The environmental law that governs gas stations

Some Nashville small business owners decide that owning a gas station, often with an attached convenience store, is the way to go. Most of these businesses are franchises, which provide a name, products and other things that make opening such a business a bit easier. However, franchisees have many issues to be aware of and deal with regardless of the franchisor. A gas station, or gasoline dispensing facility, must comply with environmental law regardless of whether it comes from the federal, state or local government.

Here in Tennessee, Nashville gas station owners must comply with rules from Underground Storage Tanks and Air Pollution Control. Some will also need to comply with Division of Remediation or Division of Water Resources permits as well. It depends on the type of work done at a particular facility.

UST covers underground storage tanks from installation to removal. It also controls record-keeping and testing required for the life of each tank. Anytime water sources could be affected, a DWR permit is required. This is where the remediation comes in should any cleanup activities be required.

APC covers Stage I Vapor controls. Stage II vapor controls were supposed to be phased out as of July 14. Vapor controls deal with testing and installation of systems to control the vapors that emanate from pumps and storage tanks at the gas station.

These are just some of the requirements of owning a gas station here in Tennessee. Dealing with the environmental law regarding gas stations can quickly become complex, frustrating and stressful. Understanding the requirements of the applicable rules may help alleviate some of that. Consulting with an attorney experienced in this area of law ahead of time could help avoid any complications in the future. Of course, if any issues do arise, it would not hurt to have a legal advocate available for assistance and advice.

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