Underground Storage Tank Performance Measures for All States/Territories/Tribes: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Semiannual Report (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022) | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

Download PDF

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published a report titled:

Semiannual Report of UST Performance Measures

End of Fiscal Yar 2022 (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022) (“Report”)

The Report is published twice a year by EPA and provides underground storage tank (“UST”) performance measures for all states, territories, and tribes.

In the mid-1980s the United States Congress concluded that a significant percentage of the USTs had or would suffer leaks or spills (often called “releases”). Congress also decided that some releases had or would cause significant subsurface and/or groundwater contamination. A related concern was the possibility that releases in certain areas or settings might infiltrate structures or drinking water supplies.

The Congressional response was legislation mandating EPA develop a UST regulatory program.

EPA subsequently promulgated UST regulations in 1989 requiring that petroleum USTs meet various registration, installation, design, leak detection, recordkeeping, and enclosure requirements. Most states, including Arkansas, decided to play a role in the regulation of USTs after the promulgation of the initial federal regulations. For example, the State of Arkansas enacted legislation that included the adoption of federal UST technical standards, creation of a petroleum storage tank trust fund, and an initiation of a contractor licensing program.

Despite various states’ operation of the UST program, EPA maintains oversight to ensure that the technical standards and financial responsibility requirements are being attained in the various delegated states. The most recent semiannual Report of UST performance measures looks at a national snapshot from October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022.

A number of national statistics are referenced such as:

  • 537,706 active USTs at approximately 193,000 facilities
  • On-site inspections at federally-regulated facilities – 86,713
  • Technical compliance rate of 56.5%
  • Class A and B operator training requirements – 87.4% compliance
  • Financial responsibility requirements – 89.4% compliance
  • Walkthrough requirements – 78.5% compliance
  • 4,568 confirmed releases (cumulative since 1984 inception of the program – 568,981)
  • 6,536 cleanups completed (cumulative since 1984 inception of the program – 509,091
  • 59,890 remaining releases to be cleaned up

The numbers for the State of Arkansas include:

  • Number of active petroleum UST systems – 8, 539
  • Number of closed petroleum UST systems – 22, 378
  • Number of hazardous substance UST systems – 0
  • Number of closed hazardous substance UST systems – 42
  • Total active UST systems – 8,539
  • Total closed UST systems – 22,420
  • Number of on-site inspections conducted – 1,525
  • Percentage in compliance with spill prevention requirements – 67%
  • Percentage in compliance with overfill prevention requirements – 65%
  • Percentage in compliance with corrosion protection requirements – 66%
  • Percentage in compliance with release detection requirements – 62%
  • Percentage of UST facilities meeting the technical compliance rate – 38%
  • Percentage in compliance with A and B operator training requirements – 81%
  • Percentage in compliance with financial responsibility requirements – 92%
  • Percentage in compliance with walkthrough requirements – 81%
  • Confirmed releases – 31
  • Confirmed releases, cumulative – 1,456
  • Cleanups initiated, cumulative – 1,406
  • Cleanups completed this year – 21
  • Cleanups completed, cumulative 1,343
  • Cleanups backlog – 100

A copy of the Report can be downloaded here.