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Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

Revising Underground Storage Tank Regulation – Revisions to Existing Requirements and New Requirements for Secondary Containment and Operator Training; Final Rule

On this page:

Rule Summary

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.In the July 15, 2015  Federal Register (PDF)(119 pp, 1.5 MB), EPA published the 2015 underground storage tank regulation and the 2015 state program approval regulation. The revisions strengthen the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations by increasing emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment. The revisions will help prevent and detect UST releases, which are a leading source of groundwater contamination. The revisions will also help ensure all USTs in the United States, including those in Indian country, meet the same minimum standards. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.

The 2015 UST regulation changed certain portions of the 1988 underground storage tank technical regulation in 40 CFR part 280. The changes established federal requirements that are similar to key portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, EPA added new operation and maintenance requirements and addressed UST systems deferred in the 1988 UST regulation. The changes:

The 2015 state program approval (SPA) regulation also updated SPA requirements in 40 CFR part 281 and incorporated the changes to the UST technical regulation listed above.

Indian country UST owners and operators must meet the federal requirements according to the schedule in the 2015 UST regulation.  SPA does not apply to USTs in Indian country.

Rule History

Information on 2011 proposal to revise underground storage tank regulations.

Additional Resources

For more information, contact Elizabeth McDermott at or 202-564-0646. 


The 2015 UST regulation was effective 10/13/2015.  Compliance deadlines range from 10/13/2015 to 10/13/2018. The 2015 SPA regulation requires states and territories reapply for state program approval by 10/13/2018.  EPA issued two compliance advisories.    

October 2018 Deadline

When Who What
In States And Territories Without Program Approval
10/13/2018 UST owners and operators in states and territories without program approval
Must meet remaining 2015 UST technical requirements
Ongoing State and territorial UST programs without program approval
May apply for state program approval based on the 2015 federal UST regulations at any time
In States And Territories With Program Approval
10/13/2018 States and territorial UST programs with approved programs
Must re-apply to retain approved program status
Ongoing UST owners and operators in states with approved programs
Continue to follow their states’ requirements, which may be different from the 2015 federal UST requirements
In Indian Country
10/13/2018 UST owners and operators in Indian country
Must meet remaining 2015 UST technical requirements