Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs) | Region 10 | US EPA

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Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs)

This program is managed by

the Groundwater Unit of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement.

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Leaking Underground Storage Tank waste on water's surface...
EPA's federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations require that leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites must be cleaned up to restore and protect groundwater resources and create a safe environment for those who live or work around these sites.

What is a LUST site?
It can be an area contaminated not just from leaking underground storage tanks, but also from spills and overfills that occurred when USTs were in use.

USTs leak for a variety of reasons. Some tanks are made of steel, which is likely to corrode over time, causing tank contents to leak into nearby soils and groundwater. Faulty installation or inadequate operation and maintenance of UST systems also can cause a leak or a spill.

USTs contain not only petroleum products like diesel fuel and gasoline, but also other contaminants of concern like lead, MTBE and other oxygenated compounds added to petroleum fuel. Some USTs are used to store hazardous substances. The greatest potential hazard from a leaking UST is that these contaminants can seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans, making water unsafe or unpleasant to drink. Leaking underground storage tanks can present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion.

In Region 10, about 17,400 LUST sites have been reported. Steady cleanup work has progressed for over a decade and over 13,550 contaminated sites have been cleaned up. While much good work has been done, there are about 4,150 UST sites remaining to be cleaned up. To see a breakdown of this data by state and Indian Lands and to see how we compare to other regions, you can go to the corrective action measures page, which is maintained by EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) in Washington, DC.

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What do I do if find a leak or have a spill?

Limiting contamination from spills, overfills and leaking USTs into the surrounding environment depends on you! If you suspect or discover that your UST system is leaking or you have a spill greater than 25 gallons, you must notify authorities within 24 hours upon discovery. If you do not report the incident, you may be subject to fines and additional penalties. To determine who to contact in Region 10 (e.g. EPA or your state’s environmental program), read on.

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Who do I contact in EPA Region 10?

Indian Lands - In EPA Region 10, EPA directly oversees the cleanup of LUST sites on Indian Lands, which includes sites on Indian reservations owned by non-Indians. To contact us for further information, technical assistance or to report an UST leak or spill, visit the Indian Lands section of our EPA & State Contacts page.

All Others - For LUST sites that are NOTon Indian Lands, each state in EPA Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) oversees the cleanup. For further information on state programs, who to contact for more information and to report an UST leak or a spill, you can access their web site by visiting the State section of our EPA & State Contacts page.

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LUST Site Lists
For a list of LUST sites identified on Indian Lands in EPA Region 10, Please contact a staff member on our Indian Lands team listed on our EPA and State Contacts page - http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/WATER.NSF/UST/UST+Contacts.

For a list of LUST sites and active and closed UST facilities that are NOT on Indian Lands, visit the appropriate state web site. Click on the appropriate link below.

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Brownfields and USTfields

Local communities have been grappling with what to do about abandoned, contaminated properties. Of the estimated 450,000 brownfields sites in the United States, approximately one half of them are thought to be impacted by underground storage tanks or some type of petroleum contamination. Federal, state and local organizations and private partners are working together to foster the reuse and subsequent economic recovery of petroleum-contaminated sites. The following federal programs have been at work in Region 10 to assist local communities in reusing petroleum contaminated properties:

NEED MORE INFORMATION ON LUST CLEAN UPS?

Additional information pertaining to cleaning up underground storage tank system releases can be found at EPA’s main web site maintained by OUST.

For future reference, use our shortcut address -- www.epa.gov/r10earth/ust.htm, which will take you to our main webpage.

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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/water.nsf/UST/LUST

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