UST / LUST Enforcement
National Enforcement Information
Regional Enforcement Information
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!
Unsecured underground storage tanks that have floated to the surface during a high water event.
ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIESEPA 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
For future reference, use our shortcut address -- www.epa.gov/r10earth/ust.htm, which will take you to our main webpage.
- Field Notices of Non-Compliance
Examples of violations include the failure to stick your tank for the presence of water once per month if using inventory control or failure to have all 12 months of release detection records. Violations must be corrected during a specified time period depending on the violation. Owners / operators can request a 30-day extension.
Fine: None unless compliance is not attained
- Field Citations (or Expedited Enforcement Compliance Orders and Settlement Agreements)
Examples of violations include failure to conduct release detection or to properly document financial responsibility. Violations must be corrected during a specified time period depending on the violation. Owners / operators can request a 30-day extension.
Fine: $70 – $1,300 for each violation
- Administrative Complaint and Compliance Orders (or Consent Agreement and Final Orders)
These orders may be issued to an owner / operator for failure to follow such regulatory requirements as reporting a leak, cleaning up contamination or upgrading UST systems. Also, if an owner or operator of an UST system fails to resolve a Field Notice of Non-Compliance or a Field Citation, then EPA may assign a case developer and issue an order against the owner or operator to achieve compliance.
Fine: Varies depending on the severity of noncompliance, but can be as high as $16,000 per tank, per day for each violation.