Petroleum Storage Tanks


An underground storage tank (UST) system is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. The federal UST regulations apply only to UST systems storing either petroleum or certain hazardous substances.

Federal law requires UST owners to register all USTs storing regulated substances that are brought into use after May 8, 1986, or USTs in the ground as of May 8, 1986 that have stored regulated substances at any time since January 1, 1974.

Owners or operators of regulated USTs must register within 30 days of the date on which an UST system has been brought into service, acquired by a new owner, operator, or property owner, changed financial assurance mechanism, or had a UST system modification (includes an upgrade, temporary closure, repair and/or replacement). Any person who sells a tank intended to be used as a UST must notify the purchaser of these notification obligations.

Golars offers wide range of services for properties with current or former underground storage tanks.

According to the Nation Association of Convenience Store Associations, around 122,000 convenience stores in the US sell fuel.  There are about 75,640 single store operators.  Below are some the states with most stores.

  • Texas – 15,856 stores
  • California – 11,990 stores
  • Florida – 9,811
  • New York – 8,489
  • Georgia – 6,668
  • North Carolina – 6,024
  • Ohio – 5,635
  • Michigan – 4,917
  • Pennsylvania – 4,754
  • Illinois – 4,715

Thousands of tanks leak every year, and Golars assists clients in meeting their regulatory obligations.  Over 99% of our clients receive third party funding to perform environmental remediation and we have over 99% client retention.

Golars offers full-service compliance management services to assist clients in keeping up with constant changes in the regulatory environment.

  • Has your site been inspected by the state, local or federal regulator?
  • Have you ever received a violation from the regulator?
  • Have you ever been denied coverage for remediation because of your compliance?
  • Have you ever signed an enforcement order?
  • Has your fuel delivery been suspended?

If any of these matters sound familiar to you, we can help!!!  We are experts in UST compliance.

According to National Association of Convenience Stores, there are approximately 122,000 convenience stores in the United States that sell fuel.

Golars is leader in compliance management and assist clients in meeting their regulatory obligations.  Thousands of tanks leak every year and compliance has become a major area of focus, to determine funding for clean-ups.

  • Compliance Testing

    All Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) are required to be tested on a regular basis.  The regulations vary from facility to facility and Golars can provide comprehensive testing which include the following:

    Line Tightness and Leak Detector

    Line tightness and leak detector tests are required to be performed every year. There are two types of Leak Detectors.

    Automatic Line Leak Detector (ALLD)

    ALLD is an electronic/mechanical device designed to detect a catastrophic leak from pressurized piping. When a leak is detected, automatic LLDs must shut off the product flow, restrict the product flow, or trigger an audible or visual alarm

    Mechanical Line Leak Detectors (MLLDs)

    MLLDs are installed on submersible turbine pump (STP) head and has no wiring connections. The pump must start against a closed valve to allow pressure to build in the line sufficiently to allow the line leak detector to open and flow. If pressure does not build in the line properly (due to leaking product), then the mechanical line leak detector trips and restricts the pump flow Line Tightness Testing USTs with pressurized piping with MLLD installed must conduct the test at least annually USTs with non-safe – suction with foot valve/in-line check valve must conduct a line tightness test every three years (American Suction) If you have safe suction piping with a check valve immediately below the dispensing unit, no tightness testing is required (European Suction)

    Interstitial Monitoring

    Interstitial monitoring is a method of leak detection to check for the presence of liquid between the two walls of double walled tank or piping systems.

    Tank Tightness

    Tank tightness testing (also known as precision testing or integrity testing) is an analytical method that determines if a tank leaks in quantities at least as small as 0.1 gallons per hour (gph).

    Generally, technicians come on-site to conduct this test with mobile equipment, although some automatic tank gauges have been certified to perform tightness tests.

    Cathodic Protection

    Cathodic Protection (CP) which is also known as corrosion protection applies to steel tank systems and steel piping. Without cathodic protection, underground metal tank/pipe systems will corrode (create small holes) and may allow the product to leak into the environment. Also, the UST components made from metal that are in contact with the ground (and routinely contain regulated substances) must have corrosion protection.

    One way to protect underground storage tank system components from corrosion is to make them with non-metallic/non-corrodible materials such as USTs that are made of clad steel/jacketed steel/fiberglass reinforced plastic.

    Tank Internal Lining

    Internal Lining is a thick layer of non-corrodible material lined inside the tank for corrosion protection  and must have passed an internal lining inspection within 10 years of installation of the internal lining and every five years after that to make sure that the lining is sound.

    Automatic Tank Gauge

    An automatic tank gauge (ATG) system consists of a probe permanently installed in a tank and wired to a monitor to provide information on product level and temperature. ATG system automatically calculates the changes in product volume that can indicate a leaking tank. It also prints out the results of the test, usually “pass” or “fail”.

    Owners/Operators are required to inspect and test the release detection system every year in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements. At a minimum, test the alarm, battery back-up, and verify the system configuration.

    For probes and sensors, you must inspect for residual build-up, ensure floats move freely, ensure the shaft is not damaged, ensure accessible cables are free of kinks and breaks, and test alarm operability and communication with controller.

    Spill Prevention Equipment

    Spill Prevention devices are used at fill pipes to prevent small drips/spills from entering the environment. The most common spill prevention device is a spill bucket.

    Spill Bucket/Catchment Basin is a liquid tight container that surrounds the fill pipes to prevent small drips/spills from delivery hose that may occur during a delivery. Any tank filled with 25 gallons or more at one time must have spill prevention.

    Overfill Protection

    Overfill protection are devices that either shut off product flow, restrict product flow or alert the delivery operator with an alarm when the tank is close to being full. These devices are installed inside the tank and activate if the product in the UST reaches a certain level in the tank

    The three most common types of overfill protection devices are automatic shutoff devices,  overfill alarms, and Ball float valves/Float vent valve.  Ball float valves cannot be installed or replaced for use as overfill protection after September 1, 2017.

    Containment Sumps

    Containment sumps have sides and a bottom, are designed to be liquid tight, and may have a special cover designed to keep out water.

    Submersible Turbine Sumps (STP) are designed to provide access to the turbine area above the tank. The turbine area may house the submersible turbine pump head, piping, line leak detectors, interstitial monitoring devices, wiring, and other equipment.

    Under-Dispenser Containment Sumps (UDCs) are usually made of fiberglass, steel/HDPE (plastic). Dispenser sumps are designed to provide access to piping, flex connectors, shear valves, and other equipment located beneath the dispenser. They are found directly under dispensers and are designed to contain any leaks from the dispenser piping.

  • Financial Responsibility/Pollution Liability Coverage

    Golars offers Financial Responsibility/Pollution Liability Coverage for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs), customized for our client’s needs.

    An owner or operator of 1 to 100 underground storage tanks (UST) must provide proof of financial responsibility.  Financial responsibility is the demonstrated capability to pay for remediating potential damage to the environment or compensating third parties for the costs of damages.

    GolarsTank provides the best and most cost-effective financial responsibility coverage in the market. The policy was specifically designed for GolarsTank clients by focusing on increasing client’s eligibility when there is a release.

  • Operator Training

    Golars offers operator training to all our clients.  We offer the following training services:

    • Operator A

    GA Class A operator is an owner or legal designee with primary responsibility to operate and maintain their UST system. As an UST owner or designated facility holder, it is your legal responsibility to comply with all federal and state requirements for proper UST management and cleanup.

    • Operator B

    GClass B operators are individuals who implement day-to-day aspects of operating, maintaining and record keeping for underground storage tanks (USTs) at one (1) or more facilities. The Class B Operator will monitor and maintain the UST system.

    • Operator C

    GThe UST system day to day responsibilities involves emergency response procedures, compliance reporting and record keeping.

    Class C operators’ responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

    • Procedures for spill and overfill protection during delivery of a regulated substance
    • Operation and location of emergency shut-off systems and UST system circuit breakers
    • Appropriate responses and documentation to all alarms
    • General knowledge of reporting requirements of leaks, spills, and releases
    • All site-specific emergency response and contingency plans (including situations posing an immediate danger or threat to the public or to the environment that requires immediate action)
    • The names and contact information of emergency personnel General knowledge of corrosion protection and release detection, specific to your facility’s UST system
    • Appropriate responses and documents of reports from the public of damaged equipment or unusual operating conditions

  • 1-Stop-Shop for UST Compliance

    We just don’t give you software, we do all the paperwork for you too.

    Golars uses State of Art compliance software built on Salesforce Platform to manage your compliance. You just give us site information, we will do all the paperwork for you.

    Why is this important?

    Regulations are cumbersome, paperwork is burdensome and often changes.  As property owner/operator, we want to make sure you have time to do things that are important to you.

    Most of our clients prefer us to complete all paperwork and we implemented this throughout the company.  Especially, this is very useful for clients that have several facilities.

  • Regulatory Liaison

    Dealing with Federal, State and local agencies is very hard, they have their own way of doing things.  Our experienced staff works with several agencies on a regular basis and we know what they look for and we provide the right information.

    Effectively working with regulators is important for a regulated site.

  • Site Inspection

    Golars performs site inspections on a regular basis and can customize inspections based on project requirement.  Most site inspections are performed monthly.

    Monthly inspections generally cover the following, customized to each site:

    • Spill prevention equipment
    • Fill pipes
    • Interstitial monitoring
    • Release detection equipment
    • Owner/operator can monitor their release detection systems remotely
    • Sire records

    The inspection records are kept for at least one year.

  • Golars Tank APP

    It is important for you to have access to your facility records 24/7, we made that happen.  It is also important to know your fuel levels and when there is a leak in tanks.

    Both via web at and GolarsTank App (Apple Store/Google Store) you can check your site documents, fuel levels, checks tank status, check alarms right from the comfort of your phone.  Our software provides live site data by connecting to your tank monitor.

Golars specializes in assisting clients with financing real estate.  Environmental reports play a major role in financing of all regulated properties.

Several clients have incurred thousands in loan expenses only to realize they have environmental condition at their property and could not get their loans processed.

Golars offers low-cost desktop screening to identify potential environmental conditions on the property.  This is limited in nature but can be helpful in identifying environmental conditions in advance.  Golars recommend clients having the environmental data before proceeding with financing, to avoid unforeseen delays at a later stage.

This is typically done prior to completing Phase I Environmental Site Assessment by the lending agency.

Golars perform Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) throughout the country on every conceivable property type from raw land to industrial, office, retail, multi-family, and mixed-use buildings.

The purpose for having the Phase I ESA performed is to satisfy one of the requirements to qualify for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations on CERCLA liability (hereinafter landowner liability protections or LLPs).

The scope of Phase I ESA will include records review, reconnaissance, interviews, and preparation of a report.

Our experienced staff can assist clients in minimizing the legal, financial, and environmental liabilities and manage regulatory compliance in real estate transactions.

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is usually required when an environmental condition is discovered during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment or when additional environmental testing is recommended because of site conditions.

The intent of the assessment is to screen soils and groundwater for potential contamination due to the historical use of the property.

The following activities are performed during Phase II ESA:

  • Underground utilities locating
  • Installation of soil borings and groundwater monitoring wells
  • Field screening to identify contaminants of concern
  • Soil and groundwater sample collection for laboratory analysis
  • Documentation, report preparation and recommendations

Phase II ESA plays a major role in determining the path forward for the property.

Golars has teamed up with several private investors specializing in acquisition of commercial properties containing dry cleaner facilities.  We assist several private investors in performing due diligence for their acquisition.

Over 1,000,000 sq.ft of commercial space was acquired through 2019 where Golars performed diligence.  Because of continued demand in commercial, logistics and warehousing space their appears to be large appetite in acquiring real estate.

Golars assists property owners in ensuring they maximize the value of the real estate, this is what makes Golars a unique company in the market.

Releases from petroleum underground storage tank systems are not uncommon in the industry. Golars expert engineers, geologists and scientists can respond to the specific needs of the project, managing the environmental investigation and remediation with minimal disturbance to the existing operations, and assist in the following areas:

  • Initial release action and reporting
  • Emergency response
  • UST system removals and closure
  • Soil and groundwater investigation to delineate on-site and off-site subsurface contamination
  • Corrective action of soil and groundwater contamination
  • Third party funding

Golars personnel have extensive experience in providing consultation with federal, state and local regulators, voluntary remediation programs, and Brownfield programs, and provide site investigations, health risk assessments, risk prioritization and analysis of Brownfield cleanup alternatives to maximize public-private investment dollars.

  • Insurance Recovery

    Golars is market leader in insurance recovery, we are in fact the best in the industry.

    Digging up the details of historical insurance coverage is a critical first step in minimizing the company’s direct exposure and securing valuable coverage that may be far more than just a thing of the past.  Companies may be able to seek recovery from their historic insurance policies to help provide defense and indemnity coverage for claims they face.  These policies can be a significant contingent asset, but, if an appreciable amount of time has passed, a policyholder may lack sufficient information about the policies to make a valid claim.

    Our experts conduct insurance archaeology research to identify and locate the policies or evidence of those policies.  Our approach begins with the most cost-effective tasks and, as necessary, proceeds to include additional effort.  Information sources include other policies, accounting and financial records, various archives, and employees. Our efforts often can locate policies or other evidence of coverage, which can place a policyholder in a stronger position to make use of the insurance asset.

    Many companies and organizations face mass tort and complex liabilities that significantly affect their financial outlook.   Allegations surrounding these types of liabilities can span decades and include “long-tail” exposures.

    Golars is a trusted adviser to help you reduce environmental risk and achieve your business goals

  • Environmental Clean-up loans

    Potential environmental problems on collateral property represent one of a commercial lender’s largest risk exposures. The discovery of previously unknown contamination can cause a property’s value to plummet, while simultaneously entailing remediation costs far in excess of any remaining value derived from the property. These costs can quickly become the lender’s problem when the borrower defaults on the loan and the lender takes title to the property.

    Golars Capital, LLC is a sophisticated lender with the ability to “box in” the potential environmental risks and close deals that other lenders would be unwilling to touch.

    Golars Capital, LLC provides below-market low-interest loans of up to $100,000 to conduct preliminary environmental site assessments and up to $1.5 million for the cleanup or removal of hazardous substance or petroleum site where redevelopment likely to have a beneficial impact on the property values, economic viability and quality of life of a community.  Eligible borrowers include all potential responsible parties.

  • Federal, State, and local funds

    In some states, there are grants available for investigation and remediation of contaminated properties.  Some grants are specific to property types and some are brownfield grants.

    • Risk-Based Corrective Action, Mitigation & Closure
    • Contaminated Facility Closure and Decontamination
    • Soil Management Plan Development and Oversight
    • Waste Characterization, Profiling and Disposal
    • NFA letters, Comfort letters, Environmental
    • Restrictive Covenants (ERCs)


On Brownfield projects involving multi-acre and multi-property Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, Golars performs the activities necessary to evaluate environmental and health risk factors affecting the properties or neighborhood, including community outreach, health impact assessment, target corridor site prioritization, environmental site assessments and investigations, and other Brownfield programmatic requirements.

Golars also concisely and effectively communicates the relevant environmental and health risk factors with community organizations, neighborhood partners, the public and other stakeholders. Golars’ extensive experience analyzing environmental risk factors, development of Brownfield cleanup alternatives, and designing alternative remediation strategies using risk-based approaches ensures achievement of the neighborhood, the planned development and stakeholder objectives.

  • Risk-Based Corrective Action, Mitigation & Closure
  • Contaminated Facility Closure and Decontamination
  • Soil Management Plan Development and Oversight
  • Waste Characterization, Profiling and Disposal
  • NFA letters, Comfort letters, Environmental
  • Restrictive Covenants (ERCs)

Golars engineers provide clients with a wide spectrum of remediation strategies and corrective action plans with cost effectiveness. Some of the technologies that we use are excavation and disposal of source material, Pump and Treat of impacted groundwater, Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE), In-situ Air Sparging, High Vacuum Dual-Phase Extraction (DPE), In-situ Bioremediation ORC and Monitored Natural Attenuation.

Golars is experienced with the design and implementation of several industry-accepted remediation strategies while considering important soil, groundwater and contaminant characteristics in the selection of an appropriate remediation strategy.  Some of the services we offer include the following:

  • Remediation System Design, Installation & Implementation
  • Remediation System Operations & Maintenance (O&M), Performance Evaluation and Decommissioning
  • Groundwater Modeling and Remediation
  • Soil Vapor Extraction/Air Sparging/Dual-Phase Extraction
  • NPDES Permitting and Monitoring

Vapor Intrusion (VI) is the migration of volatile chemicals from the subsurface into overlying buildings with a potential for health risk due to exposure. Our staff is experienced in addressing VI issues through multiple lines of evidence, including sampling groundwater, soil gas, sub-slab air and indoor air, and considering building construction model, site geology and site historical data.

Exposure risk can be mitigated through soil remediation, groundwater remediation, vapor barriers and/or vapor mitigation systems which remove the harmful chemical vapors from the indoor environment.  Some of the services we offer include the following:

  • Vapor Intrusion Investigations
  • Indoor and Outdoor Air Sampling
  • Soil Gas Sampling
  • Data Evaluation and Interpretation
  • Sub-slab Port Installation and Sampling
  • Vapor Barriers and Mitigation Systems

When there is an emergency Response, Golars is available to help.  It may be a minor spill or major leak, Golars can help.

Call us at 317-500-0000 or email at [email protected]