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May 29, 2013
Latest UST national performance report

The nation is on track to meet the 2013 goal the EPA has set for completing cleanups at sites with leaking underground storage tanks (USTs), according to the Agency’s latest semiannual report on UST performance measures.  For FY 2013, the EPA has a goal of 10,100 UST cleanups.  The first half of the fiscal year (October 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013), saw 5,331 cleanups completed.  

Since the inception of the federal UST program in 1984, about 1.8 million USTs have been closed.  Still, the UST sector is immense, currently with 581,097 active, regulated USTs at approximately 213,000 sites.  Of the 511,000 releases reported since 1984, 430,000 have been cleaned up.  The federal government has issued national UST standards for release prevention (prevention of spill, overfill, and corrosion) as well as leak detection. 

Compliance with those requirements is enforced almost exclusively by the states.  For example, for the 6 months covered by the current report, 49,000 on-site inspections were conducted by states, territories, and third-party inspectors.  The EPA and credentialed tribal inspectors conducted 85 inspections. 

National data

Completed UST cleanups is one of the top performance measures the EPA has developed to gauge the progress of the UST cleanup program.  Others include:

  • Percent of USTs in significant operational compliance (SOC).  SOC refers to compliance with both the release prevention and leak detection requirementsFor the first half of FY 2013, the EPA reports a 71.8 percent SOC rate, 0.4 percent higher than the rate for the same period in FY 2012.  The SOC goal for FY 2013 is 67 percent.
  • Confirmed new releases.  The midpoint 2013 report indicates 3,000 confirmed new releases, well below the midpoint of the Agency’s 2013 goal of 7,700, but about 500 fewer than those reported at the midpoint of FY 2012. 

State data

Here are some state-specific data for the first 6 months of FY 2013:

  • Most active tanks–Texas (51,114); least–Alaska (1,028)
  • Most closed tanks–California (130,014); least–Hawaii (5,467)
  • Most confirmed releases–Ohio (310); least–Wyoming (3)
  • Most cleanups initiated–California (41,182); least–North Dakota (852)
  • Most cleanups completed–California (36,677); least–North Dakota (1)
  • Most cleanups remaining–Florida (12,762); least–Maine (36)
  • Highest percentage of USTs in SOC with release prevention and release detection–Montana and Wyoming (both 96 percent); least–Massachusetts (33 percent)

The report notes that nine states have UST requirements more stringent than the federal SOC requirements.  A list of states with requirements that go beyond the federal baseline is included in the report, along with the specific requirements of each state. 

Click here for EPA’s current report.

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