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Underground Storage Tank Rule-making


Timeline

Regulatory History

  • In 1984, Congress passed Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. Chapter 82, Subchapter IX), which created a federal program to regulate underground storage tank (UST) systems storing petroleum and other hazardous substances and directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish requirements for UST systems to prevent releases.  For more information about the federal law, see www.epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/statute.htm.


  • In 1986, Congress passed amendments to Subtitle I that directed EPA to establish financial responsibility requirements for UST owners and operators to cover the cost of taking corrective actions and to compensate third parties for injury and property damage caused by leaking tanks.


  • In 1988, EPA adopted rules establishing requirements for UST systems (40 C.F.R. Part 280) and minimum requirements for state program approval (40 C.F.R. Part 281).  For more information about the federal rules, see www.epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/cfr.htm.


  • In 1989, the Washington State Legislature passed a law requiring the Department to Ecology to establish an UST program that meets the requirements for state program approval and adopt rules that are consistent with and no less stringent than the requirements in the federal regulations (chapter 90.76 RCW).  


  • In 1990 and 1991, Ecology adopted regulations establishing a state UST program pursuant to the Legislature’s direction (chapter 173-360 WAC). 


  • In 1993, EPA approved Washington State’s UST program.  Washington State was one of the first states in the nation to be granted state program approval.


  • In 1995 and 1998, the Washington State Legislature amended chapter 90.76 RCW, and Ecology amended chapter 173-360 WAC to implement those changes.


  • In 2005, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act.  Title XV, Subtitle B of this act (titled the Underground Storage Tank Compliance Act) contains amendments to Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the original legislation that created the federal UST program.  The law required state UST programs receiving federal funding to comply with new federal requirements (such as operator training and secondary containment).  See www.epa.gov/oust/fedlaws/epact_05.htm.


  • In 2007, the Washington State Legislature amended chapter 90.76 RCW to implement the new federal requirements in the UST Compliance Act of 2005. The Legislature directed Ecology to adopt rules that are consistent with and no less stringent than those requirements.  See apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5475&year=2007.

Rule-making Timeline


Date Activity
July 23, 2008 CR-101 (Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry) filed
2010 Preliminary drafts of Parts 5-9 developed
October 13, 2010 Preliminary drafts of Parts 5-9 submitted for public comment
December 8, 2010 Rule-making suspension update: Ecology decides to proceed with the rule making because it meets Executive Order 10-06 exemption criteria 3(a).
2011 Preliminary drafts of Parts 1-4 developed
March 14, 2012 Rule-making suspension update: Ecology decides to suspend parts of the rule-making because they no longer meet Executive Order 11-03 exemption criteria 3(a). For more information about the rule making suspension, visit: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/rulemaking_suspension.html.
March 21, 2012 CR-102 (Proposed Rule-making) filed.  Public comment period starts.
April 4, 2012 Proposed rule published in Washington State Register
April 24-27, 2012 Public hearings on proposed rule (Spokane, Yakima, Bellevue, Lacey)
May 4, 2012 Public comment period ends
August 8, 2012 CR-103 (Rule-making Order) filed.  Rule adopted
September 5, 2012 Adopted rule published in Washington State Register
October 1, 2012 Effective date of adopted rule
December 31, 2012 Date by which operators must be trained