CUPA Underground Storage Tank

The purpose of the Underground Storage Tank (UST) inspection program is to ensure that hazardous materials stored in underground tanks are not released into the environment, potentially polluting ground and surface waters..Underground Storage Tank

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), Environmental Health Division oversees the UST inspection program in most of the cities of Orange County, with the exception of Anaheim, Fullerton, and Orange. As the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), Environmental Health is tasked by the Secretary for Environmental Protection to implement and enforce the underground storage tank codes. To this end, specialists from Environmental Health inspect underground storage tanks, monitoring equipment and compliance documents of UST systems to ensure that these systems are in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.

This Agency also serves to educate and assist tank owners and operators with regulatory requirements. To contact your inspector directly, please use UST Inspector Phone List- by city. For general questions please call 714-433-6000 and request to speak to the Duty Officer. 

UST Plan Check Update

The Environmental Health lobby is currently closed to the public due to health concerns relating to Covid-19. Our office will continue to accept UST Plan Checks. There are currently four ways to submit plans: by appointment, drop-off, email, and mail. A temporary rack has been placed by the entrance of Environmental Health lobby where you may drop off plans for review, and pick up approved plans. Plans will not be processed until the payment has been received (refer to Fees). When submitting a Plan Check, please include a Facility Modification Application (FMA) and four copies of the plans. Electronic Plan Checks and all inquiries should be submitted to USTnotifications@ochca.com.

UST Testing Notification & Test Results:

To notify this Agency of an upcoming Monitoring System Certification, Spill Container Test, Secondary Containment (SB989) Test, or Overfill Prevention Equipment Inspection, please submit your request by email to USTnotifications@ochca.com at least 48 hours prior to the test.

New Underground Storage Tank Forms Required on and After October 1st, 2020:

Monitoring System Certification Form
Spill Container Test Report Form
Secondary Containment Testing Report
Overfill Prevention Equipment Inspection Report Form

Test results are due within 30 days and may be submitted directly to your assigned UST inspector. Paper copies may be sent to:

Orange County Health Care Agency
1241 E. Dyer Road, Suite 120
Santa Ana, CA 92705-5611

Informational Documents from the State Water Resources Control Board:

Overfill Prevention Equipment Inspection Requirements
Spill Container Testing Requirements
Secondary Containment Testing Requirements
New Construction, Upgrade, and Compatibility Requirements
Emergency Generator Tank System Line Leak Detector Requirements

Attention Secondary Containment Testers:

The secondary containment test procedure that was described in the 2002 document “Standard for Secondary Containment Testing of Underground Storage Tank Systems” and accepted by OCHCA has been rescinded by the CalCUPA Forum. The procedure is no longer valid. In accordance with 23CCR section 2637 testers must follow manufacturer’s guidelines or industry standards, such as the PEI 1200 manual. OCHCA will no longer accept test results that utilize the rescinded procedure for sites that provided notification after 11/3/17. Sites that notified for secondary containment testing prior to 11/3/17 may still submit results with the rescinded procedure.

UST Forms:

Effective January 1, 2017, businesses are required to submit all required UST compliance documents to the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). To access the Business Portal, please visit https://cers.calepa.ca.gov/.

Underground Storage Tank System Testing Intervals

UST System Testing

Required Testing Interval

Every
12 Months

Every
36 Months

After Modifications

If Applicable

Monitor System Certification

X

 

X

 
Spill Container

X

 

X

 
Overfill

 

X

X

 
SB989 Secondary Containment1

 

X

X

 
Tank Integrity

 

 

 

X2

Pipeline Integrity

X3

 

 

 

1Not required on VPH systems.
2Only required for single-walled tanks. Interval depends on monitoring plan.
3For single-walled piping or systems not programmed for positive shutdown and fail safe.

UST Modifications & Repairs:

Please refer to our Guidelines for UST Modifications document to determine if the scope of work you intend to perform will require the submittal of a “plan check” and payment of fees to this Agency. Please visit the following link to access the current fee schedule: Hazardous Materials Management Program Fee Schedule.

View this video for a simplified look at the UST "plan check" process.

Underground Storage Tank FAQs

Underground Storage Tanks—The Basics

A resource for small and medium-sized businesses in Orange County

This manual is intended to provide businesses with the tools necessary to own and operate an underground storage tank system in compliance with the rules and regulations enforced by OCHCA.

The inspection report typically includes direction for correcting the violation that was cited. This may include arranging for required testing, repairing equipment, submitting documents and/or other corrective actions depending upon the nature of the violation. If you are not clear about what is required, contact your inspector directly. The name of your inspector and their direct phone number always appear on the upper right portion of the inspection reports.

Click here for a complete list of inspectors.

Each violation on an inspection report contains a legal citation from the Health & Safety Code the California Code of Regulations or both.  Owners and operators can review these laws and regulations by clicking on Chapter 6.7 H&SC or Title 23 CCR.

In most instances, no. Environmental Health (CUPA) makes every attempt to educate tank owners and/or operators on maintaining a compliant tank facility. However, there are times when education does not achieve the desired result. For serious, recurring, and/or intentional violations, Environmental Health (CUPA) may need to initiate enforcement activity against the owner and/or operator. At this point monetary and other penalties may be warranted.

The following are some of the most common violations cited by Environmental Health (CUPA) staff. While some violations such as component test failure may be unavoidable, most are easily prevented.

  • Certification of Financial Responsibility has not been submitted to the CUPA annually
  • Yearly employee training is not conducted by Designated Operator and/or training records are not maintained on-site
  • Monitoring Plan has not been submitted or is not current
  • Designated Operator reports are incomplete, inaccurate and/or unavailable; or monthly inspections have not been conducted
  • Secondary containment components did not pass testing
  • Designated Operator owner statement has not been submitted and/or is not current
  • Monitoring system did not pass certification testing. This includes individual sensors or other components
  • Maintenance and testing records are not available in sufficient detail
  • Monitoring system has not been certified annually
  • Spill bucket did not pass testing