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Fueling Operations

Gas stations and other fueling operations, including those at fleet yards and construction sites, serve to refuel motor vehicles, equipment, or small containers with petroleum products. Spills and leaks that can occur during fueling can contaminate stormwater runoff, surface water, and groundwater with toxic hydrocarbons, oil and grease, heavy metals, and other chemicals used as fuel additives.

Use proper procedures to prevent stormwater pollution:

  • Never leave fueling of vehicles and equipment unattended.
  • Post signs at the fuel dispenser or fuel island reminding users not to top off fuel tanks, which can increase the risk of spilling fuel onto the ground.
  • Ensure the following safeguards are in place:
    • Fuel dispensing equipment and pumps that are equipped with automatic shutoffs and overflow protection to prevent spills and leaks.
    • Protective guards around pumps, tanks and piping to prevent damage from vehicles.
    • Clear tagging or labeling of all equipment, pumps and valves.
  • Install vapor recovery nozzles and systems to help control drips and protect air quality.
  • Maintain clean fuel dispensing areas using dry cleanup methods such as sweeping litter and debris, and the using rags and absorbents for leaks and spills. Absorbents should be removed promptly and disposed as hazardous waste.
  • Cover the fueling area with an overhanging roof structure or canopy so that rain cannot come in contact with the fueling area.
  • Label drains within the facility by paint/stencil, sign, or marker to indicate whether they flow to an oil/water separator, sanitary sewer, or stormwater drain.
  • Use secondary containment when transferring fuel from a tanker truck to onsite fuel tanks. Cover storm drains in the vicinity during fuel transfer.
  • On construction sites, all fueling operations should be located to ensure that spills or leaks will not discharge, flow, or be washed to the stormwater drainage system, surface waters or groundwater. Place temporary caps over nearby catch basins and manhole covers so that spills cannot enter the stormwater drainage system if they occur.