The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (Santa Ana Water Board’s) UST and Site Cleanup Program Section (UST/SCP Section) directs environmental cleanup activities at leaking petroleum UST sites located within the Santa Ana Region. These sites include active and inactive gasoline stations, brownfield redevelopment sites, airports, bulk petrochemical storage terminals, pipeline facilities, and various industrial facilities.
Leaking petroleum USTs are a significant threat to groundwater and pose a potential threat to human health, safety, and the environment. California has been regulating USTs containing hazardous substances since 1983 by applying federal and state laws, regulations, and policies to achieve cleanup standards. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) is the designated lead regulatory agency for the development of the petroleum UST Program, regulations, and policy. The four main petroleum UST Program elements developed by the State Water Board include: leak prevention program; tank integrity testing; enforcement of requirements; and cleanup of leaking tanks.
Various agencies are involved with implementing the petroleum UST Program elements, including the Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs), which are the implementing agencies for the leak prevention program element. A CUPA is a local agency that has been certified by the California Environmental Protection Agency to implement the six state environmental programs, which include the Hazardous Materials Business Plan/Emergency Response Plan, Hazardous Waste/Tiered Permitting, Underground Storage Tanks, Aboveground Storage Tanks, California Accidental Release Program, and the Uniform Fire Code Hazardous Materials Management Plan, within the local agency's jurisdiction. For more information on CUPAs please see the Quick Links.
The State Water Board administers the Tank Tester Licensing Program to meet the tank integrity testing requirements, which are required by law. Enforcement of petroleum UST permitting, testing, and leak prevention requirements is primarily conducted by the local agencies, although the State Water Board may also provide enforcement assistance to local agencies. The cleanup element of the petroleum UST Program includes the investigation and remediation of petroleum releases from leaking petroleum USTs under the oversight of the Regional Water Boards and State Water Board Certified Local Oversight Programs (LOPs).
Information on leaking UST Cleanup Program sites can be found using the State Water Board’s data management system – GeoTracker. For online access to environmental data for UST cleanup sites, click the following link to access GeoTracker.
On May 1, 2012, the State Water Board adopted a Low-Threat Underground Storage Tank Case Closure Policy (LTCP); see State Water Board Resolution No. 2012-0016. The LTCP was approved by the Office of Administrative Law on July 30, 2012. On August 17, 2012, the LTCP went into effect when a Notice of Decision for the Policy was filed with the California Secretary for Natural Resources. Additional information is provided in the Quick Links.
This LTCP is a statewide policy which applies to all leaking petroleum UST sites subject to Chapter 6.7 of Division 20 of the California Health and Safety Code and Title 23, Division 3, Chapter 16 of the California Code of Regulations. The LTCP establishes consistent, statewide case closure criteria for low-threat petroleum UST sites. The LTCP establishes both general and media-specific standardized criteria for closure that ensures the protection of human health, safety, and the environment. If both the general and applicable media-specific criteria are satisfied, then the case is typically considered to present a low threat to human health, safety, and the environment and can be considered for closure under the LTCP.
Injection of materials to the subsurface can be an effective treatment technology used to reduce the levels of contaminants in the soil and/or groundwater at active groundwater cleanup sites. Before implementing this type of remediation, a discharger must first have a remedial action plan, which has been reviewed and approved by the lead oversight agency, then seek coverage under the adopted General Waste Discharge Requirements for In-Situ Groundwater Remediation at Sites within the Santa Ana Region, Order No. R8-2018-0092. For more information on Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) please click on the following link to the State Water Board Waste Discharge Requirements Program.
The discharges of highly treated groundwater resulting from cleanup at leaking petroleum UST sites requires a permit consistent with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program and California Waste Discharge Requirements. To obtain an individual permit or coverage under the General Groundwater Cleanup Permit for Discharges to Surface Waters of Extracted and Treated Groundwater Resulting from the Cleanup of Groundwater Polluted by Petroleum Hydrocarbons and/or Solvents, Order No. R8-2012-0027, NPDES No. CAG918001, an application and report of waste discharge must be submitted for review by Santa Ana Water Board staff. For more information please click on the following link to the State Water Board NPDES Program webpage. You may also click the following link for a list of contacts in the Santa Ana Water Board’s Wastewater Section.
For inquiries regarding documents or files for current or closed UST Program cases not available in the GeoTracker database, please click the following link for more information on Public Records Requests, or submit a request by email to: email@example.com.
For general questions regarding the UST Program please contact:
For questions regarding specific UST Cleanup Program cases, please contact the primary Case Manager listed in the GeoTracker database. A list of case managers is provided below:
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