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    Complyrpedia is the knowledge base for businesses that are required to comply with California environmental regulations

Underground Storage Tanks

Overview

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).

Regulatory Agencies

Conditions for inclusion of the program

Owning or operating an underground storage tank system that contains hazardous materials.

Required Tasks

The UST program includes the following required tasks:

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.

Related Programs

  • Aboveground Petroleum Storage
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Hazardous Waste

Resources

California Water Boards: Division of Water Quality- Underground Storage Tank Program

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