An underground storage tank (UST) is defined by law as “any one or combination of tanks, including pipes connected thereto, that is used for the storage of hazardous substances and that is substantially or totally beneath the surface of the ground” (certain exceptions apply). The purpose of the UST Program is to protect public health and safety and the environment from releases of petroleum and other hazardous substances from tanks”(State Water Resource Control Board Underground: Storage Tank website).
Conditions for inclusion of the program
Owning or operating an underground storage tank system that contains hazardous materials.
The UST program includes the following required tasks:
- Obtain/Renew UST Permit
- Monthly Designated Operator Inspection
- UST Employee Training
- Monitoring Certification, Spill Containment Test, Line Leak Detection Test
- Triennial Secondary Containment Test
- Overfill Prevention Equipment Inspection
- Statement of Understanding and Compliance Form
- Complete UST Facility Operating Permit Application Form on CERS
- Complete UST Information/Monitoring Plan on CERS (One for EachTank)
- Complete UST Monitoring Site Plan from Template and Submit to CERS
- Complete UST Certification of Financial Responsibility from Template and Submit to CERS
- Complete UST Letter from CFO and Submit to CERS
- Complete UST Response Plan from Template and Submit to CERS
- Complete UST Owner/Operator Agreement template and Submit to CERS
- Designated Underground Storage Tank Operator Identification Form
What to Expect During an Inspection
All USTs operated in California must be inspected annually by local Unified Program Agency (UPA) representatives. The inspector will observe the contracted tester,conduct Annual Monitoring Certification, Spill Containment and Line Leak Detector tests, and physically inspect visible UST system components. Typically this includes checking for:
- Water in sumps, under dispenser containments (UDCs) or spill containments.
- Evidence of leaks.
- Monitoring system tampering (raised sensors).
The inspector will also review documents submitted to CERS and the following documents that must be available on-site:
- Designated Underground Storage Tank Operator reports.
- The last three years of tank testing (Monitoring Certification and Secondary Containment testing).
- UST permit.
- UST employee training records.
- Aboveground Petroleum Storage
- Hazardous Materials
- Hazardous Waste
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