Exclusive Industry Report: Top 10 UST Compliance Violations

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Exclusive Industry Report: Top 10 UST Compliance Violations

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In-depth analysis helps c-stores and fuel retailers  
understand risks and costs regarding common Notices of Violation (NOVs) 
Compliance eBook by Leighton O'Brien for Cstores in USA
“C” Where it Hurts by Leighton O’Brien

From huge volumes of record keeping and constant reporting deadlines to inspections, coordinating test vendors and taking corrective action, managing UST compliance is a constant mix of moving pieces. 
 
Failure to manage all these areas creates the potential for EPA violations, which can result in substantial financial impacts and be a huge drain on already strained resources to resolve. 
 
While not all compliance issues result in a Notice of Violation, and not all NOVs lead to fines or other penalties, understanding the most common reasons for NOVs can provide valuable insights into key risks or challenges facing C-store compliance leaders today. 
 
Our Senior Director of Product, Clay Moore, delved into the data to uncover the Top 10 UST NOVs based on a statistical review of almost 125,000 unresolved (open) NOVs from publicly available US EPA data in October 2022 across five representative U.S. states: Texas, California, New York, Illinois and Arizona.

Insights from state officials and major C-store compliance directors provided additional context as part of a comprehensive report titled ‘“C” Where it Hurts: Top 10 UST Compliance Violations and their Potential Risks and Costs for your Convenience Store’. 
 
This industry-first study is designed to help compliance managers and business leaders understand the most frequent causes and cost of violations to facilitate focused, effective management of their own compliance programs, and in turn reduce business cost. 
 
The analysis reveals fuel releases from USTs do not rank among the most common causes of UST compliance violations. The vast majority of Notices of Violation (NOVs) actually stem from failing to meet requirements related to documentation, reporting and measures designed to prevent UST releases. 
 
“The research clearly shows you may be passing release detection but failing compliance overall,” Clay said. “Surprisingly, the research also shows more severe violations, including red tag removal and use of out-of-service tanks, ranking in the top 10, indicating potential flagrant breaches of compliance obligations. 
 
“The research reaffirms the fact that the investment needed to manage compliance effectively is far less than the cost, time and difficulty of receiving and resolving compliance violations,” he said. 
 
The report also includes the associated potential penalties for each NOV, a severity scale in terms of the risk and cost to resolve, impacts of non-compliance and best practices to manage compliance with confidence. 
 
“We hope the industry finds this report a valuable and useful resource that provides some guidance on what we’re all striving to achieve: safe operations with zero violations at minimal cost,” Clay said.  
 

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