The underground storage tank (UST) compliance program is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of over 400 federally regulated underground storage tank and 150 state regulated underground storage tank heating oil facilities in the state. The program works with the Underground Storage Tank Advisory Committee to develop amendments to Delaware’s Underground Storage Tank Regulations.
On December 12, 2019, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin signed Secretary’s Order No. 2019-WH-0047, approving amendments to the Regulations Governing Underground Storage Tank Systems (7 DE Admin. Code 1351). The amendments, published in the Register of Regulations on January 1, 2020, reflect regulatory changes promulgated at the federal level as well as advances in UST system technologies.
Lukens Drive Field Office
391 Lukens Drive
New Castle, DE 19720
The program oversees the installation, retrofitting, and removal of underground storage tank systems to verify the work is completed properly and by qualified, trained, and certified individuals and companies. Underground storage tank systems which are subject to the requirements of the underground storage tank compliance program can be found at gas stations, manufacturing facilities, schools, and hospitals.
Information regarding underground storage tank facilities is available online using the Delaware Environmental Navigator (DEN) and on the Delaware Open Data Portal. A request for information may be made through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Underground storage tanks over 110 gallons in size storing petroleum or hazardous substances are required to be registered with the state and pay an annual registration fee. Heating fuel underground storage tank systems greater than 1,100 gallons must be registered with the state; those over 2,000 gallons must also pay a fee.
Owners and operators of all registered underground storage tanks have to comply with Delaware Regulations Governing Underground Storage Tank Systems. To assist owners and operators in complying with the regulations, there is a Compliance Assistance Manual that contains easy to follow instructions and forms for system owners and operators.
Facilities may have additional requirements for vapor recovery. This may require a tank owner to install specific equipment and follow scheduled equipment testing requirements.
The underground storage tank (UST) compliance program conducts inspections every three years at facilities with underground storage tank systems to prevent releases to the environment by ensuring that the systems are properly installed, inspected, tested, and maintained. The compliance program requires that facilities demonstrate financial responsibility for taking corrective action caused by accidental releases from the underground storage tank system.
Each underground storage tank facility in Delaware must have a certified operator assigned to the site. Certification helps ensure that underground storage tank operators know what equipment they have at their facilities and are trained to properly operate and maintain the equipment, stay in compliance with state regulations, and prevent future releases to the environment.
There are three types of operators. The Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances offers free, one-day courses to train Class A and Class B operators.
A Class A Operator is the person responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of the underground storage tank system. In general, this person focuses on the regulatory requirements and standards necessary to operate and maintain the system.
A Class B Operator is the person responsible for the daily on-site operation and maintenance of the underground storage tank system. In general, this person operates the system on a day to day basis complying with regulatory requirements.
A Class C Operator is the on-site person who addresses emergencies at the facility and responds to alarms or other indications of emergencies caused by spills and releases from underground storage tank systems. The Class C Operator is not required to take the formal training class; they may be trained by the Class A or B Operator.
An on-line certification option is not currently available, however inquiries pertaining to certification through reciprocity can be made via e-mail to DNREC.USTOperatorTraining@state.de.us.
Federal law requires states receiving federal funds under Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act to maintain, update at least annually, and make available to the public, a record of underground storage tanks regulated under state and federal rules and regulations. The public record summary includes the number, sources, and causes of underground storage tank releases, the record of compliance by owners and operators of underground storage tank systems in Delaware, and data on equipment failures.