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Underground Storage Tanks

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Published on November 10, 2016. Last modified on June 29, 2020


Underground Storage Tank Programs

The Monterey County Environmental Health Bureau (EHB), Hazardous Materials Management Service (HMMS), oversees the underground storage tank inspection program. As the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), Environmental Health is tasked by the Secretary for Environmental Protection to implement and enforce the underground storage tank codes.

Typically, USTs are used to store large amounts of hazardous materials such as gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, and waste oils. The purpose of the UST Program is to protect public health, the environment and groundwater from potential contamination or adverse effects associated with unintended releases from the underground storage of hazardous materials.

What is an Underground Storage Tank?
An underground storage tank (UST) is defined in California Health and Safety Code as "any tank and its associated piping (located substantially or totally underground) which is used for the storage of hazardous substances."

HMMS provides regulatory oversight for the operation of UST systems including:
  • Permit issuance
  • Routine inspections of ongoing site operations
  • Review and approval of construction, repair, upgrade and removal applications
  • Inspections of construction, repair, upgrade and removal activities
    • UST Install/Construction/Repair
    • UST Temporary Closure
    • Cathodic Protection
    • UST Removal

For more information on the Underground Storage Tank Program, please contact:

Donn Poticar
Environmental Health Specialist III
(831) 755-4723

Underground Storage Tank Fees

Fees For Underground Storage Tank Permits
Base fee per facility requiring annual permit to operate. $481 Per Tank/Yr.
Base fee per agricultural facility > 1100 gallons requiring annual permit to operate. $481 Per Tank/Yr.

Permit to construct, plan check fee (base fee for 1 tank).

Additional Tanks:

$1,904 Each

 $481 Each

Permit to close (base fee for 1 tank).

Additional Tanks:

$1099 Each

$481 Each

Repair/Modification (Minor, per tank Site). $800 Each

Repair/Modification (Major, for 1st tank).

Additional Tanks:

$1045 Each

$481 Each

Underground Storage Tanks (exempt). $157 Per Tank/Yr

Additional Resources

Resource Type Name of Resource Link to Resource
Downloadable PDF UST Removal Permit Application Packet Download Here

Downloadable PDF

Hazardous Waste Tank Closure Certification

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

UST installation & repair permit application packet

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

Application for site mitigation inspection or Work Plan review

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

Site safety plan

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

Hydrauliclift and reservoir removal procedure

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

Designated operator submittal form

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

UST financial responsibility form

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

Letter from Chief Financial Officer

Download Here

Downloadable Brochure

RUST brochure

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

RUST grant fact sheet

Download Here

Downloadable PDF

RUST Loan Fact Sheet

Download Here

Related Links


Please Note:

The list provided here is for information only.  Monterey County Health Department, Environmental Health, makes no recommendations for any businesses on this list.  This list is not all-encompassing; it should not be assumed that every business available to perform underground storage tank installation, removal and repair services is listed.

Click here for downloadable Contractor List: Word / PDF

Underground Storage Tank Program FAQs

A. UST owners and operators have a bit more to submit in CERS then a typical hazardous material handler or hazardous waste generator. For example, if nothing changes at a non-UST hazardous material handler’s facility, they are only required to submit the “Facility Information” and “Hazardous Materials Inventory” sections annually. UST operators, however, have a few more submittal elements that are required. The following matrix describes the individual CERS UST submittal elements, their required submittal frequency and a helpful link:

CERS Submittal Element Required Submittal Frequency Link to a Template Form
Facility Information (includes Business Activities and Business Owner/Operator Initially, annually and within 30 days of any changes. No template. Data must be entered directly into CERS
Hazardous Materials Inventory (Includes the Hazardous Materials Inventory and Site Map) Initially, annually and within 30 days of any changes. Hazardous Material Inventory must be entered directly into CERS. To download a template Site Map click HERE
Emergency Response and Training Plans (Includes the Emergency Response Plan and Employee Training Plan) Initially, annually and within 30 days of any changes. To download a template ER Plan with Training Plan click HERE
UST Facility Operating Permit Application (Formerly “Form A”) Initially, annually and within 30 days of any permit changes or facility information changes. No template. Data must be entered directly into CERS
UST Tank Information/Monitoring Plan (Formerly “Form B”) Initially, annually and within 30 days of any plan changes. No template. Data must be entered directly into CERS
UST Monitoring Site Plan Initially, annually and within 30 days of any changes to any of the map elements. To download a template UST Monitoring Site Plan click HERE
UST Certification of Financial Responsibility Initially, annually and within 30 days of an unauthorized release or any changes to the document. To download a template UST Cert. of Fin. Responsibility click HERE
UST Response Plan Initially, annually and within 30 days of any change to the plan. To download a template UST Response Plan click HERE
UST Owner/Operator: Written Agreement Initially, annually and within 30 days of any change to the agreement. To download a template agreement click HERE
UST Letter from Chief Financial Officer Initially, annually and within 30 days of any change. NOTE: Required only if the UST Fund is sited in the UST Certification of Financial Responsibility. To download a template UST CFO Letter click HERE
Owner Statement of Designated UST Operator Compliance Initially, annually, before the designated operator’s ICC certification expires and within 30 days of any other change. To download a template Owner Statement click HERE

A. All UST system testing records must be converted to PDF and uploaded to the “Miscellaneous State-Required Documents” area of CERS which is in the “Underground Storage Tank” section. This includes test results for monitoring system certifications, secondary containment testing, and special testing such as cathodic protection, tank lining and piping testing. It also includes tests performed after a repair has been made to the system.

A. A UST Monitoring Site Plan is a floor plan/map of your property showing all the components of your UST system. The third-party company that does your annual monitoring system certification has likely included a version of this for you in your monitoring system test results. If it contains all the criteria mentioned below, it is fine to upload to CERS (or you can add any missing items before uploading. Your UST Monitoring Site Plan must clearly identify;

  • The general layout of tanks and piping
  • Monitoring system control panels
  • Sensors monitoring tank annular spaces, sumps, dispenser pans, spill containers, or other secondary containment areas
  • Mechanical or electronic line leak detectors
  • In-tank liquid level probes (if used for leak detection)
  • The date the Site Plan was prepared
If you would like to create a UST Monitoring Site Plan from scratch click HERE

A. Yes. Monterey County Hazardous Materials Management Service offers two types of permits depending on the scope of the repair project (Minor and Major). For example, a Minor Repair/Modification Permit will cover a spill bucket replacement while a Major Repair/Modification Permit will be needed for larger projects such as UDC and sump modifications, piping repair or replacement, tank lining, etc. You can link to the Underground Storage Tank Construction/Repair Permit Application by clicking HERE

A. The following matrix has been designed to guide owners and operators of UST systems on this matter. All test results and system certifications must be uploaded to your facilities CERS account in “Miscellaneous State-Requited Documents” which is at the bottom of the “Underground Storage Tanks” section of CERS.

Type of Test Test Frequency
Monitoring System Certification
At the time of install and annually on your test anniversary date
Secondary Containment Test (aka: SB989 Test) At install, 6 months later and every 36 months thereafter. NOTE: VPH systems are exempt from secondary containment testing
Single Walled Tank Test Must pass a 0.1 or a 0.2 gph leak test every month
Cathodic Protection System Every 3 years
Tank Lining Test Every 5 years
Enhanced Leak Detection(aka: ELD) Every 3 years. NOTE: Only UST systems within 1000 ft. of a water well must comply.
Suction Piping Every 3 years
Gravity Flow Piping Every 2 years
Pressurized Piping Annually. NOTE: Positive shutdown fulfills this requirement

Yes. Senate Bill 445 dictates that all single wall underground storage tanks must be properly closed by December 31, 2025. A Local Guidance letter from the California State Water Resources Control Board describing the Bill can be found HERE. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you intend to access money from the UST Cleanup Fund, your application requesting access to that money from the State must be submitted to the State by December 31, 2024 one full year before the deadline for tank removal! This means you should begin the Monterey County UST removal application process immediately to ensure adequate time for project approval.

A. To gain insight into the UST removal process and to download the permit application package click HERE. In addition to the permit application you, or your licensed contractor, will need to complete a Site Safety Plan before a permit to remove your UST will be issued. A template plan can be found HERE

A. If you are considering removing a hydraulic lift system you can click HERE for more information.

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