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Groundwater Issue: Cleanup

Groundwater is one of California’s greatest natural resources, making up a significant portion of the state’s water supply, and serving as a buffer against the impacts of drought and climate change.  However, contamination of groundwater supplies (from both natural- and man-made causes) can render a groundwater basin unusable as a drinking water source, as well as for agricultural, industrial and other uses. If contamination of groundwater occurs, the next step is to cleanup the pollution (e.g., an accidental spill, a careless dumping of chemicals, a tank leak) that has impacted the groundwater (as well as the soil, air, and surface water) so that water quality is restored.

The Water Boards restore groundwater quality through a number of programs and actions, including:

  • UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS – The Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program established leak prevention regulations to prevent leaks from USTs, regulates and oversees the investigation and cleanup of petroleum USTs that have leaked to the environment, and administers the Tank Tester Licensing Program
    More information on Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program

  • SITE CLEANUP PROGRAM – The Site Cleanup Program (SCP) regulates and oversees the investigation and cleanup of 'non-federally owned' and 'non-petroleum UST' sites (e.g., dry cleaners, rail yards, refineries, etc.) where recent or historical unauthorized releases of pollutants to the environment have occurred.
    More information on Site Cleanup Program (SCP)

  • DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – The Department of Defense (DOD) Program provides regulatory oversight of environmental restoration activities at active and former military facilities.
    More information on Site Cleanup Program (SCP)

  • BROWNFIELDS – The Brownfields Program assists with the cleanup of brownfields sites (i.e., properties where redevelopment/reuse is hindered by actual or suspected presence of environmental contaminants) when federal funding is available.
    More information on Brownfields Program

  • UST CLEANUP FUND – The UST Enforcement Unit supports UST cleanup activities by investigating fraud and violations of the UST laws and regulations (such as improper UST construction, failure to upgrade USTs, tampering with leak detection devices, and fraud to the UST Cleanup Fund).
    More information on UST Enforcement Unit

  • ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY ACCREDITATION PROGRAM – The Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) provides evaluation and accreditation of environmental testing laboratories that analyze environmental samples associated with the state's regulatory programs, including cleanup projects.
    More information on Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP)

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