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Metrics: Environmental Response and Remediation

UST Branch

Percent of Underground Storage Tank Facilities in Significant Compliance Over Time

An underground storage tank (UST) is a tank connected to piping that has at least ten percent of its combined volume underground. USTs may contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. U.S. EPA and states collaborate with industry to protect the public health and the environment from potential releases.

Beginning in 2004, overall compliance with UST regulations was measured through a metric called Significant Operational Compliance (SOC). New regulations aimed at reducing the risk of spills and leaks from UST systems went into effect October 2018. Since that time the Utah UST program has been working with UST facility operators to achieve compliance with the new regulations. The original SOC measures plus the new regulations are now captured in new metric titled Technical Compliance Rate.

Leaking Underground Storage Tanks Cleanups Completed that Meet Cleanup Standards

Gas stations are common throughout residential and business communities; often using USTs to store the fuel they sell. To date, there have been more than 5,500 UST releases in Utah. Over 5,000 of these releases have been investigated, cleaned-up, and determined that no further corrective action is necessary (closed).

When a leaking underground storage tank (LUST) releases a fuel product, contamination of the surrounding soil, groundwater, surface water, or indoor air can occur. Utah obtains more than 50% of the population’s drinking water from groundwater. While the frequency of new releases has decreased, they continue to occur. The Utah LUST Program oversees remediation actives to ensure protection of human health and the environment and that clean-up is completed in a timely and economical fashion.