UST / LUST Enforcement | Region 10 | US EPA

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UST / LUST Enforcement

This program is managed by

the Groundwater Unit of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement.

A photo of unsecured underground storage tanks that have floated to the surface during a high water event.

Unsecured underground storage tanks that have floated to the surface during a high water event.

The UST / LUST enforcement program is designed to ensure that owners / operators of UST systems comply with the requirements of the law (RCRA, Subtitle I and the Energy Policy Act of 2005) and federal UST regulations. Our goal is to ensure that UST systems are installed, operated, maintained and closed properly to prevent harm to others and the environment. To achieve compliance, we use all tools available, including inspections, enforcement actions and compliance assistance. Compliance with UST regulations not only protects human health and the environment, but it makes good business sense too!



ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
EPA Region 10 is responsible for enforcing federal regulations that pertain to UST systems in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and on Indian Lands.

In Subtitle I of RCRA, Congress allowed EPA to delegate UST enforcement authority to state agencies after EPA has approved their program. EPA works with state agencies to develop their UST programs so that they meet the criteria required under RCRA. Once approved, the state has the primary role for implementing the program and enforcing its regulations. However, EPA retains the right to become involved in enforcement activities against a facility even under programs delegated to a state agency.

To date, EPA has granted state program approval to Oregon. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) and the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) conduct inspections of UST facilities and are responsible for the enforcement of their state UST regulations. For more information on their UST inspection program, visit ODEW's and Ecology's web site. EPA Exit Disclaimer

In Alaska, there is a Third-Party Inspection program based on state UST regulations. Although the state of Alaska through the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) enforces the rules of the program, EPA has the right to enforce federal regulations within the state of Alaska if found necessary. For more information on Alaska’s UST inspection program, visit ADEC's web site. EPA Exit Disclaimer

For Idaho, Their UST program is under development. In February 2007, the Idaho Legislature passed the Idaho Underground Storage Act, which authorized the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) to establish an UST program. IDEQ enforces State UST regulations as described in their Rules Regulating UST Systems, which took effect on April 2, 2008. EPA primarily is responsible for working with IDEQ to develop their program and enforcing federal UST regulations.

EPA UST ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS
In Region 10, the EPA response to UST violations can vary due to the nature of the violation. Any serious noncompliance issues may be referred for formal enforcement at the discretion of the EPA UST / LUST Program. Types of enforcement actions typically invoked in the EPA UST / LUST program (ranging from the least to the most punitive) are:
Before issuing an enforcement action, EPA practices discretion by weighing the nature of the violation against any factors unique to the facility or the owner/operator including the inability to pay in cases of issuing orders.

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