Department of Environmental Studies
Based on available data and a survey of 150 Rindge homeowners, Rindge’s population of underground petroleum storage tanks (UST’s) includes 38 state-regulated UST’s and an estimated 107 exempt residential UST’s. It is estimated that in Rindge there may be 36 leaking exempt UST’s and one or two leaking state-regulated UST’s. Leaks in exempt UST’s may go unnoticed for long periods because there is no effective leak detection system in place. Because of the potential for leaking UST’s to contaminate groundwater, the potential health effects of petroleum-contaminated water, and the importance of groundwater as a supply in Rindge, leaking UST’s pose a potential public health threat. While leak prevention for new UST’s depends on state-of-the-art design and proper installation, leak prevention for existing UST’s generally means tank removal. An alternative to removal is early detection. The report surveys regulatory and non-regulatory options for New Hampshire municipalities, and evaluates those options in light of the experiences of Massachusetts communities. The report recommends that the Town of Rindge adopt a comprehensive UST regulatory program, requiring secondary containment for new UST’s exempt from state regulation, registration of existing exempt UST’s, testing of exempt UST’s in the Aquifer Protection District based on age, nad removal of UST’s failing a test.