Leaking Underground Storage Tanks
Updated: June 19, 2013
Table of Contents
UST Procedures Manual (see requirements)
Regulations for Leaking Underground Storage Tanks in Alaska (18 AAC 78 Article 2)
Other DEC Resources
What are the requirements for investigating and cleaning up leaking UST (LUST) sites?
DEC has specific regulations that govern the identification, assessment, cleanup and closure of leaking UST sites. Because of the complex nature of contamination sampling and remediation, we recommend that you refer to Article 2 of the UST regulations, 18 AAC 78, and the UST Procedures Manual. This fact sheet on the cleanup process for LUST sites might also be helpful. (PDF 477K)
What is Cost Recovery?
The State of Alaska is authorized, under Federal regulation 42 U.S.C. 699 1 b(h), to recover State funds used during oversight of a petroleum cleanup from a leaking underground storage tank (LUST).
The State is also authorized by Alaska Statute 46.08.070 to recover money expended by the Department to contain or cleanup the release of oil or a hazardous substance, including petroleum.
"Oversight" costs can include Department staff salaries, travel, equipment, supplies, contracts and services, and general program management. Typical cost expenditures for staff time can include, but are not limited to: performing plan reviews; drafting approval letters; attending site meetings; offering technical assistance via phone; and doing site visits or inspections.
Starting December 1, 1997, DEC began cost recovery for those sites.
If you have questions about Cost Recovery, please contact Jan McElwain at 907-465-5290.
What are the sampling requirements for LUST sites?
All sampling requirements for LUST sites are outlined in the UST Procedures Manual.
Alaska has some unique sampling requirements. Probably the most significant is the requirement for a methonal preservative for field samples.
Is a Qualified Person required to do site sampling work?
In order to legally conduct soil and groundwater sampling at a regulated UST sites, the owner and operator must hire a person who is "qualified" that will be responsible for collecting field data, interpreting and reporting data from a sampling event.
How do I get approved to be a Qualified Person?
See definition of Qualified Person.
If you wish to conduct work at a leaking underground storage tank site (see more detailed information), fill out a Qualified Personnel Form, found in Appendix A of the UST Procedures Manual. Review Chapter 2, Sections 2.1 and 2.3 of the UST Procedure Manual for details on the form.
Submit completed form along with a resume for each qualified person to the Contaminated Sites Program project manager for DEC approval. Note: The resume must be written to document all requirements necessary to be a qualified person, as listed in the definition. (This submittal is not necessary for persons previously listed as qualified.)
Note for Re-submittals: If a change in personnel or responsibilities occurs after submitting the Qualified Personnel Form, the form must be amended to reflect the new personnel or responsibilities and resumes must be forwarded to the Contaminated Sites project manager with the revised form. Re-submittals or amendments to the form must be received by DEC before or concurrently with any site-specific project plans or reports that are submitted subsequent to the personnel change.
What requirements do I need to meet to be a Qualified Person?
18 AAC 78.995. Definitions
(118) "qualified person" or "qualified third party" means a person who actively practices environmental science or engineering, geology, physical science, hydrology, or a related field and has the following minimum education and experience:
(A) a bachelor's degree or equivalent from a nationally or internationally accredited postsecondary institution in environmental science or engineering, geology, hydrology, physical science, or a related field; for purposes of this subparagraph, "equivalent" means that the person earned at least 128 semester hours, 168 trimester hours, or 192 quarter hours at an accredited postsecondary institution, and with at least 18 percent of those hours in a science major and at least 13 percent of those hours in upper division-level courses; and
(B) at least one year of professional experience in environmental science or engineering, geology, physical science, or a related field, completed after the degree described in (A) of this paragraph was obtained.
Hiring a Qualified Person
If you are in need of a qualified person to conduct assessment or cleanup at a site, please see the following document Selecting an Environmental Consultant (PDF 66K) for tips on finding a good contractor.
Do laboratories need to be approved too?
Yes, all required soil and water samples that have been collected at UST sites must be analyzed by a laboratory approved by the DEC. The DEC Laboratory Approval Officer reviews the submittals and verifies the laboratory has successfully passed a performance evaluation audit sample for each analyte using required methods. For more information, please see:
Division of Environmental Health Laboratory Approval Program
How to Apply for Approval
Labs Approved for Underground Storage Tank Analysis
Labs Approved for Aliphatic and Aromatic Petroleum Hydrocarbon Methods
At this time laboratories are no longer being approved for the Alaskan aromatic/aliphatic separation methods (AK101AA, AK102AA, and AK103AA). These methods are currently under review by the state. For further information on the methods and alternate action requirements please refer to the Technical Memorandum 01-006, located at: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/spar/csp/guidance/tm_01_006_aamethods.pdf
Please watch the CS Lab Approval website for announcements concerning the status of these methods. Contact Shera Hickman, Laboratory Approval Officer, at (907) 465-5203 if you have questions regarding the laboratory requirements.
Is there detailed information available about particular Leaking UST sites?
You can search our Leaking UST database on-line. Find out important facts about the status of Alaska's open or closed Leaking UST sites.
Does DEC approve Remediation Facilities for treating contaminated soils?
Yes. Alaska approves facilities that meet certain conditions to be able to treat petroleum contaminated soils. There are two basic types of treatment facilities; offsite and portable.
Offsite Treatment Facilities are designed to receive, manage, and remediate soil that has been transported from the site the contaminated soil was generated to an offsite location for storage and treatment. This category can treat soil multiple project sites or facilities (i.e., multiple contaminant source generated at a multiple sites or by a multiple facilities).
Examples: Include, but are not limited to: thermal desorption rotary kiln units, enhanced thermal desorption units, hot-air vapor extraction units, and soil washing units.
Approval process: 60 days or more review and processing period dependent on Operations Plan review and public notification process.
Portable Remediation Facilities are normally set up to remediate soil at the facility or project site where the contaminated soil was generated (often involves the treatment of a pre-existing stockpile(s) of contaminated soil).
Examples: Include but are not limited to: thermal desorption rotary kiln units, enhanced-thermal desorption units, hot-air vapor extraction units, and soil washing units.
Approval process: Portable Facilities are approved on a site specific basis as part of the cleanup plan or corrective action plan by the DEC project manager. If the portable unit moves to another site, the company needs to reapply for approval for the new site.
Please contact Bill O'Connell, at (907) 269-3057 for information and approval concerning soil remediation facilities.