Environmental Consultant Chicago

What Must You Do About a UST Release?

UST ReleaseWarning Signals indicate that your UST may be leaking and creating problems for the environment and your business. You can minimize these problems by paying careful attention to early warning signals and reacting quickly before major problems develop.

In dealing with a suspected UST Release or Fuel Spill in Illinois, you should observe these warning signals:

  • Unusual operating conditions. Check first to see if the problem results from equipment failure that can be repaired.  Remember to remove any liquid not used for interstitial monitoring from the interstitial space of the secondarily contained systems.

  • Results from release detection monitoring and testing that indicate a release.  What at first appears to be a release may be a result of faulty equipment that is part of your UST system or its release detection.  Check this equipment carefully for failures.

If you investigate an unusual operating condition or release detection alarm and determine a release has not occurred, you do not need to report a suspected release as long as you immediately fix the problem.  Otherwise, you need to call your implementing agency and report the suspected release.  In the state of Illinois the two agencies that have to be notified are the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Illinois EPA.  Then find out quickly if the suspected release is an actual release.  Use these investigative steps:

  • Conduct tightness testing or interstitial integrity testing of the entire UST system.

  • Check the site for additional information on the presence and source of contamination.

If the system tests and site checks confirm that a release has occurred, follow the actions for responding to confirmed releases described below.

You must also respond quickly to any evidence of released petroleum that appears at or near your site.  For example, neighbors might tell you they smell petroleum vapors in their basements or taste petroleum in their drinking water.  If evidence of this type is discovered, you must report this discovery immediately to your implementing agency and take the investigative steps and follow up actions noted above.

Your action action to confirmed releases comes in two stages: short term and long term.

Short-Term Actions for a UST Release (Fuel Spill in Illinois)

  • Take immediate action to stop and contain the release.

  • Report the release to your implementing agency within 24 hours or the time frame required by your implementing agency.  However, petroleum spills and overfills of less than 25 gallons do not have to be reported if you immediately contain and clean up the releases.

  • Make sure the release poses no immediate hazard to human health and safety by removing explosive vapors and fire hazards.  Your fire department should be able to help or advise you with this task.  You must also make sure you handle contaminated soil properly so that is poses no hazard, for example, from vapors or direct contact.

  • If necessary, remove petroleum from UST system to prevent further release into the environment.  How do I remove petroleum from my UST system? Hiring a qualified and experienced environmental consultant is the first step.

  • Find out how far the petroleum has moved and begin to recover the released petroleum, such as product floating on the water table. Report your progress and any information you collect to your implementing agency no later than 20 days after confirming a release.

  • Investigate to determine if the release has damaged or might damage the environment.  This investigation must determine the extent of contamination both in soils and groundwater. You must report to your implementing agency what you have learned from an investigation of your site according to the schedule established by your implementing agency. At the same time, you must also submit a report explaining how you plan to clean up the site.  Additional site studies may be required.

Long-Term Actions for a UST Release (Fuel Spill in Illinois)

Based on the information you provide, your implementing agency will decide if you must take further action at your site.  You may need to take two more actions:

  • Develop and submit a corrective action plan that shows how you will meet requirements established for your site by your implementing agency.

  • Make sure you implement the actions approved by your implementing agency for your site.

Fuel Spill in Illinois
Soil Borings to determine if there is a UST Release









Hiring the correct company to assess your situation is very important.  In many cases preforming an environmental site assessment is the next course of action. One option that should not be explored is ignoring a Fuel Spill in Illinois, as covering up the problem may be worse than the spill itself.

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