Crews pull an underground storage tank from a gas station.
- Contact information
- For information on petroleum contamination, contact:
- Keld Lauridsen
Remediation & Redevelopment Program
Gas, oil and other petroleum products are used daily in Wisconsin businesses and homes. Many petroleum spills come from underground storage tanks, known by the the acronyms UST (Underground Storage Tank) and LUST (Leaking Underground Storage Tank). When petroleum products are spilled into the soil or groundwater, the DNR will work with the responsible party and environmental professionals to clean up the spill to state standards.
Wisconsin UST & LUST overview
Wisconsin's regulatory program for petroleum storage tanks is divided between two agencies - the DNR and the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) (formerly the Department of Commerce).
The DNR is responsible for the following activities.
- Establishing investigation and remedial action requirements for contamination in the NR 700 series of environmental rules.
- Oversight of cleanups at petroleum tank discharges that include high risk factors. High risk factors are:
- confirmed contamination in a water supply well above an NR 140 preventive action limit,
- confirmed free petroleum product with a thickness of .01 feet or more,
- groundwater contamination above an NR 140 enforcement standard within 1000 feet of a well operated by a public utility,
- groundwater contamination above an NR 140 enforcement standard within 100 feet of any other water supply well, and
- groundwater contamination above an NR 140 enforcement standard in fractured bedrock.
The DSPS is responsible for the following activities.
- Tank standards for both underground and aboveground tank systems.
- Wisconsin's tank registration database.
- Wisconsin's fund for reimbursement of environmental cleanup costs (PECFA).
- Oversight of cleanups at petroleum tank discharges that do not include high risk factors.
Jurisdiction of sites where risk factors have not yet been determined is with DNR. Jurisdiction of sites where petroleum contamination is co-mingled with non-petroleum contamination is also with DNR. Completed LUST site investigation reports should be sent directly to DSPS or to DNR, depending on the risk factors that are identified during the investigation. When site investigation reports are sent to DSPS, send DNR a copy of the cover letter so that we know the site jurisdiction has changed.
Wisconsin tank regulations
- Storage tank regulations - information from the Department of Safety & Professional Services
- SPS 310, Wis Adm. Code - Department of Safety and Professional Service rule governing installation, registration, maintenance and abandonment of petroleum tanks.
- NR 746, Wis Adm. Code - Applies to certain sites where petroleum products have been discharged from tanks.
- SPS 347, Wis Adm. Code - Department of Safety and Professional Service rule that governs reimbursement from PECFA.
- PECFA - The Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Act (PECFA) is the Department of Safety and Professional Services' (DSPS) reimbursement program for cleaning up contamination from storage tank systems.
- NR 700, Wis Adm. Code - Investigation and Remediation of Environmental Contamination
Tank abandonment site assessments/tank closure submittals
- Mail reports of tank closure site assessments to the appropriate regional Remediation & Redevelopment (RR) Program environmental program associate.
- Please contact Woody Myers (608-273-5613) with any questions about where to send tank closure site assessments.
- Fact Sheet 8: Underground Storage Tanks - Clarifying local government unit’s responsibility to remove tanks on properties they own (RR-627)
- Fact Sheet 5: Environmental Liability Exemptions for Lenders & Representatives (RR-508)
- Fact Sheet 14: Clarification of Procedures for Parties Seeking a Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) for Petroleum Contaminated Sites (RR-677)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Publication - Petroleum Brownfields: Selecting a Reuse Option
Federal Energy Act reports
The federal Energy Act of 2005 amended state public record requirements for discharges from petroleum underground storage tank systems (UST). Federal law now requires states to collect information about the sources and causes of environmental discharges from UST’s and include that information in their public records.
This data is collected throughout the year and posted annually. The period of collection is October 1 to September 30 (Federal Fiscal Year). Reports are achieved by the end of the calendar year.
- 2012 Report: October 1, 2011 - September 30, 2012
- 2011 Report: October 1, 2010 - September 30, 2011
- 2010 Report: October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010
- 2009 Report: October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009
- 2008 Report: October 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008
The data provided by the notification of a release is broken down in two categories; source and cause. The "source" is where the release started. The "cause" of a release is an indication of why the component or transfer failed.
The first four sources listed here are physical components of a tank system.
- Tank - The tank that stores the product and is part of the UST system.
- Piping - The piping and connectors running from the tank or submersible turbine pump to the dispenser or other end-use equipment. It does not include vent, vapor recovery or fill lines.
- Dispenser - Includes the dispenser and equipment used to connect the dispenser to the piping. For example, a release from a suction pump or components located above the shear valve would be considered a release from the dispenser.
- Submersible Turbine Pump (STP) Area - Includes the submersible turbine pump head (typically located in the tank sump), the line leak detector, and the piping that connects the STP to the tank.
- Delivery Problem - Identifies releases that occurred during product delivery to the tank. Typically causes associated with this source are spills and overfills.
- Other - Used when the release does not fit into one of the above categories. For example, releases from vent lines, vapor recovery lines and fill lines.
- Spill - A discharge from the system while product is being delivered to or removed from the tank system.
- Overfill - A specific type of spill caused by attempting to place a greater volume in the tank system than its designed capacity.
- Physical or Mechanical Damage - Failure of a tank system or component due to an external element.
- Corrosion - Failure of a tank system or component due to chemical breakdown, i.e. rust.
- Installation Problem - Used when the cause is a direct result of improper installation.
- Other - Used when the cause is known, but does not fit one of the categories above.
Submitting records to DNR
Tank system owners and operators, or contractors or consultants acting on their behalf, must report discharges to the environment as required by state law. This may be done using section six of DNR’s Notification for Hazardous Substance Discharge (Form 4400-225).
Some combinations of information regarding the source and the cause of the discharge are not valid. The most common errors include invalid combinations of sources and causes of discharges from tank systems. Examples of invalid cominbations include:
- Source = Tank, Cause = Spill
By definition a spill would occur during delivery to a tank and this should be reported as a Delivery Problem.
- Source = Piping, Cause = Spill or Overfill
Piping may leak due to damage or corrosion, but it can not spill or be overfilled.
- Source = Submersible Pump, Cause = Spill or Overfill
A pump may leak due to damage or corrosion, but it can not spill or be overfilled.
- Source = Delivery Problem, Cause = Physical/Mechanical Damage or Corrosion
Delivery equipment is not part of the tank system. If the filling port attached to the tank system is damaged, this should be reported as a Spill or Overfill, whichever is more accurate.
- Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services - Public Record Provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005