United States
                         Environmental Protection
                         Solid Waste And
                         Emergency Response
August 1994
UST   Program  Facts
State  UST  Programs
    What is the role of states hi regulating
    underground storage tanks?

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    recognizes that, because of the size and diversity of
    the regulated community, state and local
    governments are in the best position to oversee
    underground storage tanks (USTs):

       State and local authorities are closer to the
        situation in their domain and are in the best
        position to set priorities.

       Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and
        Recovery Act (RCRA) allows state UST
        programs approved by EPA to operate in lieu
        of the federal program.

       The state program approval regulations set
        criteria for states to obtain the authority to
        operate in lieu of the federal program. State
        programs must be at least as stringent as

    How do states receive program approval?

    EPA's regional offices  coordinate the state program
    approval process for states and territories under
    their jurisdiction.  Ultimately, they approve the
    programs, following federal standards.

    EPA regional officials work closely with state
    officials while state programs are under
    development.  Once state legislatures enact statutes
    and state agencies develop regulations in accord
    with EPA requirements and put other necessary
    components of a program in place, states may
    apply for formal approval. EPA must respond to
    applications within 180 days.
                           A state program is approved if it is judged to meet
                           three criteria:

                              It sets standards for eight performance criteria
                               that are no less stringent than federal standards.

                              It contains provisions for adequate

                              It regulates at least the same USTs as are
                               regulated under federal standards.

                           Which states have approved programs?

                           Fourteen states have approved programs: Georgia,
                           Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi,
                           Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North
                           Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, and

                           Which states may be next?

                           Since EPA regulations went into effect, cleanup has
                           been a priority for many states. Increasingly, states
                           are making program approval a priority. A total of
                           23 states have submitted drafts of state program
                           approval applications which EPA regional officials
                           are currently reviewing.

                           What are the benefits of state program

                           Because state programs operate in lieu of the
                           federal program, states that have an approved UST
                           program can eliminate an entire set of government
                           regulators from their regulated community.
                           Owners and operators do not have to deal with two
                           sets of statutes and regulations (state and federal)
                           that may be conflicting. States take pride in
                           obtaining federal approval of their programs.

Once their programs are approved, states will have
the lead role in UST program enforcement.  In
states without an approved program, EPA will
work with state officials in coordinating UST
enforcement actions.

Need more information about a particular
state's program?

Contact the EPA regional office or the UST/LUST
program in your state, usually located in the state
environmental department.  Program staff will
provide information or referrals.
"State UST Programs " is one in a series of fact sheets
about underground storage tanks (USIs) and leaking
USIs. The series is designed to help EPA, other federal
officials, and state authorities answer the most frequently
asked questions about USIs with consistent, accurate
information in plain language. Keep the fact sheets
handy as a resource. This fact sheet addresses federal
regulations.  You may need to refer to applicable state or
local regulations, as well For more information on
UST publications, call the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at
                                                                                     Printed with Soy/Canola Ink on paper that
                                                                                     contains at toast 50% post-consumer recycled fiber