Underground Storage Tank Sites
- Underground Storage Tanks
- Petroleum Brownfields
- USTfields Initiative
- LUST Trust Fund
- Financial Responsibility
Region 4 UST Information
An underground storage tank (UST) system is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. Underground storage tank sites are sites that contain contamination from petroleum products or other substances classified as hazardous by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) that were released from Underground Storage Tanks.
- Underground Storage Tank Program Background
- Reuse and Redevelopment of Underground Storage Tank Sites
- Legal Issues at Underground Storage Tank Sites
- Underground Storage Tank Tools & Resources
- Underground Storage Tank Reuse Activities and Initiatives
- Underground Storage Tank Reuse Partnerships
- Underground Storage Tank Sites in Region 4
- Underground Storage Tank Contacts
Underground Storage Tank Program Background
About 680,000 underground storage tank systems (USTs) nationwide store petroleum or hazardous substances that can harm the environment and human health if the USTs release their stored contents. The Underground Storage Tank Program in Region 4 works to prevent the release of petroleum and other products stored in underground tanks. More information about the UST Program.
In addition, the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Program works with states and tribes in Region 4 to clean up known releases from USTs using a federal trust fund, as well as state insurance and cleanup funds. More information on cleaning up UST releases.
Reuse and Redevelopment of Underground Storage Tank Sites
Of the estimated 450,000 brownfield sites in the United States, a substantial number are believed to be impacted by underground storage tanks or some type of petroleum contamination. The Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) is responsible for promoting the cleanup of leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites. One key element of this cleanup activity is to work together with federal, state, and local organizations and private partners to foster the reuse and subsequent economic recovery of petroleum-contaminated sites. More information on reusing UST and petroleum sites.
Legal Issues at Underground Storage Tank Sites
Revitalization of UST sites falls under a number of environmental laws:
- RCRA – this act established regulation of USTs.
- 1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) – These amendments addressed the problems of leaking UST systems.
- 2002 Brownfields Law - This amendment to CERCLA includes a key provision allocating 25 percent of funding each year to assess, cleanup, and ready for reuse petroleum brownfields sites.
Underground Storage Tank Tools & Resources
EPA and Region 4 have developed many tools and resources that can help implement redevelopment activities at contaminated sites and properties. The links below provide UST-specific tools, resources, and information from a number of sources.
- Informational Tools
- Commonly Used Tools
- General Information
- Policy and Guidance - This link takes you to the national Land Revitalization Initiative policy and guidance page for Underground Storage Tanks. The Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) also has a policy guidance page.
- Program Information - Facts and information about OUST's USTfields Initiative are available on the OUST Program Facts page.
- Technical Tools
- Underground Storage Tanks - This link provides information about one of the Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) reuse and revitalization priorities, Cleaning Up and Reusing Abandoned Gas Station Sites (RAGS). In particular, the page offers information on:
Underground Storage Tank Reuse Partnerships
- USTfield Initiative Partnerships. Through its USTfields Initiative, EPA has partnered with state and local government agencies in an effort to facilitate the assessment and cleanup of petroleum-impacted underground storage tank sites.
- Retail/Commercial Partnerships (4 pp,13 K, about PDF). EPA is looking for private sector partnerships with companies willing to promote retail/commercial reuses by locating and opening new operations on properties contaminated with petroleum.
- Residential Partnerships (4 pp,13 K,about PDF). To promote residential development and housing, EPA is working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Habitat for Humanity International, and other organizations to create an opportunity to reuse petroleum contaminated brownfield sites and properties for public and private housing.
Underground Storage Tank Reuse Activities and Initiatives
To encourage the reuse of abandoned properties contaminated with petroleum from underground storage tanks, EPA has created a number of initiatives related to sites and properties complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination from underground storage tanks.
- Petroleum Brownfields are sites such as gas stations or industrial and retail properties that contain, or are perceived to be, relatively low-risk petroleum sites that are eligible for Brownfields assessment and cleanup grant funding.
- EPA USTfields Initiative was a pilot program to promote: the importance of public-private partnerships; the critical role of the state as the primary implementing agency; and the leveraging of private funds to maximize cleanups.
Underground Storage Tank Sites in Region 4
EPA maintains a catalogue of UST sites and properties where pollution is being or has been cleaned up across the US. Sites are organized by region and state, and allow you to find site summaries, site profiles, contacts, and fact sheets.
- For information about existing USTfield pilot grant recipients in Region 4, click here.
- For Petroleum Brownfield grant recipients in Region 4, click here.
Underground Storage Tank Contacts
An appropriate Region 4 contact for reusing an Underground Storage Tank site can be found on the Revitalization Contacts page.