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The National LUST Cleanup Backlog: A Study Of Opportunities

As of September 2014, over 521,000 releases from federally-regulated leaking underground storage tanks (LUST) were confirmed nationwide. States and EPA in Indian country made tremendous progress by cleaning up over 447,000 (85.8 percent) releases. However, approximately 74,000 UST releases remain, and the annual number of cleanups completed nationally has declined steadily since fiscal year 2000.

To understand the makeup of UST releases remaining and why the pace of cleanups is slowing, EPA undertook a two-phase, data-driven analysis of the cleanups remaining as of 2006 (Phase 1) and  2009 (Phase 2).  The study compiled and analyzed available data from 14 state LUST programs.  It identified key findings and potential opportunities to help reduce the number of UST cleanups remaining.

The National LUST Cleanup Backlog: A Study Of Opportunities contains the following sections:

National Chapter (PDF) (60 pp, 3.1MB, About PDF)

14 Individual State Chapters

Appendix A – Data Compilation and Analytic Methodology (PDF) (8 pp, 592K)

Appendix B – Phase 1 report (PDF) (20 pp, 703K)

This document is designed to be printed in landscape and double sided printing. On your computer's print properties, select "print on both sides" and under orientation, select "landscape".

As a result of this study, EPA will work with states, tribes, and other stakeholders to discuss and develop targeted cleanup strategies.

Many state UST programs have ongoing site cleanup strategies. Such efforts include data and file reviews and the use of temporary staff (e.g., interns or contractors) to close more releases. Other cleanup strategies include using multi-site agreements to encourage responsible party activity, utilizing pay for performance and other incentives for contractors to reach closure, and referring low-priority releases to brownfields programs or other programs such as voluntary cleanup programs. EPA wants to highlight these and other reduction efforts, encourage the exchange of best practices, and continue to build on states’ successes.

For more information on EPA’s study to reduce the UST cleanups remaining, contact:
Susan Burnell (703)603-9231 Burnell.susan@epa.gov
Queenie Mungin-Davis (703)603-7176 Mungin-davis.queenie@epa.gov
or, State And Territorial UST/LUST Program Contacts

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