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Leaking Underground Storage Tanks


What are the requirements for investigating and cleaning up leaking UST (LUST) sites?

DEC has specific regulations governing the identification, assessment, cleanup and closure of leaking UST sites. Because of the complex nature of contamination sampling and remediation, we recommend you refer to:

Cost Recovery

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 Kimberly Essary at 907-465-5290.

Sampling Requirements

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 Environmental Professional Required?

Is a Qualified Environmental Professional 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 meets the criteria for a qualified environmental professional at 18 AAC 78.088(b) to is "qualified" that will be responsible for collecting field data, interpreting and reporting data from a sampling event. A person who meets the criteria for a qualified sampler may conduct certain types of sampling if a qualified environmental professional is not available.

Laboratory Approval

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:

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 (PDF).

Contact Brian Englund, at 907-269-7526 if you have questions regarding the laboratory requirements.

Leaking UST Database

Is there detailed information available about particular Leaking UST sites?

You can search our Leaking UST database online. Find out important facts about the status of Alaska's open or closed Leaking UST sites.

Remediation Facilities

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

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).

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 Facilties

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).

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 us for information and approval concerning soil remediation facilities.

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