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Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

Resources for UST State and Territorial Implementing Agencies

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Delivery Prohibition

Delivery prohibition programs prohibit product delivery to underground storage tanks that have one or more compliance violations.

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State Program Approval

The state program approval (SPA) regulations set criteria for states to obtain the authority to operate in lieu of the federal program. State programs must be at least as stringent as EPA's.

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Compliance Resources

Significant Operational Compliance (SOC) Performance Measures

EPA and its state partners developed a uniform method for measuring certain aspects of underground storage tank (UST) system operational compliance with release detection and prevention requirements.

State Program Performance Measures

EPA collects data from states and territories regarding UST performance measures. These data include information such as the number of active and closed tanks, releases confirmed, cleanups initiated and completed, facilities in compliance with UST requirements, and inspections.

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports on UST Systems

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  • Biofuels: Challenges to the Transportation, Sale, and Use of Intermediate Ethanol Blends. GAO-11-513 June 2011 Report (PDF) (57 pp, 1.4 MB) Report to Congressional Requesters
  • Energy-Water Nexus: Many Uncertainties Remain about National and Regional Effects of Increased Biofuel Production on Water Resources. GAO-10-116 November 2009 (PDF) (54 pp, 2.3 MB)
    Although this report focuses on water resources affected by feedstock production and conversion to biofuels, it also acknowledges impacts to ground and surface water due to UST spills and releases (see pp 17-18, 34-35).
  • Biofuels: Potential Effects and Challenges of Required Increases in Production and Use. GAO-09-446 August 2009 (PDF) (184 pp, 3.1 MB)
    In this report, GAO investigated the effects of increased biofuels production on U.S. agriculture, environment, and greenhouse gas emissions; federal support for domestic biofuels production; and key challenges in meeting the Renewable Fuels Standard. Chapter 3 of the report discusses potential environmental impacts, including those attributed to leaking underground storage tanks (see pp 73-74). Chapter 7 also raises some issues associated with the storage of mid-level ethanol blends in legacy retail storage and dispensing equipment (see pp 120-123).
  • LEAKING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS: EPA Should Take Steps to Better Ensure the Effective Use of Public Funding for Cleanups. GAO-07-152 February 2007 (PDF) (112 pp, 1.8 MB)
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: More Complete Data and Continued Emphasis on Leak Prevention Could Improve EPA's Underground Storage Tank Program. GAO-06-45 November 30, 2005 (80 pp, 587 K)
  • Environmental Protection: Recommendations for Improving the Underground Storage Tank Program. GAO-03-529T March 5, 2003 (PDF) (14 pp, 981 K) Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives
  • Environmental Protection: MTBE Contamination From Underground Storage Tanks. Statement of John Stephenson Director, Natural Resources and Environment. GAO-02-753T May 21, 2002 (PDF) (19 pp, 642 K) Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives
  • Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Ensure Safer Underground Storage Tanks. GAO-02-712T May 8, 2002 (PDF) (13 pp, 572 K) Testimony on the May 2001 Report [see below] Before the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, Risk and Waste Management, Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate
  • Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Ensure Safer Underground Storage Tanks. GAO-02-176T November 1, 2001 (PDF) (15 pp, 11.5 MB) Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives
  • Environmental Protection: Improved Inspections and Enforcement Would Better Ensure the Safety of Underground Storage Tanks. GAO-01-464 May 4, 2001 (PDF) (42 pp, 937 K) Report to Congressional Requesters