Closing Underground Storage Tanks in Utah

Tank Closure

Closing a tank is one way to help protect public health and the environment from the threats posed by older USTs. There are two types of closures: temporary and permanent.

Temporary Closure

Temporarily closing your USTs may be a good option if you own USTs that are only in operation during part of the year or if you own USTs that are not in use but you don’t want to permanently close them.


The steps you are required to take depends on how long your tank has been temporarily closed.

Less than Three Months

  • Operate and maintain cathodic protection (if any).
  • Operate and maintain leak detection (if any) or empty the tank to less than one inch of product.

Three Months or More

  • Operate and maintain cathodic protection (if any).
  • Operate and maintain leak detection (if any) or empty the tank to less than one inch of product.
  • Submit a Temporary Closure Notice .
  • Leave vent lines open but cap and secure all other lines, pumps, manways and ancillary equipment.

Permanent Closure

Permanent closure entails the removal of the tank from the ground or if approved by the local fire department and Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR), filling it in place with a chemically inactive solid, such as sand or cement slurry.


  • Contract with a Utah Certified Tank Remover.
  • File a Closure Plan, and obtain approval.
  • Notify the local fire department, local health department, and DERR at least 72 hours prior to closing the tank.
  • Have a Utah Certified Soil/Groundwater Sampler collect the necessary environmental samples and have them analyzed at a certified laboratory.
  • If contamination is present, the owner/operator and/or the certified person must notify the DERR within 24 hours.
  • Submit the Closure Notice with the sample analytical results within 90 days of closure.

Closure Plan

A completed closure plan must be submitted by the owner/operator and approved before commencing closure of the tank. A contractor may complete the closure plan, however, the owner/operator is responsible for compliance with all rules and regulations. Information on the closure plan must include:

  • Facility and Owner name and address.
  • Tank information: tank id, date installed, capacity, substance stored, date last operated and whether it will be removed, closed in place or changed in service from a regulated tank to a non-regulated tank.
  • Tank Remover and Soil/Groundwater Sampler’s name, company, certification number and expiration date.
  • Disposal information for the tank, piping, sludge, rinse water, contaminated soil and groundwater, if any.
  • Site map, drawn to scale, with the tank, piping, dispensers, sampling locations, buildings, fences, property boundaries, utility conduits (sewer, gas, water, storm drains, electrical, etc) clearly labeled.
  • Signed by the tank owner.

Once approved the closure plan is valid for one year. Changes to an approved plan must be submitted in writing to DERR and approved before closing the tank. A copy of the approved closure plan must be on-site during closure activities.

Closure Notice

Within 90 days of closing the tank, the owner/operator must submit the following:

  • Completed closure notice form, signed by the owner/operator and the certified soil/groundwater sampler.
  • Updated site map and sample information table with the actual depths and locations of all soil and water samples, including depth of groundwater.
  • Analytical results of the samples.
  • Chain of Custody Form, which tracks the samples from the time they were collected until they were delivered to the laboratory.

Safe Closure is a Must

People who do not follow standard safety practices are killed or injured every year while closing or removing tanks. For a safe closure, you need qualified professionals who will follow standard safety practices.

Hire a Qualified Contractor

The following tips may help you find a reliable contractor to close your tanks:

  • Ask other tank owners who have closed tanks to recommend contractors they have used.
  • Look closely at the contractors’ qualifications and experience to make sure you are satisfied with both.
  • Get references from the contractor.
  • Obtain at least 2-3 bids.
  • Verify that the contractor has a current Utah UST Remover certificate and/or Utah UST Soil/Groundwater certificate.
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