.

One month after the spill, more than 1,000 workerswere on the effort. Thirty percent were Montanans.It was at the insistence of the state that moreMontanans were hired. Eventually, the emergencyresponse and cleanup will yield to long-termremediation and restoration of the river system. DEQis the lead in that oversight.

Montana Scientists Helping Montana LandownersIn mid-July, the Governor launched a samplingprogram, “Montana Scientists Helping MontanaLandowners.” Property owners and DEQ scientistsand contractors sampled drinking water, irrigationwater, surface water and oiled soil. The programserved 40 properties. At the time, at least 14 drinkingwater wells and 6 irrigation wells had been tested. Inaddition, at least seven samples were collected fromsurface water bodies such as oxbows, sloughs or

Tub ring of oil stain left from flooding.

Cleanup of free floating oil usingabsorbent booms.

Page 4: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter



continued on page 5

Yellowstone River Oil Spill - continued from page 3

puddles. Four of the wells had trace concentrationsof various chemical constituents, though noneraised undue concern.

“We’re happy that none of the petroleum-relatedchemicals we tested for exceed drinking waterstandards,” DEQ Director Richard Opper said. “Asan extra precaution, we do intend to resample thefour wells.” Continued remediation work will alsoinclude a more thorough groundwater investigation,starting at the most heavily oiled portions of theriver floodplain.

By the first week in August, state sampling resultswere ready. Analysis of crude oil taken from asection of pipeline showed that the petroleumcomponents are consistent with those found incrude oil.

Out of 87 soil samples taken from 23 propertiesunder this program, nine properties showed no riskfrom crude oil. Low concentrations of petroleumconstituents were found at seven properties, andseven properties had petroleum concentrations thatrequired cleanup.

“We encouraged people to sample the worst partsof their property, so we’re not surprised to findevidence of crude oil in their soil,” GovernorSchweitzer said. “But it appears that what we didfind was the heavier components of the oil. Thelighter, smellier, more toxic elements of the oil havelargely evaporated or weathered away, which maybe comforting news for the affected landowners.”

Watching Out For WildlifeMontana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) cooper-ated in the search for oil and is studying the impacton fish and wildlife along the Yellowstone River.The public is encouraged to report wildlife concernsto the Wildlife Hotline (800) 259-0596.

Initial sampling showed that rainbow trout andwhite sucker meat from fish caught below the breakdid not contain levels of oil that would cause ahuman health concern. The department was stilltrying to catch a representative sampling of catfishbefore declaring all fish safe to eat.

Aerial view of Laurel, MT and the oil pollutedYellowstone River.

Severed pipline.Severed pipeline

Aerial view of the flooding Yellowstone Riverpolluted with oil residue.

Page 5: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Yellowstone River Oil Spill - continued from page 4

Photos of the Yellowstone River flooding and oilspill were taken by Montana Department ofEnvironmental Quality staff.


Meanwhile, FWP biologists will analyze livers andgonads from the captured fish to measure any long-term environmental effect of the oil in the river.Those results will take some time.

Pipeline Safety CouncilBy Executive Order on July 20, 2011, GovernorSchweitzer established the Montana Pipeline SafetyCouncil to investigate pipeline river crossings inMontana and make recommendations to preventpipeline ruptures, breaks and spills in the future.The Council held its first meeting on August 3.About 50 people attended, some of whom spoke,while DEQ Director Richard Opper chaired theCouncil, and Department of Natural Resources andConservation Director Mary Sexton and formerDepartment of Transportation Director Jim Lynchalso served at the Council meeting.

“We need to know every pipeline, its diameter, shut-off valves, pressure levels, what product it’scarrying, and inventory all regulations,” saidGovernor Schweitzer. “We need regulatory agencieswith teeth.” He said accidents happen, but we mustwork to prevent them.

The Governor stressed that Montana will continueto drill for oil and gas. “We don’t want to slowdown energy production, but we need to do itright,” said Governor Schweitzer.

The Yellowstone River spill drew worldwideattention and captured national and internationalheadlines for weeks. It opened the nation’s eyes tothe importance of pipeline safety and launched acollective promise for lasting resolve.

For more information on the oil spill, visit

For information on the Pipeline Safety Council, visit

Oil stained grass.

Oiled tree branches.

Cleanup crew staging area.

Page 6: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter



Roundup Flooding and Leaking Underground Storage TankSites

Busy Bee Café inundated by floodwaters. Spring 2011.

Spring flooding of the Musselshell River had devastatingeffects on the community of Roundup, causing signifi-cant property damage to many homes and businesses.

The southeastern portion of town along Highway 12 and 1st

Avenue East was hard hit by the flooding when a section of theMusselshell River’s levee failed. Homes and businesses such asthe Busy Bee Café (pictured above) were inundated with up to 8feet of water. There are several underground storage tank (UST)and leaking underground storage tank (LUST) program sitesalong Highway 12 and 1st Avenue East in Roundup that wereflooded. Fortunately, no new petroleum releases have beenreported from USTs ‘floating’ in the tank basin pea gravelcausing product piping failures. Three American Recovery andReinvestment ACT of 2009 (ARRA) LUST sites exist in the floodplain of the Musselshell River. Only the Pepco facility, which islocated adjacent to the Busy Bee Café, was totally inundated byfloodwaters, thus precluding the spring groundwater monitoringevent. The floodwaters gradually receded leaving the Pepcogroundwater monitoring wells buried under several inches offine sediment (see photo). Four of the wells were exhumed inJune and all of them appear to be functional. DEQ plans to

sample the groundwater monitoring wells to determine whateffects the flood had on petroleum hydrocarbon concentrationsand distribution.

Eastern portion of Pepco property after floodwaters havereceded. June 2011.

Page 7: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Water Monitoring and Removal for All Storage Systems

Poor operations and maintenance procedures for watermonitoring and removal from storage systems can leadto a number of problems, from degradation of fuel quality

and subsequent vehicle performance, to microbial contamina-tion and damage of the entire storage system. This pertains toall storage systems, both underground and aboveground,constructed of any material and storing nearly any product –gasoline, diesel, residential and commercial heating oils, aviationjet fuel and others.

The entire storage system is potentially impacted by water and itspossible consequences, not just the storage tank. While the tank,as the common collection place, is where chemical reactions canbrew, it also provides an easy means to monitor for water in thesystem and a common place to treat the problem.

It is imperative that all owners and operators of storage systemsimmediately implement routine operations and maintenance pro-cedures for water monitoring and removal of water, if detected.

Recent Industry Changes Elevate the Importance of WaterMonitoring and RemovalAlthough operations and maintenance procedures for watermonitoring and removal have been a recommended practice forover thirty years, recent changes within the industry haveincreased the risk for water entry and accumulation in thestorage system, and subsequent microbial growth if water is notremoved.

The distribution infrastructureMore fuel is moving faster through the distribution/deliveryinfrastructure, leaving less time for water to settle outbefore the product moves from step-to-step in the distribu-tion process. A shift from proprietary to shared deliveryinfrastructures (bulk terminals, pipelines, transports) hasremoved much of the control that individual companies hadover the process and product.

Gasoline chemistryFrom the removal of lead and MTBE, to additives such asethanol and biodiesel, product chemistry has undergonefairly recent change. These new fuels are more susceptibleto moisture accumulation, separation and potential biodeg-radation accelerated by water. For example, lead was anatural poison to the microbes that could be grown in a

Reprinted by permission from the Steel Tank Institute “Keeping Water Out of Your Storage System”

moist environment in today’s lead-free fuels, microbialgrowth can more readily occur.

Installation proceduresCommon procedures – including open vents, low fill areasand sloped tank installations – all contribute to wateraccumulation.

Microbial activity is better understood and more commonAs a result of the above changes within the industry, micro-bial activity has been found to be a much more common phe-nomenon than previously realized.

How Water Enters a Storage SystemIn addition to possible water in the delivered product, water canenter a storage system via damaged fill boxes or fill cap gaskets,loose fittings or plugs, poor practices relating to spill buckets,rainwater accumulated within tank sumps and which enter viaany tank orifices that are not water/vapor tight, and condensa-tion caused by fuel temperature swings or air entering via vents.Certain fuels are also more prone to moisture attraction andsubsequent separation when subject to temperature swings.

Preventing Potential Problems Associated with WaterMajor industry groups have developed recommended opera-tions and maintenance procedures, but basic practices include:

Monitoring and checking for water with automatic tankgauging systems and manual gauge sticks.

Inspecting fill and vapor caps for damages and formissing gaskets, replacing if necessary.

Auditing the fuel delivery process and water content.

Using water-sensitive fuel filters and watching forslowed-down fueling.

Treating storage tanks with antimicrobial pesticide(biocide) on a regular basis.

Employing a qualified professional to examine theinside of the tank, remove any water and sludge, andclean the tank periodically.

continued on page 8

Page 8: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter




Locating Water in a Storage Tank and Removing ItThe first point of contact for guidance is a petroleum equipmentor services contractor and/or the fuel supplier. Additionalguidance is available from organizations such as the AmericanPetroleum Institute (API), Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEl),ASTM International, and the National Oilheat Research Alliance(NORA).

Manual tank gauging and/or automatic tank gauging can detectwater, but periodically pulling product samples from the tank is aprudent practice. Samples should be taken from the low end ofthe tank and, if possible, from more than one location in the tank.Hazy or waxy fuel samples indicate water and readily availablefield detection kits can check for microbes and whether the fuelmeets specifications.

If water is detected at any time, it must be removed by qualifiedservice contractors.

Signs of Microbial GrowthPlugged fuel filters are a common result of microbial growth,caused by the slime created by a thriving microorganism colonyclogging the small filter openings. Filter life shorter than sixmonths is a warning signal (when flow slows to 3-5 gpm,something is amiss). Other signs are plugged fuel lines, erraticgauge readings, a rotten-egg odor, and frequent replacement ofother components such as valves, rubber seals and hoses.Problems may also surface in vehicles fueled by contaminated

product, such as plugged fuel filters and unusual exhaustsmoke. If water levels in a storage tank were high enough tobe pumped directly into a vehicle, immediate and majorproblems would occur – this is of particular concern whenswitching to ethanol-based fuels.

Field detection kits can verify microbial growth, but it issuggested that qualified professionals with expertise inmicrobial contamination control be contacted to develop atreatment plan. This may include initial tank cleaning toremove the slime and sludge, followed by a treatment with abiocide.

Additional InformationContact your fuel supplier and/or a petroleum equipment orservice provider. Standards and informational resources arealso available from organizations such as the STI, EPA, API,PEl, ASTM, PMAA, NORA, DOE and your state or localauthorities (Montana Department of Environmental Quality at444-1417).

Water Monitoring and Removal for All Storage Systems – continued from page 7

Petro Factoid… Inspection Before Renewal

Owners/operators of underground storage tanks must have an Operating Permit to lawfullyreceive and dispense regulated product. The department will issue an Operating Permitfollowing a compliance inspection of each tank system done by a compliance inspectorlicensed by the department. Compliance inspections must be conducted every three years.Tank owners/operators must obtain a compliance inspection of their underground storagetank systems at least 90 days before their facility’s Operating Permit’s expiration date. Thedepartment encourages this inspection to be conducted 3 to 6 months before the OperatingPermit expires to allow additional time to correct any violations discovered.

Page 9: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Are Your Underground Storage Tanks Properly Closed?

You buy an old gas station that hasn’t been operationalsince the 1980’s. You plan to open a small business inthe building, or maybe just tear down the building and

put in a parking lot. You don’t care that there are old USTs in theground because you don’t plan to use them and besides, thedispensers were removed some years back and there are lids onthe access pipes. No worries? Well, maybe there is something tobe worried about.

DEQ still comes across in situ underground storage tanks thathave not held product since they first became regulated onNovember 22, 1989, but which are still accessible. DEQ hasconsistently followed a written policy concerning such tanks,and for most of the years prior to 2001 DEQ has followed thesame policy. That policy can be described as follows:

If an existing UST was taken out of use prior to November 22,1989, it still must meet current UST regulatory requirementsunless the tank was emptied and closed prior to November 22,1989, under industry standards that were in existence at thetime, and the tank was rendered incapable of future use. AnyUST that does not meet both of these requirements mustcomply with all current regulatory provisions for active USTsor must be permanently and properly closed in compliancewith current law. Even if the UST was emptied, closed, andrendered totally unusable prior to 1989, DEQ still may assertjurisdiction and require corrective action if there is evidenceof an unremediated release at the site.

DEQ considers the following factors in determining whether anUST was properly closed and rendered incapable of future usebefore the jurisdictional date:

1. Whether the UST is filled with an inert solid material(e.g., sand or cement); and

2. Whether the UST was closed according to one of thefollowing industry standards in-place at the time ofclosure:a. The Uniform Fire Code (UFC);b. Industry standards published by the American

Petroleum Institute (API);c. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA);

ord. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regula-


Note that these standards and regulations include requirementsto remove all product from the tank and lines, disconnect accesslines, fill the tank completely with an inert solid material, and capremaining underground piping. Other factors to be consideredare whether fill lines and vent lines are open and whether accesspiping has been disconnected or removed.

If an UST can be accessed and material can be deposited into it,DEQ considers it not to have been properly closed and renderedincapable of future use for the storing of regulated substances.The following factors, by themselves, are insufficient to showthat the UST has been rendered incapable of future use:

1. Removing dispensers only;2. Emptying the tank only;3. Placing some inert material in the fill pipe; or4. Creating or allowing holes in the tank.

Owners of USTs that have been out of use for at least 12 months– and owners include persons who own the property on whichsuch an UST is located (see ARM 17.24.101(47)(c)) – mustcomply with the requirements of ARM 17.56.701(3), whichprovides:

Out-of-service UST system components that do not meet thecorrosion protection requirements of ARM 17.56.201 or17.56.202 must, within 12 months of being taken out of serviceor, in the case of a found tank, within 12 months of itsdiscovery, be: (a) permanently closed in accordance withARM 17.56.702 through 17.56.706; or (b) brought intocompliance with ARM Title 17, chapter 56, subchapter 2.

DEQ recognizes that some tank owners may disagree with itspolicy that USTs that have not been used since November 22,1989, still need to be properly closed. In fact, there currently is acontested case pending before the Board of EnvironmentalReview addressing this very issue. When the final decision inthat case is rendered, DEQ will advise the regulated community ifany change in DEQ’s policy and practice is required. In themeantime, be aware that DEQ will require any USTs that had notbeen closed and rendered incapable of use prior to November 22,1989, to comply with all current regulatory standards andrequirements or to be properly closed without delay.

Page 10: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter




Underground Storage Tank Fuel Delivery Prohibition

The Montana Department of Environmental Qualityunderground storage tank (UST) Program uses a fueldelivery prohibition process to inform petroleum and

hazardous substance delivery companies of underground tanksthat cannot legally receive fuel. The department has the authorityto use delivery prohibition any time an underground storage tankhas “egregious” violations discovered during a complianceinspection. Egregious violations must be corrected before anOperating Permit is issued.

UST systems that are designated as “inactive” will also be placedon the “Do Not Fill” list. Inactive tanks are required to have lessthan one-inch of product in them at all times. Having informeddelivery companies is vital to the success of this program in thefield. It is very helpful if owners and operators inform theirdelivery company which tanks cannot be filled when orderingfuel. Also, delivery personnel should consult this list anytimethey are considering the deposit of fuel into an UST system.

Following a facilities completion of the every three year compli-ance inspection, if a facility does not have egregious violation(s)then the department will issue an Operating Permit based on theresults of the compliance inspection. Owners of tank systems thatcannot receive fuel either because of egregious violations orbecause the tank is in inactive statues will have an Operating

Permit issued that reflect the “Do Not Fill” status. Thisoperating status of each facility is found online at our webpage at: .Montana’s “Do Not Fill” List is found at .

Product deliverers have the responsibility to ensure that eachunderground storage tank system has a valid Operating Permit.Check the department’s “Do Not Fill” list before depositingfuel in any UST system at the link noted above. The depart-ment has in the past issued enforcement orders to deliverycompanies that have deposited fuel into delivery-prohibitedtanks in the past.

The intention of delivery prohibition is to protect the environ-ment by not depositing fuel into at-risk tanks. If a tank istriggered into delivery prohibition by reason of an egregiousviolation, the owners must decide to return to compliance tocorrect significant violations or to decide that the effort to savethe tank system isn’t worth it. Owners and operators alwayshave the option to change the status of their UST system toinactive by keeping their tank empty and completing the properdepartment form. They may also choose to remove the systemfrom the ground and properly close it.

An underground storage tank owner/operator may not place a regulated substance in, dispense aregulated substance from, or otherwise operate an underground storage tank (UST) system unless theowner/operator has a valid Operating Permit for each system. To ensure that product deliverers andowners/operators are in compliance, the UST Section publishes Operating Permit status reports foreach facility at Alternatively, the UST Section alsopublishes a “Do Not Fill” list at The “Do NotFill List” indicates at each applicable facility those tanks that are not authorized to receive product ordispense fuel from. Each of these lists is accessible from the UST Home page at and is updated every week.

Jargon – Do Not Fill List

Page 11: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Closing Low-Priority Sites Undergoing Monitored NaturalAttenuation

M ontana DEQ Petroleum Technical Section (PTS) wasawarded a federal LUST Trust grant in September2009 to focus on release closure and low priority

releases. Some of the funding allowed PTS to review low priorityreleases and determine the effectiveness of Monitored NaturalAttenuation (MNA) as the cleanup method for residual contami-nation.

MNA is a combination of physical and biological processesincluding dilution, dispersion, evaporation, and biodegradationthat effectively reduce petroleum hydrocarbon chemical concen-trations in the subsurface soils and groundwater. Biodegradation,where microorganisms in the soil break down petroleum hydro-carbons, typically produces the greatest effect and can be aneffective cleanup method for some subsurface petroleum con-tamination. For low priority releases that had sufficient ground-water data (at least six sampling points), PTS assessed the sitesto determine whether MNA was occurring. A statistical techniquecalled linear regression allowed PTS to estimate the times toclosure based on water quality standards (Montana Circular-7) orRisk-Based Screening Levels (RBSL).

MNA is most often employed as a cleanup alternative after asignificant amount of source material, soil saturated withpetroleum or free product, has been physically removed from thesite using an active cleanup method. Most low priority siteshave residual soil and/or groundwater contamination that isbeing naturally treated through MNA. These are releases thatPTS has determined have a low impact to human health and theenvironment, yet contamination in the groundwater is still abovewater quality standards or RBSLs.

One hundred fifty-four low priority releases had sufficientgroundwater quality data to estimate a time for closure usinglinear regression. In linear regression, groundwater quality datais plotted over time and a data trend can be assessed. When thetrend is declining (as shown in the graphic below), that trend canbe used to estimate the time that site could take to meet waterquality standards or RBSLs.

continued on page 12

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Closing Low-Priority Sites Undergoing Monitored Natural Attenuation – continued from page 11

In summary, of the 154 releases reviewed using linear regression,67 releases possessed enough sampling data of adequatequality to be placed into categories based on the estimated timeto meet water quality standards or RBSLs and are summarizedas:

• 36 within five years;• 6 in five to ten years;• 6 in ten to twenty years; and• 19 in more than twenty years.

The remainder of the sites will continue to be evaluated as moresampling data is collected. Releases requiring more than 20 yearsto achieve cleanup standards will be reviewed to determinewhether another cleanup alternative would be more effective. Insome situations, however, any other method aside from MNAmight not be feasible or effective – for example, where residualcontamination is present in tight soils under buildings orroadways.

Petro Factoid . . . Financial Responsibility

Because cleanup of petroleum leaks can be costly, Congress wanted owners and operators ofunderground storage tanks (USTs) to demonstrate that they have the financial resources to pay thecosts of corrective action and third-party compensation that can result from leaking USTs. SubpartH of Federal UST regulations requires UST owners and operators to demonstrate this financialresponsibility. Funds assured through various allowable financial responsibility mechanismsestablish a safety net that pays for immediate and thorough corrective action when a release isdetected and before the further spread of contamination. These regulations allow many optionsthat owners or operators can use to demonstrate assurance for the required scope and amounts ofcoverage. These options include a financial test of self-insurance, a corporate guarantee, insurancecoverage, a surety bond, a letter of credit, a trust fund, a state financial assurance fund, a certificateof deposit, or a combination of these options.

The state’s financial assurance fund in Montana is the Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fundauthorized by §75-11-313, Montana Code Annotated. The legislature determined that revenue forthe fund would come from a petroleum storage tank cleanup fee paid by persons who use andreceive the benefits of petroleum products. The state fund provides a portion of the financialresponsibility, while the owner/operator remains responsible for a portion of the initial cleanupcosts, any adjustments to reimbursement due to noncompliance, and any costs exceeding the limitsof fund assistance.

It is important for owners and operators to keep records indicating that they are currently meetingtheir financial responsibility obligations. The Montana Certificate of Financial ResponsibilityForm can be filled out and retained on site to help owners/operators demonstrate their financialassurance mechanism(s) used to satisfy the financial responsibility requirements. This form isavailable on the department’s web site at:

Page 13: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Pilot Project for Groundwater Monitoring

DEQ Petroleum Technical Section (PTS) has designed apilot project to demonstrate resource savings with themobilization of a single consultant to sample groundwa-

ter at several low priority petroleum releases. The pilot projectgenerated considerable interest, with 13 environmental consult-ing companies submitting bids that ranged from $7,999.93 to$25,306.29. The winning qualified bid was from MSE TechnologyApplications, Inc., of Butte, Montana.

MSE Technology Applications, Inc. completed the samplingduring the week of July 5, 2010. Based on the analytical dataprovided, one to three release sites will be prepared and reviewedfor closure. Two additional sites will most likely require only oneadditional sampling event, with constituents below risk-basedscreening levels (RBSLs), before they can be written up forclosure. The other sites, while not yet near closure, demonstratethat natural attenuation is occurring at the sites.

The purpose of the pilot project was to demonstrate potentialcost, time, and resource savings through combining the travel,mobilization, sampling, and report writing efforts necessary tocomplete PTS-required groundwater monitoring at geographi-cally-close petroleum release sites. The sites chosen for thisproject were low priority sites where monitoring of naturalattenuation was the most appropriate action and a round offollow-up sampling might close a release site or allow it to becategorized as a long term monitoring site.

The pilot project was successful in that it demonstrated signifi-cant money savings by mobilizing one consultant to samplemultiple sites. The data indicates that all of the sites chosencontinue to attenuate naturally. Several of the sites will be writtenup for closure, and several more will most likely require only oneadditional sampling event based on trend analysis.

The release sites for the project were selected after PTS con-ducted a review of low priority release files. Once a site wasconsidered suitable, the property owners were contacted todetermine their interest in participating in the pilot project. Theimpetus for the project was due to each site having a low priority,which made it unlikely that reimbursement funds would beavailable from the Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund toconduct work in the near future. Previous work had been con-ducted at most of the sites by environmental consultants hiredby the responsible parties; however, no current work plans had

obligated funding from the Fund so unless the RP was willingto independently fund the sampling event, the consultantwould not be losing work. Once permission was granted,historical analytical data, site maps, and other pertinentinformation were compiled, consultants were contacted, and aninvestigative site visit was made in order to assess present siteconditions, locate monitoring wells, and meet with the owner.

After PTS received the bids, they were reviewed and scored bya panel of multiple staff members to ensure that all of therequired elements were included in the bid documents and toprevent bias. The items reviewed included the following:contact information; the consultant’s ability to demonstrateadequate training, qualifications and specific field experience;the consultant’s experience in conducting groundwatermonitoring for a state or federal agency project or a projectregulated by a state or federal agency; three references fromenvironmental remediation projects performed by the consult-ant; the consultant’s capability to meet the workload demandsgiven their present and projected workload; the project’sschedule; and the location of personnel and equipment.

Page 14: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter



EPA Invests $4.3M to Boost the Revitalization of Properties inMontana Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this summerawarded $4.35 million in Brownfields grants to fiveorganizations throughout Montana. These resources will

be used by communities and nonprofit organizations to advancelocally defined plans for property assessment, cleanup andredevelopment projects. The awards in Montana are among 214Brownfields grants totaling $76 million that EPA is providing toforty states and three tribes across the country.

“These resources will support dozens of assessment and cleanupprojects in communities across Montana,” said Dan Heffernan,EPA’s Brownfields coordinator in Denver. “These projects areinvestments that will create hundreds of jobs and help communi-ties transform blighted properties into assets ranging from newhousing and business opportunities to parks and trails.”

The City of Kalispell will receive a Brownfields revolving loanfund grant in the amount of $1 million. The grant will be used tocapitalize a loan fund from which the City of Kalispell will provideresources to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous sub-stances and petroleum. The city anticipates funding up to fiveprojects to advance a revitalization plan that includes redevelop-ment along abandoned railroad tracks, a park and trail system,affordable housing, and new businesses. Contact: 406-758-7713.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the FlatheadNation, with offices in Pablo, will receive a Brownfields cleanupgrant in the amount of $200,000 to remove up 2,500 cubic yards ofpetroleum-contaminated soil at the nine-acre Joseph Allotmentalong US Highway 93 in Elmo. The site was contaminated whenpetroleum was released from the former Elmo Cash Store, locatedadjacent to the Joseph Allotment. Cleanup of this site will reducethreats of exposure to petroleum and will allow the Tribe toconstruct much needed housing and support jobs and economicdevelopment in the community. Contact: 406-883-2888.

Bear Paw Development Corporation of Northern Montana, withoffices in Havre, will receive Brownfields grants totaling $1.4million. Bear Paw will use a $400,000 assessment grant to fund siteassessments and cleanup plans for properties in Hill, Chouteau,Blaine, Liberty, and Phillips Counties, along with the Rocky Boy’sIndian Reservation. An additional Brownfields revolving loanfund grant totaling $1 million will be used to address sitescontaminated with hazardous substances and petroleum. Contact:406-265-9226.

Northern Rocky Mountain Resource Conservation & Develop-ment Area, Inc., with offices in Bozeman, will receive aBrownfields assessment coalition grant in the amount of $1million. The coalition includes ten counties in central Montana,including Gallatin, Park, Judith Basin, Fergus, Golden Valley,Musselshell, Petroleum, Wheatland, Broadwater, and MeagherCounties. Grant funds will be used to perform more than fortyenvironmental site assessments and to develop site cleanupplans. One such site is an abandoned landfill in Three Forks,which sits near the headwaters of the Missouri River and will beassessed for redevelopment as a community park. Contact: 406-582-5700.

Great Northern Development Corporation, with offices in WolfPoint, will receive a Brownfields assessment coalition grant in theamount of $750,000. The coalition’s partners include the EasternPlains Economic Development Corporation, Inc., SoutheasternMontana Development Corporation, Fort Peck Tribal Office ofEnvironmental Protection, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Thecombined project area covers fifteen counties in eastern Mon-tana. EPA grant funds will be used to perform more than twentyenvironmental site assessments and develop site cleanup plans.This region contains hundreds of abandoned properties, withmany sites impacted by leaking underground storage tanks.Grants will allow sites to be redeveloped for future use, such asthe abandoned GTA Feed Plant in Glendive, which communitygroups hope to transform into a farmers market, restaurant, andmicro-brewery. Contact: 406-653-2590.

EPA’s Brownfields grants are used to assess and clean upabandoned industrial and commercial properties like deserted gasstations or closed smelters. There are an estimated 450,000abandoned and contaminated waste sites in America. Theseinvestments help leverage redevelopment, promote economicgrowth and lead to job creation.

Since its inception, EPA’s Brownfields investments have lever-aged more than $16.3 billion in cleanup and redevelopmentfunding from a variety of public and private sources and haveresulted in approximately 70,000 jobs. Brownfields grants alsotarget under-served and economically disadvantaged neighbor-hoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs aremost needed.

Page 15: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011


New After-Hours Phone Number for Petroleum Releases:(406) 324-4777

As of spring 2011, the State of Montana Disaster andEmergency Services (DES) agency has been operatinga new emergency telephone number. The new number

is (406) 324-4777, replacing (406) 841-3911.

Please use the new number, (406) 324-4777, after hours whenreporting suspected or confirmed petroleum releases.

During business hours, you should call the DEQ Leak Line at(800) 457-0568. All releases must be reported to DEQ within 24hours of being detected, as required by administrative rules.

The DES is responsible for helping Montana communitiesprepare for disasters and emergencies, and when requested,assisting with response and recovery efforts. The new numberis available 24 hours a day, reaching the main office duringnormal working hours and the staff duty officer after hours andon holidays.

Petro Factoid ... New Vapor Intrusion Guide by Montana DEQ

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has recently published a guide to assist ownersand operators of contaminated facilities and environmental consultants in evaluating potential risksfrom vapor intrusion of volatile chemicals. This guide provides recommended methods and proce-dures to investigate, evaluate, and remediate vapor intrusion for both chlorinated solvents and petro-leum products. Because vapor intrusion is a rapidly evolving science, the department anticipates peri-odically updating this guide. If anyone would like to recommend updates to future versions of thisguide please provide comments to:

Mike TrombettaMontana Department of Environmental QualityPO Box 200901Helena, MT 59620-0901(406) [email protected]

The guide can be found on the Internet at:



(800) 457-0568

You are encouraged to make these changes in your contact


(406) 324-4777replacing (406) 841-3911.

Page 16: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter



Petro Board Member Changes

Governor Brian Schweitzer has filled the two positions onthe Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board thatbecame available July 1, 2011.

Steve Sendon was reappointed to serve as a representative of thefinancial or banking industry with experience in small business orproperty loans.

Kate Cassidy has been appointed to serve as a representativewith a background in environmental regulation. Kate replacesoutgoing board member Theresa Balazicevich.

Kate and Steve’s three-year terms extend until June 30, 2014. Weappreciate their service to Montana.

The board manages the Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund.The fund was established in 1989 to provide a funding mecha-nism to address timely cleanup of tank releases.

If you would like additional information about the board or thefund, visit its web site at orcontact Terry Wadsworth at (406) 841-5092.

New Data Control Specialist for DEQ Underground StorageTank Section

W hen Dalynn Townsend decided to apply for the DataControl Specialist at the Underground Storage Tank(UST) Section, she said it was a difficult decision.

The decision was to leave her 10 month old daughter, Maya, forthe work day and re-join the workforce. A tough decision, but weare extremely happy that she is with the UST Section as our newData Control Specialist.

Now, the DEQ UST Program is benefiting from Dalynn’s data-base skills. She started as UST Data Control Specialist on July11th. Her job responsibilities include executing and developmentof queries, reports and forms (using the ones in-place andcreating others), assuring quality control, coordinating licensingand renewals for UST owners and operators and trackingtraining courses they complete. “I look forward to working withthe UST team and other DEQ sections to ensure an accurate,well maintained database,” said Dalynn.

“Dalynn is the interface between the section’s environmentalspecialists and the functioning of the database that trackscompliance, tank configurations and generates all sectioncorrespondence. To do this, she must understand the technicaloperations of an underground storage tank, our administrativerules and business processes.” says Redge Meierhenry, USTSection Supervisor. “The database is the foundation. If we don’thave a good database, we can’t do our jobs.”

Dalynn has been with the DEQ previously in the Open CutMining Section as an Administrative Assistant. However, Dalynnspent nearly eight years with Realty Data Corporation/TitleSolutions in Bradenton, Florida, working with a database thatbrought public records (both images and data) online for everycounty in Florida. She has a Business Management, Bachelor’sdegree from the University of South Florida.



Dalynn Townsend

Page 17: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

“Thank You” to Theresa Balazicevich

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality andthe Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board wouldlike to express thanks and appreciation to outgoing board

member Theresa Balazicevich for her tireless and dedicatedservice.

Theresa was appointed to the board July 27, 2005, as a represen-tative for environmental regulation. It is because of the commit-ment and hard work of people like Theresa that the state is

New Environmental Enforcement Specialist at DEQ

Travis Erny joined the DEQ in May as an EnvironmentalEnforcement Specialist in the Enforcement Division.Travis responds to underground storage tank and water

quality violations when routine compliance efforts by other DEQprograms have been exhausted. “If you’re an owner/operatorwho stays in compliance, your case won’t be hitting my desk,and that’s a good thing,” Travis said.

He also takes citizen complaints, investigates those reports, andhelps to resolve the problems. In this regard, he considers hisposition the first line of defense to protect the environment.“Some people don’t know they’re in violation or that they need apermit. It’s rewarding to help educate them and bring them intocompliance.”

In addition, Travis has been helping with the Yellowstone Riveroil spill sampling and cleanup.

Before coming to DEQ, Travis worked as an environmentalconsultant for seven years. He was with Quality EnvironmentalProfessionals, Inc., and Groundwater and EnvironmentalServices, both in Indianapolis. He earned a Bachelor of Sciencedegree in geology from the University of Southern Indiana andbecame licensed as a Professional Geologist in Indiana.

Travis says he was “bitten by the Montana bug” in 2002 whenhe attended a summer course, the Indiana University GeologicField School, in the Tobacco Root Mountains near Cardwell.After that, he visited Montana quite often on vacations, until heand his wife, Katie, decided to just move here.

“My goal has always been to improve the environment and helpconserve natural resources. I’m living the dream; doing what Iwant to do as a profession and living here in Montana with amillion dollar view around every curve in the road.”

In their free time, Travis and Katie enjoy hiking, camping,canoeing, and strolling through the Helena Farmers Market. If hehas to be indoors, Travis tracks his favorite teams, the St. LouisCardinals and Indianapolis Colts.

Please feel free to contact Travis with any questions or concerns.He can be reached at (406) 444-3937 or [email protected]

realizing the economic and environmental benefits of thePetroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund. We wish Theresa the bestin her future endeavors.

Travis Ermy

Page 18: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter



Petroleum Fund Financial Status — Through end of 4th Quarter, Fiscal Year 2011(July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011)

Total Revenue: ...................................................................................... $6,915,269Current and Prior year Claims Expenditures: ......................................... $4,836,422Total Expenditures: ................................................................................ $6,545,286Outstanding Work Waiting to be Obligated: ........................................ $ 471,538

Petroleum Releases – Through end of 4th Quarter, FY 2011(July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011)

New Releases: ................................................................................................... 36Releases Resolved (Closed): .............................................................................. 62

Summary of Total Petroleum Release ActivityTotal Confirmed Releases: .............................................................................. 4,520Total Active Releases: .................................................................................... 1,509Total Releases Resolved (Closed): ................................................................. 3,011

(Please note these “closed” numbers include sites that have been transferred to another program oragency.)

Fund and Release Status Report

T he Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)is accepting public comment on proposed amendmentsto administrative rules governing cleanup and categori-

zation of releases from petroleum storage tanks. These proposedamendments are necessary to implement Senate Bill 9, which waspassed during Montana’s 2011 legislative session. Senate Bill 9allows for establishment of a petroleum mixing zone as a finalremedial action chosen to address a petroleum release.

The public comment period closes at 5 p.m. on October 6, 2011.You may submit written comments by mail to:

Elois JohnsonMT DEQ1520 E. Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200901Helena, MT 59620-0901

By fax to (406) 444-4386; or by email to: [email protected].

Public Comment Period for Petroleum Mixing ZoneRules Amendments

The DEQ will also accept written and oral comments in a publichearing held at 10 a.m., September 28, 2011, in room 122, 1100North Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT. The DEQ will makereasonable accommodations for people with disabilities whowish to participate in this public hearing. Contact Elois Johnsonat Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 200901,Helena, Montana 59620-0901; phone (406) 444-2630; fax (406)444-4386; or e-mail [email protected] by 5:00 p.m., September19, 2011, to request an accommodation.

The notice of proposed rule amendments is published on DEQ’swebsite at:

To view or print a copy, please click on this link:

Page 19: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter


Summer 2011

Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board2011 Meeting ScheduleSeptember 12 • November 21

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Room 111 • Lee Metcalf Building1520 East Sixth Avenue • Helena, MT 59620Contact: Terry Wadsworth • (406)841-5092

[email protected]

Consultants MeetingSeptember 23 • 10 a.m.. – 12 p.m.

Montana Department of Environmental QualityRoom 122 • Last Chance Gulch Building

1100 North Last Chance Gulch • Helena, MT 59620RSVP: Janet Sanderson

(406) 841-5005 • [email protected] direct questions to:

Mike Trombetta • (406) 841-5045 [email protected]*The meeting will also be webconferenced.

Acknowledgements to those involved in the production of the summer 2011 MUST News:

Production Design:JoAnn Finn

Web Production:Dalynn Townsend

Distribution:Teresa Sturm

Contributors:Janet AdolphLaura AlveyJane AmdahlAaron AndersonKirsten BowersJohn BrownShannon CalaMary Ann DunwellScott EklundTravis ErnySue FairchildScott GestringBob GibsonSeth HendrixPaul Hicks

Jeff KuhnRedge MeierhenrySandi OlsenLisa PetersonRebecca RidenourAnn RootJanet SandersonNick SovnerAmy SteinmetzShastina SteinwedenDalynn TownsendMike TrombettaDarrick TurnerTerry Wadsworth

Page 20: Montana DEQ MUST Newsletter

MUST News Summer 2011MUST NewsMUST News

Aerial view of the Yellowstone River saturated with debris caused from flooding; andoil residue from the devastating oil spill July 1, 2011.

MUST News is a quarterly communication tool produced by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality toinform and update petroleum storage tank owners and operators, environmental consultants and others interested indevelopments about underground storage tank operation, rules, release prevention, remediation and reimbursement.