Underground Storage Tank Program

Study on Leaking Underground Storage Tanks in California - Open 15 Years or More, Not in Cleanup Fund, and Deemed "Not Ready for Closure - Final" by Lead Agency

Between 2010 and 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 9, as part of a cooperative agreement with the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), conducted a study on all open LUST cases in California that were: (1) not in the USTCF, (2) opened for 15 years or more, and (3) deemed by the lead agencies as “Not Ready for Closure – Final.” A total of 1,010 cases (11 percent of open LUST cases in California) met all these criteria and were reviewed.

Objective of the Study: To better understand the barriers in conducting and completing aging leaking underground storage tank (LUST) cleanups in California that were not funded by the USTCF (non-CUF).

Most notable barriers identified by this study in completing these LUST cleanups were:

  • Lack of enforcement due to limited resources
  • Under-utilized available USTCF funding options
  • Inadequate management of data and case oversight (e.g., missing case information, incomplete case transfer etc.)
  • Excessive site monitoring (sites remained in prolonged assessment phase)
  • Challenging responsible party (RP) issues (e.g., recalcitrant, missing or sites with multiple RPs)

A summary of findings can be found using the following link:  Study on Leaking Underground Storage Tanks in California

Below is a list of studies completed for each lead agency: