Environmental News # 003
By Ami Adini - February 24, 2015


California Senate Bill No. 445 (SB 445) is IMPORTANT

Owners or Operators of Single-Walled Underground Storage Tanks in California

On September 25, 2014, the Governor signed Senate Bill No. 445 (SB 445).  SB 445(Hill) requires that single-walled USTs be permanently closed no later than December 31, 2025. 

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.

 © Ami Adini & Associates, Inc. 2004

  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. It finances the removal or replacement of single-walled underground petroleum storage tanks and provides contamination-cleanup funds:

  • Low-interest loans up to $750,000
  • Grants up to $70,000
  • UST cleanup funds up to $1,000,000
(Eligibility requirements apply)

  If you own or operate underground single-walled petroleum storage tanks, you need to move NOW:

The deadline for completing the work is December 31, 2025, financing is limited and no UST cleanup funds past that date.

X It takes months to get loans and grants;

X it may take two or more years to become eligible for UST cleanup funds,

X and 5-10 years to complete a cleanup.

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.


And go here for a Fact Sheet on the Grant

On first sight, 10 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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Tomorrow is here.


Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini
Ami Adini & Associates, Inc.
Environmental Consultants
Underground Storage Tank Experts
818-824-8102; 818-824-8112 fax

Ami Adini is a mechanical engineer, California Registered Environmental Assessor, Level II (Exp.), and president of AMI ADINI & ASSOCIATES, INC. (AA&A), an environmental consulting firm specializing in all phases of environmental site assessments and rehabilitation of contaminated sites. AA&A specializes in practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.