Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program

The purpose of the UST Program is to protect public health and safety and the environment from releases of petroleum and other hazardous substances from USTs.  Most frequently, the leaks are petroleum products associated with gasoline service stations.  Leaking USTs are a significant source of petroleum impacts to groundwater and may pose the following potential threats to health and safety:

  • Exposure from impacts to soil and/or groundwater;
  • Contamination of drinking water aquifers;
  • Contamination of public or private drinking water wells;
  • Inhalation of vapors;

TABLE OF CONTENTS

UST Conceptual Site Model

UST Regulations

State regulations regarding underground tank construction, monitoring, repair, closure, release reporting, and corrective action are contained within CCR Title 23, Chapter 16.

Implementation of the UST Program is unique, as the Health and Safety Code Division 20, Chapters 6.7 and 6.75, gives local agencies the authority to oversee investigation and cleanup of UST leak sites. The Corrective Action regulations (CCR, Title 23, Chapter 16, Article 11) use the term "regulatory agency" in recognition of the fact that local agencies have the option to oversee site investigation and cleanup, in addition to their statutory mandate to oversee leak reporting and tank closure.

The 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 2061);
  • 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;

Assessment and Cleanup

Assessment and cleanup is governed by the Porter Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Water Code) and Chapter 16 (Article 11) of the Underground Storage Tank Regulations. Results of the assessment provide details about the size and magnitude of the release and are used to determine an appropriate cleanup strategy. A good site assessment study can be used to recommend one of several cleanup alternatives (feasibility study).

Cleanup is conducted under the direction of the lead regulatory agency and may include free product removal, vapor extraction, ozone sparging, or technologies such as groundwater extraction. In some cases, soil excavation and disposal completes the cleanup.

Evaluating alternative cleanup technologies requires an understanding of site specific conditions and the nature and extent of the contamination.  Data from site assessment studies can be used to recommend one of several cleanup alternatives.  Conducting extended interim remedial actions without concurrent evaluation of alternative cleanup technologies should be avoided.  A responsible party must be aware of inherent limitations of a chosen cleanup alternative given the specific conditions of the site.  Finally, the evaluation of alternative cleanup technologies should include cleanup objectives and estimated times to reach those objectives.

Case Closure

A UST site qualifies to receive a "No Further Action" (closure) letter once the owner or operator meets all appropriate corrective action requirements. After this occurs, the local regulatory agency or Water Board will inform the responsible party in writing that no further work is required.

In 1996, Regional Water Board staff identified the steps that should be completed prior to case closure [1996 Supplemental Instructions]. On May 1, 2012, the State Water Board adopted the Low-Threat Underground Storage Tank Case Closure Policy. See State Water Board Resolution No. 2012-0016. The Policy was approved by the Office of Administrative Law on July 30, 2012. On August 17, 2012, the Notice of Decision was filed with the California Secretary for Natural Resources, and the Policy became effective. The Policy applies to petroleum UST sites subject to Chapter 6.7 of the Health and Safety Code. The Policy establishes both general and media-specific criteria. If both the general and applicable media-specific criteria are satisfied, then the leaking UST case is generally considered to present a low threat to human health, safety and the environment. The Policy recognizes, however, that even if all of the specified criteria in the Policy are met, there may be unique attributes of the case or site-specific conditions that increase the risk associated with the residual petroleum constituents. In these cases, the regulatory agency overseeing corrective action at the site must identify the conditions that make case closure under the Policy inappropriate.

UST Cleanup Fund

The Barry Keene Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund Act of 1989 (Cleanup Fund) was created by the California Legislature, and is administered by the State Water Board, to provide a means for petroleum UST owners and operators to meet the federal and state requirements and to have their cleanup costs reimbursed by the UST cleanup fund.

Contact Information

Water Board UST Program
Laurent Meillier
Telephone: (510) 622-3277
Email: Laurent.Meillier@waterboards.ca.gov

GeoTracker

GeoTracker is a data warehouse which tracks regulatory data about underground fuel tanks and fuel pipelines. http://www.geotracker.swrcb.ca.gov

UST Program Contacts at Water Board

UST Program Water Board Contacts
County Water Board Contact
Marin - All except San Rafael John Jang (510) 622-2366
Marin - San Rafael Ralph Lambert (510) 622-2382
Sonoma John Jang (510) 622-2366
Napa Barbara Sieminski (510) 622-2423
Solano Bill Cook (510) 622-2446
Contra Costa-Central Kevin Brown (510) 622-2358
Contra Costa-East Martin Musonge (510) 622-2396
Contra Costa-West Barbara Sieminski (510) 622-2423
Alameda - Hayward to San Leandro Ralph Lambert (510) 622-2382
Alameda - Remainder of County Laurent Meillier (510) 622-3277
Santa Clara John Wolfenden (510) 622-2444
San Mateo Jolanta Uchman (510) 622-2432
San Francisco Jolanta Uchman (510) 622-2432

UST Program Contacts at Local Agencies

Alameda County | Contra Costa County | Marin County | Napa County | San Francisco County | San Mateo | Santa Clara | Solano County | Sonoma County

Alameda County

Alameda County Environmental Health Services

1131 Harbor Bay Parkway, 2nd Floor
Alameda, CA 94502
ATTN: Ronald Browder - Acting Chief, Hazardous Materials
Tel: (510) 567-6777
Dilan Roe, Local Oversight Program Manager
Tel: (510) 567-6767 | FAX: (510) 337-9335 | Email: dilan.roe@acgov.org

Alameda County Water District

43885 South Grimmer Boulevard
Fremont, CA 94538
ATTN: Ms. Michelle Myers, Groundwater Resources Manager
Tel: (510) 668-4454 | Email: Michele.Myers@acwd.com

Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County Department of Health Services - Hazardous Materials Programs

4333 Pacheco Boulevard
Martinez. CA 94553
ATTN: Randall Sawyer, Director, Hazardous Materials Programs; Paul Andrews or Jerry Yoshioka, UST Program
Tel: (925) 646-2286 | FAX: (925) 646-2073 | Email: ccchazmat@hsd.cccounty.us

Marin County

Marin County Department of Public Works - Office of Waste Management

P O Box 4186
899 Northgate Drive, Suite 100
San Rafael, CA 94903
ATTN: Julia Barnes, Supervising Hazardous Materials Specialist
Tel: (415) 473-7085 | FAX: (415) 473-2391 | Email: JBarnes@marincounty.org

Napa County

County of Napa - Department of Environmental Management
Hazardous Materials Division

1195 Third Street, Room 101
Napa, CA 94559-3082
ATTN: Christine Secheli, Environmental Health Manager, Bill Rowser, Environmental Health Supervisor, Jackie Bertaina, Senior Hazardous Materials Specialist
Tel: (707) 253-4471 | FAX: (707) 253-4545 | Email: jbertain@co.napa.ca.us

San Francisco County

City and County of San Francisco - Department of Public Health
Environmental Health Section, Local Oversight Program

1390 Market Street, Suite 210
San Francisco, Ca 94102
ATTN: Ms. Stephanie Cushing, Program Manager, Contaminated Site Assessment and Mitigation Program
Tel: (415) 252-3926 | FAX: (415) 252-3910 | Email: stephanie.cushing@dph.sf.ca.us

San Mateo County

San Mateo County Department of Health Services
Office of Environmental Health

455 County Center, 4th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063
Greg Smith, Program Coordinator, Groundwater Protection Program Supervisor
Tel: (650) 363-4356 | (650) 599-1679 | FAX: (650) 599-1071 | (650) 363-7882

Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health

1555 Berger Drive, Suite 300
San Jose, CA 95114
ATTN: Ms. Lani Lee, Hazardous Materials Program Director
Tel: (408) 918-1977 | FAX:    | Email: lani.lee@deh.co.scl.ca.us

Solano County

Solano County Department of Environmental Management

Fairfield, CA 94533
ATTN: Dennis Kalson, Supervisor, Environmental Health Program Manager
ATTN: Matthew Geisert, Supervisor, Hazardous Materials Division
Tel: (707) 421-6770 | FAX: (707) 421-4805

Sonoma County

Sonoma County Department of Health Services,  Environmental Health Division
Waste and Water Quality Section

475 Aviation Blvd., Suite 220
Santa Rosa, CA 94503
ATTN: Jeff Lewin, Supervising Environmental Health Specialist, (LOP)
Tel: (707) 565-6565 | FAX: (707) 565-6525