Storage Tanks in Idaho
Storage tanks are used to store many substances including petroleum or certain other hazardous liquids. There are both underground storage tanks (USTs) and aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). Idaho has about 3,500 regulated USTs; there are approximately 561,000 nationwide. It is quite difficult to see a leak from an UST and any leak can pose a serious environmental threat if the stored petroleum or other hazardous substance seeps into the soil and contaminates ground water, which is the source of most of Idaho's drinking water.
Underground Storage Tanks in Idaho
While many types of storage tanks may be buried, the term underground storage tank refers specifically to certain types of tanks that are regulated. These tanks are those in which 10% of their contents are underground and store either petroleum products (e.g., gasoline, diesel, kerosene, or jet fuel) or certain hazardous substances. The underground piping connected to the tanks is also considered part of the UST system. Learn more.
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks in Idaho
A leaking underground storage tank (LUST) is any UST that is leaking. The law requires owners and operators of USTs to prevent, detect, and clean up releases and prohibits installation of unprotected steel tanks and piping. Learn more.
UST Rules and Regulations
DEQ has state program approval to operate the Idaho UST program in lieu of EPA. State programs must be at least as stringent as EPA's regulations (40 CFR 280). Owners and operators in states that have an approved UST program do not have to deal with two sets of statutes and regulations (state and federal) that may be conflicting. Once the state UST programs are approved, states have the lead role in UST program enforcement. Learn more.
All Idaho UST owners and operators are required to successfully complete training on how to properly identify, operate, and maintain USTs within 30 days of assuming responsibilities. Learn more.
UST Installation and Closure
Whether you are installing a new UST or a replacement tank to an existing system, replacing piping to accommodate a new dispenser, or building a new UST system there are many regulatory factors to consider. It is the responsibility of the UST owner to meet all the regulations no matter what installer is used on the project. Many tanks are being taken out of service and permanently closed. Regulations require that during permanent closure of regulated tanks, owners of the tanks need to evaluate for the presence of a release where contamination is most likely to be present. Learn more.
Find important forms for notifications; monthly, annual, and triennial reporting; and training here.
Aboveground Storage Tanks
Aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are used to store petroleum products, hazardous waste, or other hazardous materials aboveground. Petroleum ASTs in Idaho are regulated by EPA, under the federal Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule. Although DEQ does not regulate ASTs in Idaho, state rules require that the agency be notified within 24 hours if a petroleum release occurs from an AST to the environment. Hazardous waste ASTs and ASTs utilized for used oil are regulated by DEQ's Hazardous Waste Program. ASTs containing materials that are hazardous but not consider waste are regulated by other agencies. Releases of hazardous materials must be immediately reported to DEQ. Local fire districts, cities, and counties may have additional AST ordinances or best management practices.