Underground Storage Tanks Section

The Underground Storage Tank Section manages the Underground Storage Tank (UST) program, the Non-UST releases program (including petroleum aboveground storage tank (AST) releases and other petroleum releases), and the Ex Situ Petroleum Contaminated Soil Remediation Permit program.  The section issues permits, collects annual fees and handles requests for information for regulated and/or commercial underground storage tanks. The section ensures compliance with all relevant state and federal laws, policies, rules and regulations by assisting owners and operators in complying with operational standards (leak detection, spill and overfill prevention, etc.). This section also oversees the permanent closure activities of UST systems and corrective actions required to address spills and releases from USTs. This section also oversees the administration of several trust funds for the reimbursement of cleanup costs associated with UST releases. 

The Underground Storage Tank Section consists of three branches.

  • The Permits and Inspection Branch issues permits to operate UST systems and inspects UST facilities to ensure compliance with UST statutes, rules and policies. In addition to helping develop and review statutes, the staff provides technical assistance to enhance compliance and prevent pollution. Outreach efforts include educational and training opportunities.
  • Ex Situ Petroleum Contaminated Soil Remediation Permit program. The staff helps create, review and explain statutes, regulations and policies in addition to informing and training the regulated community about cleanup and corrective action issues.
  • The Corrective Action Branch staff trains and provides data to UST owner/operators and consultants through its central and regional offices. The staff oversees assessment and cleanup activities, conducts inspections and makes technical assistance visits. Staff also pre-approve trust fund requests and review claims for technical reimbursement. To reduce risk to human health and the environment, the staff samples wells and monitors cleanup efforts. This branch also oversees the Electronic Document Submittal for the UST Section Corrective Action Branch (see instruction memo). The UST Section is transitioning to electronic data management in order to enhance customer service, reduce paper consumption and decrease requirements for file space. Starting March 1, 2014, all reports (including, but not limited to, 20-day reports, initial abatement action reports, LSA reports, CSA reports, CAPs, NTCPs, monitoring reports, etc.) required by the UST Section are to be submitted according to the instructions in the instruction memo. The instructions for naming the electronic documents is available in the linked document: UST File Names for Laserfiche.
  • The Trust Fund Branch administers the N.C. Leaking Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Funds and EPA grants. To do so, the staff oversees trust fund eligibility decisions and fund reimbursements. The branch's staff oversees when the state contracts to assess and clean contaminated sites. Staff members also review technology to assess and clean groundwater and soil contamination and approve innovative technologies for use statewide. We help create, review and explain our statutes, regulations and policies in addition to informing and training the regulated community about trust fund issues.

Flood Preparation Information
The guide will help prepare for, prevent or lessen the catastrophic effects and environmental harm that could occur as a result of flooded UST systems as well as help return these UST systems to service as soon as possible.

Before a Flood, What Should Owners and Operators Do?

After a Flood, What Should Owners and Operators Do?

U.S. EPA's Underground Storage Tank Flood Guide, EPA 510-R-10-002, November 2010

Other useful information can be obtained on EPA's web page:

Natural Disasters and Underground Storage Tanks