by Chrissie Dawson
Project Manager

Join EI as we discuss STI AST SP001 External Tank Inspections in a three-part blog series. Topics will include what an STI AST SP001 External Tank Inspection is, why you may need one, some potential risks of not having one, and how often the inspections are needed.

The series will be rolled-out as follows:

Week 1 – What Exactly is an STI AST SP001 External Tank Inspection and Do I Need One?

Week 2  What Industries Typically Use ASTs?

Week 3 – How Do I Determine How Often I Need an STI AST SP001 External Tank Inspection and Find a Certified Inspector?

The industries that typically use aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are numerous; however, they can be summarized as being those that typically store liquids including petroleum products, chemicals and other hazardous materials and wastes.  Industries will often choose to utilize ASTs due to their convenience, accessibility and relative ease of installation compared to underground storage tanks.

Some industries that commonly use ASTs to store petroleum products include the oil and gas industry, petroleum refineries, the petrochemical industry, fuel distribution and marketing, the aviation industry, the marine industry, emergency services and many different industrial facilities such as manufacturing plants, power generation stations and chemical processing plants.  ASTs are also often used for commercial and residential heating. 

Companies involved in the production of chemicals require ASTs to store raw materials and intermediate and finished products.  While there are numerous industries to consider, some of the more common industries include pharmaceuticals, water treatment plants, power generation, mining, textiles, pulp and paper mills, plastics and polymers manufacturers, automotive manufacturers and supplies, and power plants.

Industries storing hazardous waste(s) on-site will often select to store those waste(s) in ASTs.  Hazardous waste refers to substances that pose a threat to human health and the environment due to their toxicity, reactivity, flammability, corrosiveness or other hazardous properties.  It is common for industries to use hazardous wastes including solvents, acids, bases, chemical byproducts, hazardous liquids including waste oils, hazardous cleaning agents, and liquid from industrial processes, hazardous sludges from wastewater treatment and residues from chemical reactions and manufacturing processes.

My facility has an SPCC Plan, how does that relate to STI AST SP001 External Tank Inspections?
The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan is a regulatory requirement enforced by the US EPA for facilities that store certain quantities of oil and oil products.  The goal of the SPCC plan is to prevent oil spills and releases that could reach navigable water or adjoining shorelines.  The SPCC plan involves identifying potential risks, implementing preventive measures and establishing response procedures.  Regular tank inspections recommended by STI AST SP001 help assess the structural condition of tanks that may contain oil and oil byproducts, and as such, are crucial in determining if tanks are likely to leak or fail, resulting in an oil release.  Based on this relationship, it is certain that STI AST SP001 External Tank Inspections should be incorporated into SPCC planning and development.

How We Can Help
It is vital that ASTs be inspected per the STI SP001 standard to ensure the structural integrity of the tank in order to prevent leaks or spills, and to address any potential corrosion or damage that could lead to environmental contamination and risks to human health and safety like that seen in Livonia, Michigan and Charleston, West Virginia. For more information regarding tank inspections and other environmental concerns, contact Chrissie Dawson at (502) 443-2455 or [email protected].