The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Storage Tank Program (STP) reported the highest underground storage tank (UST) operational compliance rates in the country to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) during federal fiscal year 2016.
STP regulates the installation and operation of regulated storage tank systems (such as gas stations) and oversees cleanup at sites impacted by eligible leaking tanks to protect Wyoming’s land and groundwater from contamination.
“The compliance numbers reflect the hard work put in by the regulated community and our program,” said Oma Gilbreth, STP Compliance Supervisor. “Our primary goal, when performing an inspection, is education; not enforcement. While enforcement is a valuable tool, education and outreach are much more effective to reach and maintain higher compliance rates.”
In addition to regular compliance inspections, the program conducts training for tank owners and operators, and assists in understanding the requirements and regulations involved with storage tanks in Wyoming.
“It is only through education, outreach, and working with the regulated community, we have been able to maintain our high compliance rates,” added Gilbreth.
According to Jay Schneiders, Chairman, Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association (WMPA), Wyoming’s petroleum marketers and retailers realize the importance of maintaining the state’s quality of life and pristine environment.
“STP has demonstrated their belief that better results can be obtained by partnering with the regulated community, as opposed to dictating,” said Schneiders. “While the industry realizes that the program has a fiduciary responsibility to assure compliance regulations are being met, the manner in which those responsibilities are exacted makes all the difference.”
Wyoming has consistently ranked near the top for UST compliance for several years.
“WPMA is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the program in achieving the lofty goal of being the number one compliance state in the country. We appreciate STP’s pragmatism and extra effort in working with our industry,” added Schneiders.