Permanent Closure Requirements for Underground Storage Tank with Single-Walled Components

Background

Effective September 25, 2014, Senate Bill (SB) 445 (Stats. 2014, Ch. 547) changed the underground storage tank (UST) regulatory program regarding design and construction of USTs.  These changes are reflected in Health and Safety Code, chapter 6.7 (H&SC), section 25292.05.  Specifically, this change requires that on or before December 31, 2025, the owner or operator must permanently close a UST if it was designed and constructed before January 1, 1984 and does not meet the requirements of H&SC, section 25291(a)(1)-(6) or if it was designed and constructed before January 1, 1997 in accordance with H&SC, section 25291(a)(7).

All regulated USTs that do not meet the requirements of H&SC, section 25291(a)(1)-(6), must be permanently closed on or before December 31, 2025 in accordance with H&SC, section 25298, and the California Code of Regulations, title 23, chapter 16 (UST Regulations), section 2672.  A single-walled UST is either the tank and/or the connected piping which do not have secondary containment and a continuous leak detection system meeting the requirements of H&SC, section 25291(a)(1)-(6).  UST Systems which do not have secondary containment and a continuous leak detection system that have not been permanently closed by the regulatory due date are out of compliance, cannot be operated, and could be red tagged by the Unified Program Agency (UPA) or the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), preventing fuel deliveries and dispensing.  Penalties for systems out of compliance are $500 to $5,000 per day per underground storage tank.

UST Statutes and Regulations are available here:
Health and Safety Code, chapter 6.7
California Code of Regulations, title 23, chapter 16

Available Guidance for the Closure of Single-Walled UST Systems

The State Water Board has prepared guidance in the form of Local Guidance (LG) 171 - Permanent Closure of Underground Storage Tanks That Do Not Meet Health and Safety Code, Chapter 6.7, Section 25291, Subdivisions (a)(1)-(6) to help owners, operators, and UPA staff navigate single-walled closure statute and regulation.  LG 171 summarizes the main provisions of SB 445 as they apply to UST design and construction.  The guidance addresses common questions of UST owners, operators and UPA staff.  In addition, LG 171 specifies what actions are necessary for USTs that do not ,meet all the requirements of  H&SC, section 25291(a)(1)-(6).

LG 171 can be found here: 
LG 171 – Permanent Closure of Underground Storage Tank

Available Funding for the Closure of Single-Walled UST Systems

Loans and grants, made available through the Replacing, Removing, or Upgrading Underground Storage Tanks (RUST) Program, can assist eligible small businesses with the costs necessary to remove, replace, or upgrade single-walled USTs.  The RUST grants are limited year-to-year, therefore, it is best to utilize these resources as early as possible. 

More information on funding sources can be found here:
Replacing, Removing, or Upgrading Underground Storage Tanks (RUST) Program

Available Funding for the Cleanup of Single-Walled UST Systems

If a release is discovered upon the permanent closure by removal, the owner or operator may need to undertake corrective action (i.e., investigate and clean up the release).  Filing a claim application with the UST Cleanup Fund, completing corrective action, and receiving reimbursement for eligible corrective action costs is a lengthy process.  The deadline for submittal of a claim application to the UST Cleanup Fund for reimbursement of eligible costs for corrective action is December 31, 2024.  This means the available financial responsibility for many single-walled UST owners and operators will end, one year before the UST removal deadline.  UST systems without financial responsibility are out of compliance and must be red tagged by the UPA or the State Water Board, preventing fuel deliveries and dispensing.  Therefore, it is best for owners and operators to utilize these resources as early as possible.

The UST Cleanup Fund is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2026.  More information on the UST Cleanup Fund can be found here: 
Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund

Outreach

The State Water Board and the UPAs continue outreach efforts to notify UST owners or operators of single-walled USTs in order to assist in achieving successful compliance through permanent closure by the December 31, 2025 deadline. As part of this effort, the State Water Board have sent out letters of notification to all UST owners and operators who have been identified by their UPA as having a single-walled UST system.

Additionally, the State Water Board has conducted the Single-Walled Underground Storage Tank Initiative, providing numerous workshops for single-wall UST stakeholders at several locations throughout the state, and numerous web events. Currently, the State Water Board, in conjunction with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and their contractor, Redhorse Corporation, continue to contact single-walled UST owners and operator regarding the looming deadline and available funding.

List of Facilities with Single-Walled Tank and/or Piping

Below is a list of facilities with single-walled tanks and/or piping , which must be permanently closed on or before December 31, 2025.  The facility list was compiled using data from the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS).  The accuracy of the data has not been confirmed by the State Water Board.

Questions or Comments

For more information regarding the requirements for USTs with single-walled components or a complete list of UST facilities with single-walled components, please contact:

Ms. Laura Fisher
UST Leak Prevention Unit and
Office of Tank Tester Licensing Manager
Laura.Fisher@waterboards.ca.gov
or

Mr. Tom Henderson
Engineering Geologist
UST Leak Prevention Unit
Tom.Henderson@waterboards.ca.gov