Leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) containing petroleum or other hazardous substances pose a threat to human health and the environment due to contamination of soil and/or groundwater and contamination of drinking water aquifers.
The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) regulates the installation, management, and monitoring of USTs to prevent releases to the environment (Chapter 173-360 Washington Administrative Code). Ecology publishes standards and requirements for installation, tank construction, tank testing, leak detection, spill containment and overfill protection. Ecology issues permits for tank operation and enforces tank testing by certified tank testers only. Ecology also regulates the temporary and permanent closure and decommissioning of USTs.
USTs at the UW have been installed and are routinely maintained in accordance with Ecology regulations and guidance. However, if you are the owner or operator of an UST that you suspect or know has leaked, you are required to report the leak to the EH&S Environmental Programs immediately. EH&S is required to report petroleum leaks within 24 hours of detection to Ecology. Follow up soil and groundwater investigation and/or cleanup may be required if a leak has occurred.
Refer to the EH&S Design Guides for more information on USTs.
Please contact Environmental Programs at 206.616.0585 or email for assistance with UST
requirements, such as required maintenance records, Ecology notifications and inspections,
and changes in tank use or content.