The Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) is committed to cleaning up properties to protect human health and the environment, ensuring that underground storage tanks are used properly, delivering exceptional customer service, and forming collaborative partnerships with businesses and stakeholders. Program objectives include:
- Assessment and cleanup of contaminated properties to protect human health and the environment and help return lands to beneficial reuse
- Prevention of spill releases through compliance inspections of underground storage tanks (USTs)
- Improvements to operational efficiencies
- Easy access to agency documents
- Community involvement in cleanup decisions
DERR provides oversight for Superfund cleanups, administers the Voluntary Cleanup and Brownfields programs, and regulates Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) through implementation of the state UST program. These programs serve to protect human health and the environment and help return property to beneficial reuse. The division has had great success in preventing petroleum releases from USTs, remediating contaminated lands, and revitalizing areas through these programs.
Underground Storage Tank Program
There are 4,065 underground storage tanks (USTs) in the state of Utah. Nearly 67 percent of these tanks utilize the Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund as their financial assurance mechanism for the assessment and cleanup of releases. The UST program focuses on prevention through inspection and compliance follow-up. In the event of a release, DERR oversees the cleanups to ensure that state standards are met. The division also conducts UST cleanups where the responsible party is unknown, unwilling, or unable to conduct the cleanup themselves to assure that contaminated sites are ultimately cleaned up.
In 2017, DERR UST staff conducted over 870 compliance inspections. UST owners/operators in the state have a 94 percent compliance rate within 60 days of the time of inspection. While more than 83 new release sites were reported this year, over 90 reported release sites were remediated and closed, paving the way for some properties to be developed for a better and higher use.
Success Story: UST State Program Approval
The process of preparing for SPA review began in earnest in early 2016 and focused on updating Utah UST rules to incorporate the 2015 changes. At the same time, DERR’s UST branch began work on the required SPA documents. These documents included the following:
- A detailed description of the state program
- A description of the state’s enforcement process
- A detailed comparison of the state and federal rules to ensure that the state program is “no less stringent” than the federal rules.
The process requires significant input from the Utah Attorney General’s Office, including a letter from the Attorney General certifying the “no less stringent” determination. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also required examples of forms, letters, process descriptions, and guidance documents.
The UST program staff spent considerable time in 2017 preparing documents for the SPA review. Since the previous SPA approval was completed in 1994, UST staff had to collect and develop a large number of documents to comply with the application requirements. The branch submitted this documentation to EPA for a pre-submittal review and edited it as needed. The UST program has finalized all SPA components and is currently compiling the final application document. The branch expects to have its official application to EPA by the end of 2017.
The UST Act is up for reauthorization in the 2018 Utah State Legislature. The division is working closely with stakeholders and legislators to ensure reauthorization to preserve the state’s outstanding UST program.
Overall, DEQ has an outstanding performance regarding the implementation of their UST Program. LUST Trust Fund expenses are well documented and remediation work is being performed regularly, the state has been fulfilling the requirements of the EPAct Grant Guidelines … there are no significant recommendations for DEQ’s UST Program.”
– Comment from EPA Region 8 following the 2016 End-of-Year Review
UST Advisory Task Force
DERR utilizes an advisory task force to provide an avenue for UST program stakeholders to offer suggestions and feedback regarding program operation and development. The Task Force is comprised of representatives of various sectors of the industry, including retail gas stations, the Utah State Fuel network, UST installation and service companies, and remediation consultants.
Meetings are held four times a year. Topics include potential changes to statutes or rules, ways to implement various aspects of the program effectively, and areas of emerging concern. The Task Force provides invaluable input to the UST program and allows DERR to work closely with affected stakeholders to improve the program.
Brownfields include property where the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The assessment and cleanup of these sites is a significant step in returning Brownfields properties to beneficial reuse.
EPA Brownfields Grants
Area-Wide Planning Grants
Area-Wide Planning grants help communities plan for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites and improvements such as housing, transportation, recreation, and open space. Orem City was awarded an Area-Wide Planning grant in January 2017 for the Geneva Road Project Area. DERR assisted the city by reviewing the grant proposal, providing technical comments, and issuing a letter of support.
Community-Wide Assessment Grants
Salt Lake County, Provo City and Uintah Basin Association of Governments used assessment funding previously awarded by EPA to evaluate properties in their respective communities/jurisdictions. DERR continues to partner with the communities and provide technical assistance to help move the projects forward.
Provo City has a very long and productive working relationship with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality staff members at various levels. Bill Rees and Brent Everett in particular have provided invaluable insight and assistance in moving former Brownfields sites from abandoned and stagnate to remediation and economically productive. It has been a partnership of getting things done. With an eye to not only protecting the environment, DEQ staff have helped Provo City navigate the details of grant opportunities and funding to working through the challenges of post- remediation site management plans and keeping projects moving during construction.”
– Dixon Holmes, Former Deputy Mayor, Provo City
Centro Civico Mexicano, a nonprofit organization, was previously awarded a cleanup grant to help fund the removal of impacted soil from its property in downtown Salt Lake City to build affordable senior housing and a civic center on the site. Centro Civico is currently in the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and recently completed a Remedial Action Plan and public comment period, allowing field work to commence in accordance with the applicant’s schedule.
If it wasn’t for DEQ, this project would have never happened. We are so appreciative of DEQ’s assistance with our application for the Brownsfield grant. The staff met with us, gave us advice, and helped us every step of the way. The environmental cleanup is essential for the Centro Civico Mexicano Redevelopment to move forward, and we are grateful for DEQ’s support in making it possible.”
– Brandy Farmer, President/CEO Centro Civico Americano
Brownfields Spotlight: Crossing at South Salt Lake
The Crossing at South Salt Lake is an important transit-oriented development project in the heart of South Salt Lake. The first phase of this mixed-use development, anchored by an 85,000-square-foot Winco Food Store, opened in November 2017. Slated to house 1.5 million square feet of new retail space, 3 million square feet of new office/commercial space, 2,600 multi-family housing units, and a connection to all three TRAX lines and the S-Line streetcar, this revitalization project will eventually turn 235 acres between 2100 South and I-80 into a commercial and transportation hub.
To facilitate this project, the Boyer Company and Winco Food Stores requested an Enforceable Written Assurance (EWA) from DERR. The EWA is a tool to manage Brownfields and other eligible sites prior to and after purchase of a property.
As part of the EWA process, South Salt Lake, as the owner of record at the time, agreed to conduct the remedial activities at a former gas station on the property to help prepare the site for development. Approximately 10,000 cubic yards of soil was removed from the site, allowing DERR to issue a No Further Action letter for the former gas station. Additionally, DERR continued working with Boyer Company and Winco Food Stores to develop Reasonable Steps for the project to guide both development and future use of the site. An EWA was issued in February 2017, and construction of the first phase commenced in March 2017. The city hopes the project will be the catalyst for the development of South Salt Lake’s downtown district.
Voluntary Cleanup Program
The Utah Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) was created to promote the voluntary cleanup of contaminated sites and encourage redevelopment of Brownfields and other impacted properties through a streamlined cleanup program. The VCP has been a success, providing communities and businesses with an avenue to partner with DEQ to implement solutions for difficult environmental challenges on contaminated properties. This program protects public health and the environment and helps return impacted properties to beneficial reuse, which creates new economic opportunities for affected communities.
Success Story: Sunset Ridge VCP Site
Exceptional customer service, a DEQ core value, is an important component of every VCP project. The Sunset Ridge VCP is a good example of DERR’s commitment to work collaboratively with all parties to protect the health and safety of the public while ensuring the land is returned to beneficial reuse. The division supports its exceptional customer service efforts through:
- In-depth preparation
- Frequent meetings with stakeholders
- Active listening
- Discussions with stakeholders on possible solutions
- Thorough explanation of state and federal rules governing cleanup efforts
- Frequent communication throughout the VCP process
The Jordan School District built the Sunset Ridge Middle School in 2005. The District anticipated continued growth in the area, so it bought a 50-acre field north of the middle school to build a high school. Development around the schools transformed the area’s dry farms into strip malls, business parks, and subdivisions.
As development progressed, however, historical research indicated that around 3,300 feet of the Bingham-Magna Ditch (BMD), a 17-mile long canal from Copperton to Magna, was buried beneath the area. The ditch went through the east side of the middle-school property and continued north and east right through the high school property. Used by a predecessor of Kennecott’s, the BMD transported water for mining activities. The water carried by the BMD was impacted by metals — particularly arsenic — and the canal was covered over when the BMD was taken out of service.
In 2006, the District enrolled the middle school and high school properties into the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). During the summer of 2007, Kennecott hired a contractor and began cleanup of the District’s property. A Certificate of Completion (COC) was issued in 2008. In January 2017, the District decided to sell 40 acres of the high school property to a residential development company. Under the VCP, cleanups are based on the proposed future land use. In this case, residential land-use standards were used to ensure protectiveness for school children. However, the COC said nothing about residential use; it only mentioned use of the property for “public schools.” This ambiguity created issues for the developer, since the company didn’t know if future residential use would invalidate the COC.
DERR worked extensively with the developer to identify a solution, and after much discussion, DERR decided to amend the COC to include residential use. The division communicated regularly with the developer throughout these discussions, demonstrating its good-faith effort to resolve the issue. As a result, the developer was amenable to the decision, and the property transaction was able to proceed while the amended COC was finalized.
Success Story: Ogden Business Exchange VCP Site
The historic Ogden Stockyards were established in 1905. Over the course of time, millions of head of livestock passed through the facility. The stockyards were eventually closed in 1971, and the property was used for various other purposes. Storage of drums, containers, engines, vehicles, scrap piles, and railroad ties created a significant amount of environmental uncertainty that became an impediment to redevelopment efforts.
Ogden City used funding from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Community-Wide Assessment grant to perform a Phase II Site Assessment at the property. The assessment provided information the city needed to apply for an Enforceable Written Assurance (EWA) from DEQ to facilitate cleanup and redevelopment.
A Reasonable Step as part of the EWA was for the city to complete response actions under the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP), so Ogden applied to the VCP in July 2014. To assist the city, the cleanup was phased, and field work commenced on Phase 1 after a cleanup plan was developed and a public comment period completed. Upon completion of the work, a No Further Action letter was issued. This allowed construction of a new commercial facility that was completed in 2016. Field work on other portions of the site was also conducted in 2016, and a site-wide Certificate of Completion is anticipated upon completion of final reporting. On August 2, 2017, DERR issued a No Further Action letter for the Phase 2 portion of the cleanup.
Ogden City is on the verge of transforming this once blighted 50-acre site into the Ogden Business Exchange. Minutes from downtown, the new business park will not only provide a new tax base for the city but a recreation destination as well.
The Utah DEQ played an important role in the Ogden Business Exchange, which is a significant redevelopment project in Ogden City. The project transformed the historic Ogden Union Stockyards, long vacant and blighted, into a state-of-the-art business park. Joining the DEQ’s Voluntary Clean-up Program allowed the City to access technical assistance, planning, and regulatory clarity that helped us to complete the project correctly and in a timely manner. The DERR team was very knowledgeable, flexible, and always willing to help – they were essential to the City’s efforts to return this brownfields site to a productive use.”- Brandon Cooper and Sara Meess, Ogden City Business Development Office
DERR’s Superfund (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Branch performs site assessments of potentially contaminated sites to determine whether or not they pose a threat to human health and the environment and require further action, including possible placement on the Federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The Branch also manages or performs oversight of investigation and remediation activities at Superfund sites, including NPL sites and federal facility sites.
700 South 1600 East PCE Plume Site
The 700 South 1600 East PCE Plume was detected during routine sampling of the Mount Olivet irrigation well. The suspected source of the tetrachloroethylene (PCE) contamination is historic dry-cleaning operations at the nearby Veterans Affairs Medical Hospital.
The Veterans Administration (VA) Remedial Team, as part of its Phase 1 field work, conducted indoor air vapor testing, outdoor air testing, and near-slab soil-gas sampling at 36 residences in the area between January and April of 2015. None of the samples were above the removal action level, but they did confirm the contamination and helped define the areas most impacted.
Phase 2 field work began in February 2016, with the VA conducting the same testing at additional homes. One home showed PCE above the removal action level, and the VA worked with the property owner to install a vapor mitigation system. Ground water samples were collected from 42 temporary locations; 10 of these locations still serve as temporary monitoring locations. In May 2016, VA contractors collected surface water and storm water samples throughout the area. These data will be used to write a Remedial Investigation Report to evaluate the potential risk to human health and the environment from contaminated ground water.
Site sampling continued with the next phase of indoor air sampling conducted from March through April of 2017. In coordination with DEQ, EPA, and Salt Lake City, VA contractors collected indoor air samples at seven additional homes in the area. A portable gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer was used in these homes to sample the indoor air and soil gas for the presence of PCE. In addition, the VA conducted confirmatory sampling from 13 homes sampled during the 2015 field season. These locations were chosen because of ground water results collected in 2016. The confirmatory sampling utilized 24-hour collection canisters and certified laboratory analysis.
Since the VA began testing houses in 2015, totaling approximately 60 structures, only one home detected enough PCE to warrant action, with four requiring further testing. None of the seven homes sampled in 2017 exceeded the PCE screening level. As a precautionary measure, the VA offered air-purifying units to homeowners whose tests exceed the screening level while the agency monitors the site and crafts a permanent plan for PCE removal.
The VA has developed a Community Involvement Plan (CIP) to facilitate communication between the VA and community members. Public involvement activities under the CIP include informational meetings, community council briefings, and opportunities for stakeholder involvement in the study and remediation process. DEQ, EPA, and the VA coordinate community involvement to ensure that residents are continuously updated and informed of cleanup plans and activities.
Five Points PCE Plume
The Five Points PCE Plume, located in Woods Cross, North Salt Lake, and Bountiful, is a ground water plume of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) that likely originated at a dry-cleaning facility in Bountiful from a leaking sewer pipe. PCE was first detected above the maximum contaminant level in a Woods Cross City drinking-water well in 1996. Woods Cross City completed construction of a drinking-water treatment plant in 2015 to clean contaminated water found in three city wells.
The EPA, with DEQ concurrence, issued a Record of Decision in August 2016 to extract, contain, and treat ground water. The selected remedy includes:
- Installation of a system to extract PCE-contaminated ground water at the plume core and toe (lower end)
- Hydraulic containment of contaminated ground water at the plume core and toe
- Treatment of the extracted ground water and discharge to an offsite wastewater treatment plant
- Restoration of the ground water as a drinking-water source
- Implementation of institutional controls (ICs) that discourage drilling and installation of new wells until remedial actions and cleanup goals have been achieved
The Five Points PCE plume is currently in the remedial design phase. During remedial design (RD), technical specifications for cleanup remedies and technologies are determined. After the design is completed, funding is required to build the design. All Superfund-financed remedies are reviewed by EPA’s National Risk-Based Priority Panel. Some sampling is involved during RD. Sampling at the Five Points Plume site could possibly occur in January 2018.
If the site is funded, Remedial Action (RA) follows the remedial design phase and involves the actual construction or implementation phase of Superfund site remedy to achieve cleanup. The RD/RA is based on the specifications described in the Record of Decision (ROD).
The Jacobs Smelter site is located within Rush Valley, Tooele County, near the town of Stockton, Utah. The smelting and mining activity at the site occurred primarily in the 1860s and 1870s, leaving behind heavy-metal contamination of the soils, mill tailings, and smelter wastes. Lead and arsenic contamination at the site is present at concentrations that pose a significant risk to human health and the environment.
DEQ and EPA conducted a public meeting for the community in October 2015 to present the proposed cleanup plan for Operable Unit 2 (OU2) of the site, an 85-acre area affected by the former Waterman Smelter. Both agencies recommended excavation and disposal of contaminated soil as the preferred alternative for addressing lead and arsenic contamination on residential and undeveloped lands within OU2.
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the contaminated area was issued in September 2016. The ROD requires excavation and offsite disposal of soils that exceed lead and arsenic cleanup levels designated for residential, commercial, and undeveloped areas (up to a maximum depth of 18 inches), followed by the replacement of excavated soil with clean topsoil and revegetation of excavated areas. Institutional controls (ICs) will be put into place to ensure that the remediation continues to be protective of human health and the environment.
The Jacobs Smelter site is currently in the remedial design phase. During remedial design (RD), technical specifications for cleanup remedies and technologies are determined. After the design is completed, funding is required to build the design, and all Superfund-financed remedies are reviewed by EPA’s National Risk-Based Priority Panel. Some sampling is involved during RD. Sampling at the smelter site occurred in November 2017.
If the site is funded, Remedial Action (RA) follows the remedial design phase and involves the actual construction or implementation phase of Superfund site remedy to achieve cleanup. The RD/RA is based on the specifications described in the ROD.
Success Story: Winchester Hills Impact Area MRS, Target Area MRS, and Water Tank Hillside MRS
DERR has been providing regulatory oversight of the investigation and remediation of three Winchester Hills Munition Response Sites in St. George, a former military training grounds. The site was used briefly in the 1950s by Utah soldiers to improve their competency with howitzers, bazookas, hand grenades, and small arms. This training, however, left the land with a considerable number of potential environmental hazards.
The recent growth in Utah’s Dixie resulted in the encroachment of residential properties on these former training grounds, which are located on a mix of Bureau of Land Management (BLM), School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), and privately owned land. Working hand-in-hand with the Army and Utah Army National Guard, DERR is working to craft an effective remediation plan to address potential risks from munitions of explosive concern and/or munition constituents. During this process, DERR has pushed for more stringent remediation standards to allow for unlimited use/unlimited exposure so the land can be safely used for residential or recreational use in the future.
Success Story: DERR Lead Agency on Five-Year Reviews
Five-Year reviews (FYRs) are typically required by CERCLA when hazardous substances remain onsite above levels that allow for unrestricted use and unlimited exposure. The Five-Year Review process provides DERR with an opportunity to evaluate how well the selected remedy is performing and determine whether the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.
Typically, a FYR occurs five years following the start of a CERCLA response action and reoccurs every five years as long as uses at a site remain restricted. FYRs can be performed by EPA or the lead agency (state) for a site; however, EPA retains the responsibility for determining the protectiveness of the remedy. DERR prefers, when possible, to perform FYRs for the sites in Utah because division staff are extremely knowledgeable about the sites DERR manages and can perform the review for a fraction of the cost of a contractor performing a FYR for EPA. For example, DERR was able to perform the Five-Year Review at the Rose Park Sludge Pit for almost 50 percent less than the estimated cost to perform the FYR.
Rose Park Sludge Pit Superfund Site
The Rose Park Sludge Pit Superfund Site was contaminated from the 1930s through 1955 by oil-sludge wastes from local refineries that were disposed in an unlined pit onsite. The site was discovered in 1976 when the waste material was uncovered during development of a city park. In 1983, the Rose Park Sludge Pit was listed on the National Priority List (NPL) and considered a top priority for the state. After numerous site investigations, a slurry wall of bentonite clay was constructed below-ground around the perimeter of the pit to contain the oil-sludge and prevent it from contaminating ground water. A soil cap was constructed over the waste material.
The site was deleted from the NPL in 2003. However, because wastes were left onsite and ground water continues to be monitored, FYRs continue to be conducted by DERR under a cooperative agreement with the EPA. In September 2017, DERR completed the sixth FYR for the Rose Park Sludge Pit to determine if the remedy continued to be protective of human health and the environment. DERR reviewed historical documentation, examined ground water monitoring data since the last FYR, performed a site visit, and conducted interviews with people connected to the site.
The FYR concluded the remedy is protective, but noted a newly constructed elementary school located within a quarter mile of the site. In addition to the new elementary school, the FYR documented that the responsible parties had significantly reduced ground water monitoring events and the number of wells monitored in the last five years. To ensure the sludge is not contaminating ground water or affecting the elementary school in the future, DERR made several recommendations for the site, including increasing the monitoring-well network and the frequency of ground water monitoring events around the slurry wall.
Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters
Historically located in a residential area at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters were constructed around 1870 to process lead and silver ores. The site consists of three Operable Units (OUs):
- Operable Unit One (OU1) addressed contamination on residential properties and was completed in 2008.
- Operable Unit Two (OU2) addressed smelter contamination within commercial and undeveloped areas and was completed in 2012.
- Operable Unit Three (OU3) addressed smelter contamination on agricultural land developed for residential properties and was completed in 2006.
Contamination at the site was associated with slag and other smelter waste from historical smelting operations at the site. The Contaminants of Concern are lead and arsenic, and the remedy for each OU consisted of excavation, soil treatment, and off-site disposal of contaminated soil. In addition, since contaminated soil remains at the site above unrestricted use levels, institutional controls were implemented at the site to prevent certain land uses and control how soil is managed at the site.
In September 2017, DERR completed the second FYR for the Davenport and Flagstaff Smelters to determine if the remedy continued to be protective of human health and the environment. DERR reviewed historical documentation, reviewed land use changes since the last FYR, performed a site visit, and conducted interviews with community members and local government officials. The review found that the site remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The remedies performed at each OU effectively contain the risk of exposure to lead and arsenic. However, the review did identify a potential issue with the implementation of institutional controls at the site and recommended continued coordination with county officials to administer the Salt Lake County Hazardous Soils Ordinance.
Portland Cement Superfund Site
The Portland Cement Site is located in within a predominantly industrial area near Redwood Road and Indiana Avenue in Salt Lake City. The 70-acre site consists of three separate but adjacent properties. The risks posed by the site came from Cement Kiln Dust (CKD) and chromium-bearing bricks deposited within the site boundaries. The CKD contained several metals including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, and molybdenum. These metals were present in soil and ground water.
The CKD and contaminated surface soil were removed during remedial actions completed in 1997; however, significant levels of contaminants still remain in ground water beneath the site. The remedy selected for the contaminated ground water was monitored natural attenuation (MNA). Since contamination remains in both subsurface soils and the shallow aquifer at the site, institutional controls were implemented to maintain the effectiveness of the remedies.
In September 2017, DERR completed the fourth FYR for Portland Cement to determine if the remedy continued to be protective of human health and the environment. DERR reviewed historical documentation, reviewed land use changes since the last FYR, performed a site visit, and conducted interviews with community members and local government officials.
The review found that the remedy for the site continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The excavation and off-site disposal of CKD and contaminated soil effectively reduced the risk of exposure to site contaminants. The review recommended increased coordination with city and county officials regarding construction activities and building permits within site boundaries and a review of the mechanism for attaching land-use easements to property titles. The review also recommended coordinating the replacement and repair of monitoring wells with property owners and evaluating the effectiveness of the monitoring-well network.
DERR is committed to effective community outreach and works diligently to involve residents, property owners, elected officials, and health agencies in cleanup decisions for Superfund sites. Listening to community concerns and building strong relationships helps the division collect and disseminate information about the site and find workable solutions for cleaning up contaminated areas.
Public involvement is crucial to the success of a Superfund cleanup project. DERR’s community involvement activities are designed to:
- Inform the public of the nature of the environmental issues associated with the site
- Involve the public in evaluating the responses under consideration to remedy these issues
- Involve the public in the decision-making process that will affect them
- Inform the public of the progress being made to implement the remedy
DEQ has been working with residents affected by the 700 South 1600 East PCE Plume site in Salt Lake City, the Five Points PCE Plume in Woods Cross/North Salt Lake, and the Jacobs Smelter site in Stockton.
Continuous Improvement/SUCCESS Framework
DERR is committed to continuous improvement to improve performance and implement innovations that advance operational quality, efficiency, and effectiveness. DERR employs technological tools to increase public access to information and improve operational efficiencies.
Continuous Improvement Spotlight: Underground Storage Tank Compliance
The Underground Storage Tank (UST) program helps operators prevent leaks through detection and corrosion-prevention measures. Five years ago, the UST program initiated a training program to teach operators how to conduct routine inspections to ensure the proper operation of their tank systems.
In 2012, operators had a 75 percent compliance rate during tank inspections. The UST program began to require mandatory operator training that year, and by 2014, the compliance rate jumped to 84 percent. A second effort to boost compliance in 2014 included reminder letters to operators encouraging them to stay up-to-date on their routine inspections. Over the next two years, the compliance rate climbed to 87 percent.
The mandatory training teaches operators about standard tank-inspection procedures and provides them with a user-friendly checklist for conducting inspections. The training includes instruction on:
- Monthly operator inspections
- Monthly UST release detection
- Investigation of alarms and unusual operating conditions
- Leak or spill reports to DERR within 24 hours
- Regular spill and overfill prevention and corrosion protection
UST staff also use tank inspections as an opportunity to offer on-the-spot training to operators, demonstrating ways they can improve their inspection and recordkeeping processes.
The UST program continues to look for ways to boost compliance rates to further reduce leaks and spills from underground storage tanks in the state.
Ongoing Continuous Improvement Projects
The map provides a web-based tool that helps the public locate information on Superfund sites, Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) sites, Brownfields, underground storage tanks, and areas with potential contamination. The revised Interactive Map, designed to be more user-friendly and comprehensive, was released to the public April 2015. The mapping tool offers location-based information for everything from permits to Superfund sites.
UST tracking system
The tracking system reports the rate at which owners meet underground storage tank (UST) program requirements.
Database-driven reminder system
Reminders alert tank operators when their tank tests are due.
Increased uploads of documents into the agency’s electronic documents system (eDocs)
These document uploads ensure that the public, businesses, and environmental consultants have easy access to the information they need.
An underground storage tank (UST) tablet inspection app
The tablet app increases efficiencies in conducting and following up on tank compliance inspections.
Online tank portal for underground storage tank certification and operator training registration
Online access facilitates operator registration for certification and training.
PST Fund program tool
The tool tracks the status of every site covered under the Fund along with next steps for site cleanup.
VCP program Efficiency Project
This project ensures the VCP program is operating efficiently through development of a method to quantify efficiency under the Continuous Improvement/SUCCESS Framework.
Tier 2 Submission Portal
Online submission portal for Emergency Planning and the Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) Tier 2 Chemical Facilities information helps ensure that the geographic location of facilities is accurate and offers the public a way to search for database information more easily.