State Water Board - Federal Reconciliation Regulations

INFORMATION ON THE RECONCILIATION OF CHAPTER 16 OF DIVISION 3 OF TITLE 23 OF THE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS WITH PART 280 OF THE 40 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

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Core Documents

Key Provisions of Regulation

The purpose of the proposed UST regulatory amendments is to make chapter 16 of division 3 of title 23 of the California Code of Regulations (California UST Regulations) at least as stringent as part 280 of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (Federal UST Regulations).

The amendments include, but are not limited to, requirements for: 1) designated UST operator inspections; 2) overfill prevention equipment inspections; 3) testing and inspecting equipment after a repair; 4) demonstrating compatibility; and 5) training of employees prior to the first work day. The amendments also include requirements for previously deferred UST systems. California currently regulates these UST systems; however, some of the existing options for monitoring will no longer be permissible because these options are not allowed under the Federal UST Regulations. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) also proposes to clarify certain requirements under existing California UST Regulations to be consistent with the Federal UST Regulations

Background

Effective October 13, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) amended the Federal UST Regulations for underground storage tank systems. Some of the new requirements in the Federal UST Regulations became effective immediately on October 13, 2015. Other requirements have staggered implementation dates out to October 13, 2018.

UST owners and operators in States without an approved UST Program are required to comply with Federal UST Regulations immediately. Some of the new requirements in the Federal UST Regulations are more stringent than, or are inconsistent with, the California UST Regulations. Consequently, California UST owners and operators now have two sets of requirements to meet: 1) the existing California UST program implemented and enforced by the State Water Board and the Unified Program Agencies (UPAs) (who implement the existing California UST program on the State Water Board’s behalf); and 2) the U.S. EPA inspection and enforcement of the Federal UST Regulations that are more stringent than, or are inconsistent with, the California UST Regulations. The State Water Board proposes to amend California UST Regulations to make California UST Regulations at least as stringent as the Federal UST Regulations.

Public Participation

State Water Board staff hosted a focus workgroup in Sacramento on January 24, 2017 consisting of State Water Board staff, UST regulators, and select representatives from the UST regulated community. In addition, the State Water Board staff held two informal pubic workshops, one on March 13, 2017 in Sacramento and the other on March 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, consisting of UST owners and operators, UST regulators, contractors, component manufacturers and other representatives from the UST regulated community to review and comment on a draft of the proposed regulations. State Water Board staff submitted a draft of the proposed regulations to U.S. EPA Region 9 and requested a review from the U.S. EPA and U.S. EPA Region 9 to evaluate if the proposed language is at least as stringent as, or provides equivalency to, the Federal UST Regulations. Finally, State Water Board staff conducted a trial with UST inspection and testing companies of the proposed forms documenting required UST inspections and testing. State Water Board staff considered and, as appropriate, incorporated into the proposed regulations the comments received from the workgroup, workshops, UST inspection and testing companies, U.S. EPA, and U.S. EPA Region 9. State Water Board staff did not rely upon any other technical, theoretical, or empirical studies, reports, or documents to amend these regulations.

Public Comment Period

Any interested person may submit written comments relevant to the proposed regulatory action to the State Water Board. The written comment period closes on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. The State Water Board will only consider comments received by that time.

Please send comment letters to Ms. Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board, by email
at commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov, fax at (916) 341-5620, or mail or hand delivery to:

Jeanine Townsend, Clerk to the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 100, Sacramento, CA 95812-2000 (by mail)
1001 "I" St, 24th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 (by hand delivery)

Please also indicate in the subject line, “Comment Letter - Proposed UST Regulations.”

Hand and special deliveries should also be addressed to Ms.Townsend at the address above. Couriers delivering comments must check in with lobby security and have them contact Ms.Townsend at (916) 341-5600. Due to the limitations of the email system, emails larger than 15 megabytes are rejected and cannot be delivered or received by the State Water Board. We request that comments larger than 15 megabytes be submitted under separate emails.

Contact Information

Requests for copies of the text of the proposed regulations, the statement of reasons, or other information upon which the rulemaking is based, or other inquiries should be addressed to the following:

Laura S. Fisher, Chief
State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Water Quality
1001 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 341-5870
Laura.Fisher@waterboards.ca.gov

The backup contact person is:

Cory Hootman
State Water Resources Control Board
Division of Water Quality
1001 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 341-5668
Cory.Hootman@waterboards.ca.gov