Any California business that stores hazardous substances in underground storage tanks must follow the law in California Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.7, and the underground tank regulations in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 23, Division 3, Chapter 16. The Department has agreements with the following Participating Agencies who regulate UST facilities:
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Works serves the unincorporated areas and 77 cities
- Burbank Fire Department
- Pasadena Fire Department
- Torrance Fire Department
What is an Underground Storage Tank?
An underground storage tank (UST) is any one or combination of tanks, including associated piping that is used to contain industrial solvents, petroleum products and other hazardous substances. The tank is totally or substantially (10%) beneath the surface of the ground. The definition for “tank” is a stationary device constructed primarily of non-earthen materials (e.g. wood, concrete, steel, plastic) designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous substance. A storage tank system includes the tank, associated piping, monitoring system, and containment equipment.
Exemptions from the UST Program are listed in the California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 23, Chapter 16, Section 2621. Each local agency may have additional ordinances defining a UST which limit exemptions provided by the State.
UST Program Requirements
Permits and fees are required for the operation, installation, modification, and removal of UST. Modifications include the following changes: the UST's primary and/or secondary containment, piping, under dispenser containment, fill and/or piping sumps, overfill protection, and the UST system monitors. Additionally, the removal of piping and/or dispensers requires a closure report. An unauthorized release which increases the hazard of a fire or deterioration to the tank system shall be reported to the CUPA. Owner/operator changes must be reported to the Participating Agency within 30 days of that change. 24 hour notification is required prior to conducting an UST monitor certification or integrity test. UST permit applications and guideline packages are available at the Participating Agency upon request and contain necessary forms and guidance to assist you.
Senate Bill 989
Underground Storage Tank facilities must be inspected every year by the local agency. Also, all UST systems require under-dispenser containment or other approved containment system. When a UST is closed, the owner must submit soil/groundwater testing results to rule out the presence of MTBE with a closure letter.
Unified Program Forms
Unified Program (UP) forms for Underground Storage Tanks are available electronically in Forms
Visit the State Water Resources Control Board for information on the Los Angeles River Watershed Unit, San Gabriel River Watershed Unit, and the Los Angeles/Ventura Coastal Unit. The phone numbers for the Participating agencies are listed below.
Burbank Fire Department (818) 238-3473
Pasadena Fire Department (626) 744-4115
Torrance Fire Department (310) 618-2973
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (626) 458-3517