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Pont to Point Environmental Assists With Georgia EPD Online System (GEOS) System Setup

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has created an online portal to allow the regulated community to access and submit documents online. The Georgia EPD Online System (GEOS) will soon be the tool you will need to interact with the Georgia EPD for all applications, documents and fee payments. For owners and operators of underground storage tank (UST) systems this will include everything from the Annual Tank Registration (ATR) to Environmental Assurance Fee (EAF) payments and submission of environmental corrective action reporting.Use of the GEOS online access website will not be voluntary; all UST owners and operators will be required to utilize the GEOS web based platform for doing business with the Georgia EPD.

The EPD will be phasing out paper submissions as well as the current online ATR website in favor of the new GEOS structure.

 

The EPD has created the GEOS portal as the method to eliminate paper submissions and modernize the procedures used to regulate industry. The GEOS website has already begun operation and is currently requiring online submission of permitting and documentation for authorized discharges to air and surface water across Georgia. The regulated community operating under these permits has been required to establish an online user account, apply for environmental permits, certificates and other licenses, submit reports, and receive e-mail notifications and alerts from the EPD, all through the GEOS online portal. All of these tasks will soon be required of the UST community as well. The EPD has not yet established the rollout date for UST owners and operators. However, the EPD has indicated that by the end of 2017 all new ATR and other business with the EPD will be handled by the GEOS website.

 

Point to Point Environmental (P2P) has always assisted our clients with regulatory interface with the Georgia EPD, including the preparation of compliance documentation and environmental corrective action activities. P2P works hard to stay abreast of all environmental regulations so that we can best advise our clients and navigate the web of guidelines. Point to Point Environmental understands that computer and web based reporting can present challenges to many facility owners. Point to Point personnel have been trained in the Georgia EPD’s new GEOS online permitting and reporting service and our staff have the technical knowledge and experience to assist. We are fully prepared to help our clients with setup and operations within the GEOS system. Point to Point would like to offer our services to assist your company with training and setup on the GEOS system. An experienced P2P environmental professional can come to your office or facility and assist you with the setup and completion within the GEOS system. We will perform the training in your offices and assist you and your employees to setup GEOS accounts and your facility information on your computer equipment. P2P is committed to assisting the UST community with the initial phase of this new process while positioning your company for long term ease of use in a cost effective manner.

 

While the new GEOS platform may appear to be just another burdensome task, Point to Point knows that no challenge is insurmountable. Point to Point Environmental can assist you with the analysis of your particular preliminary needs and develop a plan to satisfy your company’s long term requirements. Please call Mark Faas of Point to Point Environmental at (678) 565-4440 to discuss your particular situation.

Environmental Policy for Community Banks

Does your Community Bank Have an Environmental Policy?

 

Point to Point Environmental Provides Suggestions for Outlining or Refining Your Policy

 
The commercial real estate market continues to mature, possibly bringing new opportunities to your bank’s doorstep for writing loans on agricultural, commercial and industrial properties. Your loan officers are experienced at evaluating risks and credit worthiness, but does your bank have an outlined environmental risk management policy? How does your loan officer determine when a loan may need additional background research? What is guiding your loan officers in evaluating the risks associated with loans for agricultural, commercial and industrial properties? Financing a property transaction that involves these types of historical uses does not need to be a challenge. A defined environmental policy can assist your bank in evaluating and managing environmental risks while satisfying regulatory requirements.

 

An environmental policy should be a living document that can change with both regulatory and business climates. It should be tailored to the lending services your bank offers. Point to Point Environmental specializes in providing community banks like yours with drafting or refining environmental policies as well as effectively managing environmental risk. Click here to read more or contact Mark Faas at Point to Point Environmental via email at mfaas@p2penvironmental.com.

Underground Storage Tank (UST) Removal and In-Place Closure

When a plot of land has an underground storage tank (UST) that needs to be removed, as so often is the case with former service station lots and similar businesses, a UST removal or in-place closure becomes necessary should the land be repurposed by its new owners. Service stations close all the time, and these lots aren’t destined to go vacant forever, so buyers of these properties should always take into consideration whether they plan to use the storage tanks or if the underground storage tanks should be removed or closed in place so the land can be used for another purpose.
Underground Storage Tank (UST) Removal and In-Place Closure
Follow this link for more information on Underground Storage Tank (UST) Removal.

 

When an in-place closure is needed the following steps will need to be followed:

 

1. DRAINING – The underground storage tank will first need to be completely drained of all remaining liquid or sludge, and this should always be done safely as well as in accordance with any federal, state and/or local laws and regulations.

 

2. CREATE OPENINGS – After the underground storage tank has been properly drained, openings will need to be created in order to fill the storage tank with a solid and safe material.

 

3. FILLING – Once the underground storage tank has been properly drained and openings have been created, the tank can be filled with an inert material. Often, the materials used to fill the tank are sand, concrete, a foaming agent, or flowable ash.

 

4. REMOVE SUPPLY – After the storage tank has been filled, it will then be ready for capping off and/or removing the supply lines that once were used to fill the tank with oil, gasoline, or any other liquid which the underground storage tank may have contained.

 

5. REMOVE VENTS – After the supply lines have been removed, the above-ground vents which once allowed the underground storage tank to vent any vapors which may have accumulated, can be removed.

 

6. REMOVE FILL PIPE – Along with the supply lines and vents, the supply pipe will also need to be removed as the storage tank will no longer be receiving a supply of liquid.

 

7. BACKFILLING – Once the underground storage tank has been filled, and all parts have been removed, the area can be backfilled.

 

If you plan to remove an underground storage tank (UST) or perform an in-place closure, it is important to have an environmental professional on hand to make sure that all steps are being performed in accordance with federal, state and/or local law as well as to ensure that the entire process is managed in an environmentally safe way. At Point to Point Environmental, our environmental scientists are skilled in all aspects of in-place closures as well as UST removals. For more information or to schedule a UST removal or in-place closure contact us today.

For more information on USTs visit the GA Environmental Protection Division’s website here – Underground Storage Tanks.

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment – What does a Phase 1 ESA involve?

The best way to get acquainted with a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) is to be guided through the process, as this will allow you to learn more about just what is being considered during this environmental site assessment as well as what environmental professionals do in order to ensure your property remains environmentally safe for all of your future uses.

 
Phase I Environmental Site Assessement - Phase 1 ESA
 

First and foremost, these types of environmental site assessments should only be performed by a qualified environmental professional, such as our environmental scientists at Point to Point Environmental. Choosing a trained environmental professional will give you the confidence that your environmental site assessment has been performed thoroughly and in accordance with industry standards.

 

The first step in a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (Phase 1 ESA) is a review of all historical records involving the property or plot of land. By reviewing these records, an environmental professional will be able to get a clearer picture of just what the plot of land has been used for throughout time, as well as any occurrences which may hint towards a potential environmental hazard which may have occurred in the past, or could occur in the near future.

 

Once the historical records have been thoroughly reviewed, it will then be time for the environmental scientist or other environmental professional to inspect the site and address any concerns he or she may have. If no recognized environmental concerns (RECs) are present from searching through the historical records, the area will still be looked over carefully to ensure no hazardous surprises are found. During this step of the environmental site assessment process, the environmental professional can teach you a great deal about the land you’re looking to purchase or develop, as the entire site will receive a thorough inspection.

 

After the site inspection has been performed, the environmental professional will then go about interviewing former owners of the land, neighbors and local government officials to ensure the property is environmentally sound for building or developing. This part of the process can provide information that on-site inspections and record research cannot, providing a new insight into the history of that particular plot of land that is sometimes only known that those who have lived on or near it.

 

At Point to Point Environmental, we can perform all types of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Our qualified environmental professionals will make sure your next Phase I ESA is completed in a timely manner and to the highest standards. We also offer Phase II Environmental Site Assessments as well as Corrective Action Plans – Parts A & B.

Low Flashpoint Diesel Fuel

WHAT COULD BE CAUSING LOW FLASHPOINT DIESEL FUEL?
 
The 2005 renewable fuels standards and the changes to vehicle emissions standards in 2006 have brought with them numerous trials. These hardships are daily challenges to those in the petroleum fuels industry. Though you may have been successfully (and grudgingly) surmounting the challenges related to ethanol blended gasoline, ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) and biodiesel blended fuels, these problems can recur all too often here in the south, especially during periods of heavy rainfall like we have been experiencing this spring.
 
Point to Point Environmental has recently learned about widespread problems with low flashpoint diesel fuel across the state. Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture have required several retailers to remove and replace diesel fuel with a flashpoint that tests too low. Flash point is important from a fuel handling safety standpoint, as lower flashpoint fuels are a greater risk for potential fire hazard. Could your low flashpoint diesel fuel be a result of contamination with gasoline or ethanol?
  bacteria-oil
Problems with water in ethanol blended gasoline storage systems are well documented, and you have most likely already discovered, replaced and repaired every leaking seal and fitting over the past several years to prevent water intrusion. Ethanol and water mixtures are a great environment for acetic acid producing bacteria to grow, and acetic acid can be very corrosive to metallic components in your fueling system. While you may have become diligent about safeguarding against water intrusion into you ethanol blended gasoline storage systems, there is still some tolerance for water in diesel storage systems. Unfortunately, you may have also learned the hard way about accelerated corrosion of metallic components in ULSD dispensing systems as a result of water and ethanol intrusion.
 
Though common across the industry, the practice of switch loading is often suspected to be the source for cross contamination among fuel types. Following offloading of ethanol blended gasoline, is there any residual ethanol blended gasoline remaining in the truck’s fuel compartments when a load of diesel fuel is picked up at the terminal? Fuel transporters utilize trucks that deliver gasoline one day and may deliver a load of diesel fuel the next (switchloading). While it may be a small volume, this potential source of ethanol contamination in diesel fuel has been documented to build up in a diesel storage systems and create the environment for the acetic acid producing bacteria to grow, causing accelerated corrosion. This same phenomena could be the source of gasoline and ethanol contamination in diesel fuels, resulting in the low flashpoint diesel fuel.
 
Another potential source of cross contamination is the manifolded vent systems common in Stage I EVR systems. If a diesel fuel storage tank is connected to a gasoline storage tank via a vent line manifold, in warm and humid environments like that of a Georgia spring, ethanol and gasoline vapors may disperse throughout a fueling system creating just enough cross contamination to lower the diesel fuel flashpoint. How do you truly know if this cross contamination is your problem causing low flashpoint diesel fuel?
 Discrete samplers
An approximate percentage of gasoline contamination may be determined by comparing the distillation range with typical diesel fuel. Point to Point Environmental provides fuel sampling and analysis services to fit any of your needs. We design a fuel sampling and analysis program utilizing the latest industry knowledge and sound advice from experts. Point to Point Environmental will employ variable sampling points as applicable to optimize the detection of contaminants and overall characterization of the fuel. Please contact Point to Point Environmental should you have any questions regarding low flashpoint diesel fuel, fuel quality sampling, fuel treatment, or fuel maintenance at 678-565-4440.

Buying and Selling A Former Service Station Property

Service station properties can be a highly lucrative choice for those looking to buy for commercial purposes, but there are many things which need to be taken into consideration when either buying or selling a service station property. First and foremost, former service stations will often have underground storage tanks or storage tank systems which they use to fuel the gasoline pumps used by customers. These underground storage tanks or storage tank systems should be the first consideration in a person’s mind when they deciding to buy or sell a service station property.

Buying and Selling A Former Service Station Property

 

If one is purchasing one of these properties, it is important to hire an environmental professional with experience in environmental assessments in order to inspect the site and make sure it is fit for use. If the underground storage tanks or storage tank systems aren’t fit for use for any reason, or if you wish to use the land for another purpose, further steps should be considered in order to secure the property and make it environmentally sound once again. Underground storage tanks and storage tank systems which go into disrepair from either neglect or spending too much time temporarily out of use can cause hazardous liquids such as oil or gasoline to leak into the ground surrounding the area, putting the local environment, as well as the local wildlife and human population, at risk.

 

Also, if you’re planning to sell a former service station property, an environmental professional experienced in environmental site assessments and compliance should be hired to inspect the area for the same reasons listed above for buyers. In an effort to provide buyers with the means to know just what they are getting with they purchase the property, having the underground storage tanks or storage tank systems, as well as the surrounding land, inspected can give the buyer peace of mind knowing the exact condition of the property they are about to purchase. It is also important to understand, as the current owner of a former service station property all regulation and requirements in regards to Compliance Audits and Facility Inspections. Point to Point Environmental has extensive experience in helping our clients remain compliant or achieve compliance should a particular property fail inspection.

 

At Point to Point Environmental, we can inspect former service stations and provide you with the compliance and environmental information you need to effectively and efficiently buy or sell former service station properties. If you have a former service station lot that you’re looking to purchase or sell contact us today to learn more about how Point to Point Environmental can best serve your underground storage tank environmental needs.

Ethanol Contamination In Diesel Fuel and Accelerated Corrosion Issues

With the introduction of new additives in today’s fuel, some underground storage tanks or storage tank systems are experiencing corrosion issues typically found after multiple decades of use, but where the problem really lies is that this corrosion is happening in a matter of months. In instances such as these, this can place these tanks or tank systems at a huge risk for causing an environmental contamination or hazard, and they should be inspected regularly to ensure the contamination risk is minimized.

 

This problem is most often found with the new ultra-low sulfur diesel varieties which were introduced in 2007, and this prompted testing to be done on the fuel to find just what was causing the corrosion. What experts found was that the ethanol contamination present in the ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is not a corrosive material in and of itself, was combining with water to create a super food for a type of bacteria called acetobacter.

 

When the bacteria consume their ethanol mixture super food, they oxidize these materials and turn them into the highly corrosive acetic acid, which will then wreak havoc on the carbon steel so often used in underground storage tanks or storage tank systems. What many service station owners found was that the amount of corrosion they would normally find in a 20 to 30 year period was occurring at a highly accelerated rate of 30 to 60 days, causing them to become at risk for an environmental contamination situation.

 

This isn’t a problem that is occurring in a widespread fashion across the United States, and one pattern has been found that shows this corrosion is likely to occur in underground storage tanks and storage tank systems which share vent systems with other storage tanks or storage tank systems holding gasoline. Many environmental experts believe the back feed from the ventilation systems are contributing to this corrosion, and it may be avoided if separate ventilation systems are installed. The common practice of switch loading in compartmentalized tankers may also contribute to fuel cross contamination.
Ethanol Contamination of an Underground Storage Tank Removal

 

For service station owners looking to avoid this problem of corrosion, new ventilation systems may need to be installed to separate the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel from the gasoline’s fumes, and in order for this to be done, an environmental professional, skilled in tank system compliance, should be brought in to inspect the area and oversee the process.

 

If you believe your underground storage tanks or storage tank systems are at risk, contact Point to Point Environmental today to learn more about our environmental and tank system compliance services.