Underground Storage Tanks (UST)

The Colorado River Basin Region (Regional Water Board) UST program staff oversees corrective actions associated with unauthorized releases or leaks from underground storage tanks within the Regional Water Board's boundary. The Regional Water Board UST program staff also provides technical assistance to the local agencies that provide corrective action oversight for some of the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) sites.

All corrective actions are conducted pursuant to Article 11, Chapter 16, Division 3, Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations and the Regional Water Board's Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) requirements.

In addition the State Water Board adopted a Low-Threat Underground UST Case Closure Policy to establish consistent, statewide case closure criteria for low-threat petroleum UST site in California.

The Regional Water Board is the lead agency for a leaking UST case when one or more of the following apply:

  • Solvents or solvents commingled with fuels are the pollutants of concern;
  • The petroleum discharge is from something other than a UST; such as sumps, spills, or agricultural tanks;
  • There are complex technical or policy issues;
  • Conflict of interest issues in which the local agency is the responsible party or for which the local agency requests Water Board lead;
  • Cases given to the Water Board as part of the Site Designation Process (AB 2060);
  • There is no LOP or the local agency is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to provide proper oversight;
  • Part of the site is within a larger facility currently under Water Board oversight.

Example of Roadmap to Closure for Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites (Los Angeles Regional Water Board)

State Water Boards UST Programs

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) is the designated lead regulatory agency for the development of the UST Program, regulations, and policy. In development of the UST Program, four main program elements have been identified: leak prevention program; tank integrity testing; enforcement of requirements; and cleanup of leaking tanks. In addition, the State Board administers the Tank Tester Licensing Program to meet the tank integrity testing requirements, which are required by law. The State Water Board Division of Water Quality has developed a web page with information on Leak Prevention, Cleanup, Enforcement, Tank Tester Licensing and other relevant references.

The mission statement for the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund is to contribute to the protection of California’s public health and water quality through (1) establishing an alternative mechanism to meet Financial Responsibility requirements for owners and operators of petroleum USTs, and (2) reimbursing eligible corrective action costs incurred in the cleanup of contamination resulting from the unauthorized release of petroleum from USTs.

Department of Toxic Substances Control Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA)

The Enforcement and Emergency Response Program (EERP) administers the technical implementation of the state's Unified Program- a consolidation of six environmental programs at the local level. EERP conducts triennial reviews of Unified Program agencies to ensure their programs are consistent statewide, conform to standards, and deliver quality environmental protection at the local level. EERP oversees the hazardous waste generator and onsite waste treatment surveillance and enforcement program carried out by local Unified Programs.
DTSC was certified, effective January 1, 2005, to be the CUPA for Imperial County. Hazardous Materials Division of the San Bernardino County Fire Department is the CUPA for San Bernardino County. The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health Hazardous Materials Branch is the CUPA for Riverside County.

The Unified Program consolidates, coordinates, and makes consistent the administrative requirements, permits, inspections, and enforcement activities of six environmental and emergency response programs. The state agencies responsible for these programs set the standards for their program while local governments implement the standards. CalEPA oversees the implementation of the program as a whole. The Unified Program is implemented at the local level by 83 government agencies certified by the Secretary of CalEPA.

Local Oversight Programs (LOPs) and County or City Local Implementing Agencies (LIAs)

The objective of the LOP Agency is to provide the Contractor with the means to identify and oversee the investigation and remediation of UST petroleum release sites within its jurisdiction. The contract is a part of the State’s overall program, referred to as the Local Oversight Program (LOP), to assist local governmental agencies in oversight and remediation at UST release sites. Pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 25297.1, work performed under the LOP Agency Contract shall be consistent with cleanup standards specified by the State and applicable Regional Water Boards. Corrective action shall comply with all applicable waste discharge requirements, state policies for water quality control, State and Regional Water Board water quality control plans, Health and Safety Code Chapters 6.7, and Chapters 16 of Title 23, California Code of Regulations. There are two LOPs within our Regional Water Board, the counties of Riverside and San Diego. San Bernardino County is a Local Implementing Agency.

Environmental Screening Levels and Water Quality Goals

The Environmental Screening Levels (ESL) document consists of a Microsoft Excel 2010 file (ESL Workbook), a User’s Guide (Screening for Environmental Concerns at Sites with Contaminated Soil and Groundwater), and Lookup Tables taken from the Excel file. This document is a technical report prepared by staff of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board (Water Board). Information provided in the document is not intended to establish policy or regulation.

In addition, the State Water Board has developed information on water quality goals for over 860 chemical constituents and water quality parameters.

GeoTracker Database Information

GAMA - Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment Program

GeoTracker GAMA is an online groundwater information system that gives you access to water quality data and connects you to groundwater basics and protection information. This online database integrates groundwater quality data from multiple sources, which are searchable by chemical or location with results displayed on an interactive Google maps interface.

Public Reports

The following links provide public information that is available.

Questions or Comments

State Water Board Contact Information:

Regional Water Board Contact Information: