Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program

Information – Background, Snapshot, Highlights

The goal of the UST Program is to protect public health, the environment and groundwater. To accomplish this goal, ACDEH Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) ensures that businesses and facilities with ongoing UST operations are properly permitted and meet the monitoring requirements applicable to their type of equipment. This is accomplished by:
  • Conducting annual inspections at ACDEH regulated businesses as required by State law. 
  • Review and approve all electronic submissions regarding UST installations, repairs, upgrades and removals through CERS. 
  • Conduct installation, repair, and upgrade inspections. 
ACDEH CUPA is the lead program for permitting installations of new UST systems, UST repairs, and UST piping removals within our jurisdiction. ACDEH CUPA inspects over 250 UST facilities annually.

To notify ACDEH at least 48 hours prior to monitoring certifications, secondary containment testing, etc. email the UST program at DEHUST@acgov.org with the facility name, testing company, type of inspection and date and time of the requested inspection.

The California Health and Safety Code (H&SC) and the California Code of Regulations (CCR) require that a UST owner or operator must obtain a permit to install, upgrade or repair a UST. ACDEH is the agency that issues UST install, upgrade or repair permits for facilities within our jurisdiction. Most installations, upgrades and repairs require a permit.

UST Upgrade or Repair Actions that Require a Permit:

The following list provides examples of some common upgrade or repair actions that require a permit:
  • Tank sump, and under dispenser containment (UDC) install, upgrade or repair.
  • Any piping upgrade or repair (including relocation of existing pipes or installation of additional piping).
  • Monitoring system panel upgrade, replacement or repair involving reprogramming (e.g. software upgrade that includes re-wiring or re-programming).
  • Overfill prevention equipment modifications or upgrades.
There are a few upgrade or repair actions that do not require a permit. However, proper contractor certification and /or licenses are still required for these actions. The following do not require a permit:
  • Like-for-like replacement (same make and model) of sensors, drop tube, fuel turbines, mechanical line leak detectors, or flex connectors (if inside a sump or UDC).
  • Software upgrades of the monitoring system panel that do not require any re-wiring, reprogramming or restarting.
The above examples are intended to provide general guidance only. For any proposed upgrade or repair that varies from those listed above contact ACDEH CUPA to determine if a permit is required.

**Emergency Alert** Power Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Affected USTs

During a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), an Underground Storage Tank (UST) monitoring system may lose its power source and shut down erasing the alarm history data and system setup. After the monitoring system panel regains power a Cold Start is required to ensure UST monitoring systems are functioning correctly and properly programmed. A business with a UST needing a Cold Start are required to do the following:      

  1. Notify Alameda County Department of Environmental Heath (ACDEH) Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) within 3 days after a Cold Start.
  2.  Obtain a permit from ACDEH CUPA for the Cold Start.              
  3. Provide ACDEH CUPA a notice of the time and date of testing at least 48 hours prior to monitoring certification by email to DEHUST@acgov.org.
  4. Submit monitoring system certification results to ACDEH CUPA within 30 days of testing. 

When there is a Cold Start as the result of a PG&E PSPS, ACDEH CUPA will waive the standard permit and fees and will only charge the Ordinance-approved hourly rate for inspector time. However, failure to notify ACDEH CUPA of a Cold Start within the required time frame and obtain the appropriate permit will result in a violation and the requirement to complete all permit conditions including payment of full permit fees.

TIP: To prevent a Cold Start, test the battery in the UST monitoring panel annually and replace as necessary.

Underground Storage Tank (UST) - Removal

The California Health and Safety Code (H&SC), the California Code of Regulations (CCR) require that a UST owner or operator must obtain a permit to remove a UST. ACDEH CUPA issues UST removal permits for facilities within our jurisdiction.

UST Removal Requirements:
The following is a general overview of UST removal requirements.
  • Submittal and approval of UST removal application, supporting forms and permit fee.
  • Removal and proper disposal of any residual liquid, solids, or sludge within the UST system.
  • All soil and water sampling meets ACDEH requirements.
  • ACDEH observation / inspection of the UST removal and soil sampling (48 hour notification required). 
  • Submittal of rinsate manifest, tank disposal documentation, soil and water sample lab analysis, and soil stockpile disposal documentation.
Authority: Chapter 6.7 of Division 20 of the California Health and Safety Code and Title 23 of Division 3 of the California Code of Regulations.

  1. UST Regulations (CCR, Title 23, Chapter 16) Effective October 1, 2018
  2. Underground Storage of Hazardous Substance (Health & Safety Code Chapter 6.7) Amended and Effective January 1, 2019
  3. New forms can be downloaded at (https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/ust/forms/ )
  4. Summary of Single Walled UST Permanent Closure Provisions
Complete in CERS in the Underground Storage Tanks section:
  • Operating Permit Application - Facility Information          
  • Operating Permit Application -Tank Page          
  • UST Monitoring System Plan 
Complete form and upload in CERS in the Underground Storage Tanks section:
Complete form and keep onsite for inspection review:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An underground storage tank (UST) system is a tank (or a combination of tanks) and connected underground piping having at least 10 percent of their combined volume underground. The tank system includes the tank, underground connected piping, underground ancillary equipment, and any containment system. The federal UST regulations apply only to UST systems storing either petroleum or certain hazardous substances.
In 1984, Congress directed the U.S. EPA to develop regulations for underground storage tank (UST) systems. EPA issued federal regulations, effective December 1988, that delegate UST regulatory authority to approved state programs. States are the primary implementers of the UST program and may have requirements more stringent than the federal regulations.