Underground Storage Tank Program
Storing hazardous materials in underground tanks benefits businesses and the community by reducing the risk of fires and explosions, enabling more efficient property use, and cutting costs through bulk purchases of raw products.
There are risks in storing hazardous materials below ground. Underground tanks can leak and contaminate soil and groundwater. This can increase health risks and decrease property values. For these reasons, regulations exist to control the operation of underground tanks to protect public health and the environment.
The Underground Storage Tank Program ensures regulations are followed by inspecting storage tank facilities and educating businesses on how to properly handle their tanks.
New tank systems must be made of approved materials that provide strength and protection against corrosion. Systems must have the ability to detect and intercept leaks. Proposals for new underground systems must be submitted to the Program and reviewed in detail. Tank sites must be inspected during several key phases of construction to make sure that all installation standards are met.
Whether an underground tank system is old or new, it must comply with leak-detection, testing, and recordkeeping requirements. All tank owners must:
- Possess a valid operating permit
- Conduct routine testing
- Maintain equipment
- Prepare an approved leak-response plan
- Upgrade tank systems, as required
Annual inspections are conducted to verify tank owners meet these requirements.
Tank Removal Requirements
Underground storage tank removals are supervised by the Program to make sure strict site safety standards are met. Soil and groundwater sampling are also supervised to assess the possibility of environmental contamination.
In addition to inspection and enforcement, the Program provides workshops to business and community groups. The Program also serves as a clearinghouse for information about state financial assistance programs.
To report leaks or learn more about installation and closure requirements, call (650) 372-6200.