Release Discovery and Reporting

Owners/operators of petroleum storage tank systems are responsible to identify, report and investigate suspectedIndirect evidence of a release such as a failed line or tank tightness test, unusual operating conditions, water in the tanks if the tanks do not test liquid-tight, inventory loss identified by leak detection equipment, inconclusive or failed SIR results or fuel in secondary containment (in contact with penetration points) or in damaged spill buckets. Suspected releases must be addressed by a system test or site check. and confirmedDirect evidence of regulated substance outside the tank system. Direct evidence includes detection of chemical compounds in soil or groundwater, observation of fuel outside the storage tank system, identification of contamination during tank system repairs, installation, replacement or other sub-pavement work, or the identification of regulated substance in soil, basements, utility lines or on surface water, in groundwater or in water wells. Confirmed releases include surface spills on or off pavement that are not cleaned up within 24 hours or are greater than 25 gallons. releases from their system.

This information below provides examples of suspected and confirmed conditions that require immediate action with suggested actions to respond to those conditions. Release discovery and reporting is critical to protect public health, minimize environmental damage and reduce related cleanup efforts.

Actions Necessary within 24 hours of Release Discovery

Take immediate action when a release is discovered in order to reduce the risk to human health and the environment, including the steps below.

Release Reporting Process

Click on the image below to view the steps in the release reporting process.

Examples of Suspected Releases

Examples of Confirmed Releases


OPS recommends contracting with a Recognized Environmental Professional to aid in your release response and reporting.

Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety

633 17th Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303-318-8525


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