Owners/Operators of Single-Walled Underground Storage Tanks in California
Historically and to this day, the bulk of petroleum fuels in California (and across the USA) have been stored in tanks placed underground. It saves on space and provides safety against fires and explosions.
© Ami Adini & Associates, Inc. 2004
From the early 1900s to the late 1980s, petroleum storage tank installations were all of single-walled construction.
And many tanks leaked and contaminated groundwater resources.
In the 1980s, environmental laws developed that mandated upgrading the single-walled facilities into double-walled containment. The laws allowed single-walled underground storage tanks (USTs) of certain structures to remain if upgraded with features that enhanced leak detection and prevention.
Most owners of USTs opted to replace them with modern double-walled systems; but there remained a large number who, out of cost considerations, opted to stay with their single-walled tanks and upgrade to meet demands.
|The upgraded single-walled tanks already had a sizable number of years of service, at times amounting to decades. By now, many such systems extant have arrived at an honorable age of over three to four decades.
On September 25, 2014, the Governor of California signed SB 445 (Hill) Underground storage tanks: hazardous substances: petroleum: groundwater and surface water contamination.
SB 445 mandates removal of all petroleum-storage single-walled tanks by December 31, 2025.
Historically, California had a limited program of loans and grants aimed at upgrading UST facilities: the Replacing, Removing, or Upgrading Underground Storage Tanks (RUST) Program.
Certain key elements of SB 445 pertain to expansion of the RUST Program.
As it is expected that some owners/operators of single-walled USTs may be cash-strapped, SB 445 expands the purposes of the loans and grants in RUST to include removal of single-walled USTs, and it Increases the maximum RUST grant amount to $70,000.
The details are many and cannot be entered in the format of this newsletter.
Click here for a special Cal/EPA web page on the RUST Program.
Click here for an IMPORTANT NOTICE to OWNERS/OPERATORS OF SINGLE-WALLED USTS
And go here for a Fact Sheet on the Grant
On first sight, ten years (till December 2025) to get rid of a single-walled tank installation may be perceived as far beyond the horizon when compared to the workaday issues the business owner must attend to.
|But for those who may need the financial aid, the sooner they start the application process the better: the funds are not unlimited, the application process will take its time, and there will be others in the queue that arrived first.
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