5.3 Underground Storage Tanks

Underground storage tanks (USTs) are tanks or piping that store petroleum or other hazardous materials underground. The most common UST is a gasoline tank underground at a gas station. These USTs are regulated by EPA and DEQ because there is a risk that they could corrode over time, causing leaks into nearby groundwater which could contaminate drinking water. The Louisiana DEQ requires that all USTs be registered with the state unless the tank was filled with solid or inert material prior to January 1, 1974 or the tank was removed from the ground prior to May 8, 1986. A tank is considered an UST if it holds a capacity of 1100 gallons or more.

Underground storage tanks are the number one source of groundwater contamination in the United States based on monitoring reports from states, tribes, and territories reporting contaminant sources. The Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund was created by Congress in 1986 to provide monetary assistance for cleanup of USTs where the owner is unknown or unable to clean up the contamination. The trust fund is financed by a .01 cent sales tax on gasoline. Cleanup of LUST in Louisiana must meet RECAP standards. You can find a list of LUSTs in Louisiana by going to http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/Portals/0/RemediationServices/UST/LUST%20sites%2003242016.pdf.

More information about LDEQ’s Underground Storage Tank program can be found here: http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/DIVISIONS/UndergroundStorageTankandRemediationDivision/UndergroundStorageTank.aspx#S

If you are concerned a storage tank may be leaking near you, contact the LDEQ Underground Storage Tank & Remediation Division at 225.219.3443.

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The Louisiana Citizens’ Guide To Environmental Engagement

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