The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes recently were awarded a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish and enhance an Underground Storage Tank/Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program.
The Flathead Indian Reservation is one of the largest reservations in the EPA Region 8 coverage area. It is our understanding that approximately 30 Underground Storage Tank facilities and many Leaking Underground Storage Tanks are located within our exterior boundaries and is the largest number in all of Region 8 Indian Country. The reasons to consider continuing funding for a CSKT Credentialed employee are many, including:
- The savings of federal dollars. It would save federal dollars in terms of not necessitating an EPA employee to travel from Denver, CO to conduct UST or LUST Enforcement Inspections, compliance, or outreach within the exterior boundaries of the reservation.
- Rapid response time. It would allow for a quicker response time to address UST/LUST issues with a credentialed employee.
- Rapport: Increase rapport with individual UST/LUST owners.
- Inventory: Continually Update Inventory of all active/inactive and abandoned UST systems, including
- Investigating inventory system(s) options
- Annual review of facility files and captures information for the database.
- Annual update of Abandoned Tanks.
- Annual update or change inventory system as needed:
- This will encourage owners/operators to properly operate and maintain their UST system. Ensures that owners/operators routinely and correctly monitor all regulated tanks and piping in accordance with regulations, therefore, increases compliance rates on the Flathead Indian Reservation
- Outreach and Education: Increase education and outreach to individual UST/LUST owners by
- Providing owner/operator(s) with UST regulatory information.
- Annual visitation of new management or ownership, visit the new owner/operators and review UST requirements specific to their facility.
- Continuing to provide public outreach as needed or requested with UST pamphlets/literature at public functions.
This will increase owner/operator technical and regulator knowledge, therefore, increasing the compliance rate.