Pennsylvania Underground Storage Tank Contractors

Best UST Contractors in PennsylvaniaDo you need help dealing with a leaking underground storage tank (LUST)?  Do you need to remove an underground storage tank (UST)? Do you need help filing a claim for assessment and cleanup costs with the PA Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund (USTIF)? If so, you are going to want to research various environmental consulting firms to find the one that best fits your company’s unique and important needs. While our services help clients with all types of environmental issues—including USTs—we understand you may still want to consider all of your options before selecting a UST contractor.

EMS does not shy away from daunting questions and we maintain an honest and transparent philosophy when it comes to interacting with our current and future clients. It is common for companies to ask, “If we do not use EMS Environmental, who would you recommend?”  So, we’ve compiled a list of the nine best UST contractors in Pennsylvania.

It is important to employ the help of environmental professionals who possess the knowledge and expertise of ever-changing state and Federal environmental regulations. Searching for the right UST contractor to effectively and efficiently meet your objectives may seem tedious, but it is an important step to ensure you and your property are protected in the event of environmental contamination. We understand that there are many UST contractors in your area, and some may be more suitable for your situation than others.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the qualifications that a UST contractor should possess, and will provide a list of the best UST contractors in Pennsylvania.

What Qualifications Should a UST Contractor Possess?

EMS recommends the following qualifications for UST contractors:

  • Tank Removal Certifications
  • Professional Geologist/Professional Engineer License
  • Experience with USTIF
  • Experience with similar properties
  • Experience with the type of liquid contained in the tank
  • Remediation experience
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Responsiveness and reputation for closing UST projects

Tank Removal Certifications

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) established four certification categories for conducting UST-related activities. The categories include:

  • UST system installation and modification (UMX) – Installation and modification of UST and storage tank systems including, but not limited to, the tank and all associated ancillary equipment, appurtenances, corrosion protection systems, structural components, and foundations. This category also includes conducting pre-installation air pressure tests for UST systems.
  • UST removal (UMR) – Removal from service of UST systems or storage tank facilities
  • UST system tightness tester (UTT) – Tightness testing activities involved in conducting and interpreting results of volumetric and nonvolumetric tests on UST systems or storage tank facilities.
  • Inspectors of USTs (IUM) – Inspection of UST systems and storage tank facilities.

EMS recommends that at a minimum all workers have completed 40 Hour OSHA HAZWOPER Training and are current on the annual 8-Hour Refresher courses. All EMS employees comply with the corporate Health and Safety Program developed in accordance with Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910.120 (29 CFR 1910.120). Subcontractors, visitors, regulatory agency personnel, site owners, and their representatives must also comply with site-specific safety requirements.

Professional Geologist/Professional Engineer License

Professional Geologist (PG) and Professional Engineer (PE) licenses are necessary for certain aspects of the leaking UST cleanup process. Per PADEP regulations, reports submitted to satisfy the Corrective Action Process that contain information or analysis that constitutes professional geologic or engineering work must be reviewed and sealed by the respective licensed professional.

Experience with USTIF

Certain tank owners may be eligible to receive reimbursement of release assessment and remediation expenses from USTIF. It is important that your selected contractor be experienced with establishing a claim with USTIF and navigating their reimbursement program to maximize the amount of reimbursed costs.

Experience with similar properties

In many cases, the layout and size of a commercial operation cannot easily accommodate intrusive environmental investigation and remediation activities. It is important that your contractor keeps this in mind when planning their scope of work and is experienced with coordinating between you and the various subcontractors that may be necessary to accomplish the project goals.

Experience with the type of material contained in the tank

A contractor needs to be knowledgeable of the regulations and the requirements for your specific case. The regulations can be extremely nuanced and what is required of your project will come down to what type of material is stored in your tanks. For instance, soil samples collected to support the closure of a tank containing gasoline require the analysis of certain compounds. However, those same samples collected for the closure of a diesel fuel-containing tank would require all but one of those same compounds.

It is essential your UST contractor is aware of these differences so you can capture exactly the data that is necessary to progress your case.

Remediation Experience

There are many factors that complicate an environmental ust pa2cleanup: substance released, site geology, nearby sensitive receptors, and current and intended future use of the property, just to name a few. A UST contractor needs to be able to take all of these factors into consideration and develop a plan to remediate the property that is effective, cost efficient, and fits with the overall goals of the client. Remediation can vary from simply monitoring the site conditions as natural processes attenuate the release to installing and operating a large scale recovery and treatment system, with a lot in between.

Insurance Coverage

Carrying various types of liability insurance protects the UST owner against damages to persons and entities not related to the company during the course of UST investigative and cleanup activities. EMS recommends employing the services of a UST contractor who carries the following insurance:

Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s compensation protects the UST contractor’s employees should they be injured while working on their client’s project.

Commercial Automobile Insurance

This insurance provides coverage in the event that the contractor’s vehicle damages persons or property while on site.

General/Professional/Pollution Liability Insurance

These liability insurances protect the client should that contractor’s negligence result in bodily injury or property damage as well as claims arising out of a professional error or a pollution situation.

Umbrella Liability

Umbrella Liability insurance helps to protect the client should a catastrophic situation arise where damages exceed the limits of the contractor’s primary insurance policies.

If a contractor cannot provide proof of one or more of these coverages, it may be time to consider a different contractor who can.

Responsiveness and reputation for closing UST projects

It is not uncommon for some UST cleanups to last many years. Others can sometimes be perpetuated by a questionable contractor because once the project is over, that source of income goes away. A good UST contractor will have a reputation for closing projects by effectively navigating the regulations. These types of contractors know that this reputation will result in repeat work.

Review of the Nine Best UST Contractors in Pennsylvania

Applied Geology and Environmental Science (AGES), Inc.

Founded: 1997

PA Locations: Clinton, Edinboro

Certified in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, the experts at AGES, Inc. can supervise and conduct UST removals, closures by removal, and closures in-place. They also document tank closures, collect soil and groundwater samples, and prepare regulatory reports.

Cribbs & Associates

PA Location: Delmont

Professional Geologists at Cribbs & Associates are licensed by PADEP to perform UST removals, installations, and modifications. Removal services include confined space vessel entry cleaning, removal, transportation, and disposal of storage tanks.

EMG Remediation Services, LLC/EMG, Inc.

Founded: 1989

PA Location: Newtown Square

EMG provides residential, commercial, and industrial UST and AST services such as installation, repairs, leak detection, testing, cleaning, disposal, removal, and closures in-place. They are DEP-certified and fully insured.

Flynn Environmental

Founded: 1990

Locations: Western PA and North Canton, OH

Professionals at Flynn conduct UST closures and removals, closure report preparation, UST assurance, and Indemnification Fund application. They also provide corrective actions and risk assessments.

Groundwater and Environmental Services (GES), Inc.

Founded: 1985

PA Locations: Exton, Cranberry Township

OSHA-trained professionals can provide UST/AST investigations, remediation, permitting, compliance, and engineering.

Groundwater Sciences Corporation

Founded: 1987

PA Location: Harrisburg

Services include UST closure oversight, soil impact assessments, hydrogeologic characterization, groundwater monitoring, product/source forensic investigation, impact delineation, and impact remediation services.

Pioneer Environmental

Founded: 1983

Locations: Mercerville, NJ, with additional offices in Pennsylvania and South Carolina

Experts at Pioneer perform heating oil UST assessments, closure and subsurface assessments, and tank filling and abandonment.

Synergy Environmental

Founded: 1988

PA Locations: Bethlehem, Reading, Royersford

Synergy provides storage tank management services such as portfolio management, on-site field activities—removal, installation, upgrades—and remediation services.

WC Environmental

PA Location: West Chester

WC Environmental provides removals and closure in-place bid preparation, contractor oversight, regulatory reviews, and closure plan preparation, submittal, and review.

Selecting a UST Contractor

Now that you’ve gained some basic knowledge of the best UST contractors in Pennsylvania, consider the services your business needs to ensure you are making the decision that makes the most financial sense for your situation. Remember to consider these factors while making your decision:

  • Certifications, licenses, and insurance coverage held by the contractor
  • Experience with USTIF
  • Remediation experience with similar properties and tank materials
  • Responsiveness and reputation for UST project closure

If you have questions or if you need help to formulate the most beneficial resolution for your situation, our professional geologists, engineers, technicians, and scientists are ready to help.

If you would like to learn more about how EMS can help you with your UST needs, please reach out to us.


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For more information about underground storage tanks, check out our other articles, and download our free eBook!

How Do I Make a Claim for Pennsylvania Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Costs?

How Much Will a Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Cost?

Top 10 Causes of Underground Storage Tank Leaks

The 11 Steps to Take After an Underground Storage Tank Release is Detected


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