Most underground storage tank (UST) owners and operators voluntarily comply with applicable laws and regulations; however some do not comply due to lack of information, neglect or deliberate intent.
The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) created the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Enforcement Unit to support enforcement of the UST Leak Prevention and Cleanup Programs, primarily by investigating violations of UST construction, monitoring, and cleanup requirements. These include violations such as: failure to monitor tanks and/or piping, failure to perform required testing, and tampering with leak detection devices. The State Water Board develops cases to refer to the State Attorney General’s office or other prosecutorial entities. In addition, the State Water Board has the authority to prosecute cases administratively.
The UST Enforcement Unit also supports enforcement of the California Tank Tester Licensing Program by enforcing the tank tester licensing requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that certain types of tests on UST systems are performed only by qualified individuals. The State Water Board can take administrative enforcement action against licensed tank testers. There are approximately 85 licensed tank testers in California.
The UST Enforcement Unit works closely and develops partnerships with various local, state and federal agencies to conduct inspections, review data, and assist in or lead statewide UST investigations to achieve compliance of USTs and minimize threats to water quality and the environment.