OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

September 7, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR:     JERRY BAILEY
                   ASSISTANT REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR FOR
                   TECHNICAL SUPPORT

THROUGH:            GILBERT J. SAULTER
                   REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

                   LEO CAREY, DIRECTOR
                   OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS

FROM:               THOMAS J. SHEPICH, DIRECTOR
                   DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS

SUBJECT:            29 CFR 1910.120 Application to
                   Underground Storage Tanks at Service Stations

This is in response to your region's request for our review of a letter from Groundwater Technology, Inc. which concerns the application of Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response final standard (29 CFR 1910.120).

The question is whether site specific safety and health plans as specified in 29 CFR 1910.120 apply to contractors involved in the assessment and remediation of gasoline leaks from Underground storage tanks at service stations. The answer is yes if the activity falls within the scope of paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iii) of the final standard or if the activity is the result of a post-emergency response activity.

In general, assessments for determining whether there are leaks of underground storage tanks would not fall under the scope of these paragraphs unless there was reason to believe there are leaks and the assessment is to determine the extent of the leaks. Other OSHA standards would be applicable such as the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). Remediation activity, on the other hand, could likely fall under the scope of 29 CFR 1910.120(a)(1)(ii) which includes closures and corrective actions involving underground storage tanks.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact MaryAnn Garrahan at FTS 523-8036.