Chapter 173-360 WAC
Underground Storage Tank Regulations
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) plans to amend Chapter 173-360
WAC, Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations. The regulations are
intended to prevent the release of petroleum or other hazardous
substances from UST systems, and ensure that any release is detected and
View the Rule Announcement Notice in
Washington State currently has a federally-approved UST compliance
program. This means that state law, not federal law, applies to
regulated UST systems in the State (except for those in Indian country).
Under state law, Ecology currently regulates more than 9,000 systems at
more than 3,300 facilities, including gas stations, industries,
commercial properties, and governmental entities. Ecology works to
ensure that UST systems are installed, managed, and monitored in a
manner that prevents releases into the environment. To do so,
Ecology conducts compliance inspections at about 1,200 facilities each
year, and provides technical assistance to owners and operators.
more about the program.
In October 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted
changes to the rules governing the federal UST program (40 CFR Part 280)
and state program approval (40 CFR Part 281). These are the first
major changes to the federal rules since 1988. The changes
implement the requirements in the UST Compliance Act of 2005, add new
operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems, and establish
requirements for certain types of UST systems deferred in 1988.
States with federally-approved programs must incorporate the changes by
October 2018 to maintain program approval.
Learn more about the changes.
Subject and Scope of Rulemaking
Ecology plans to amend Chapter 173-360 WAC, Underground Storage Tank
(UST) Regulations. As part the rulemaking, Ecology plans to:
Incorporate federal rule changes needed to maintain state program
approval, as specified in 40 CFR Parts 280 and 281 and adopted in June
- Incorporate changes to the state’s UST program
specified in the authorizing state statute, Chapter 90.76 RCW.
- Make other selective changes to the requirements
governing the state’s UST program (such as updating UST service provider
- Streamline rule requirements, improve rule clarity, and
improve consistency within the rule and with other state and federal
laws and rules.
Reasons for Rulemaking
Ecology is conducting the rulemaking to:
Maintain federal approval of the state’s UST
program, as required by the authorizing state statute, Chapter 90.76
Implement changes to state’s UST program specified
in the authorizing state statute, Chapter 90.76 RCW.
Reduce the number and severity of releases of
petroleum and other hazardous substances from UST systems, which pose a
serious threat to human health and the environment, including drinking
- Make the rule easier to use and understand by the
The rulemaking may impact persons who:
- Own or operate UST systems.
- Provide services to owners and operators.
- Deliver product
to, or collect waste oil from, UST systems.
- Provide pollution
liability insurance for UST systems.
- Conduct training for operators of UST systems.
You can stay informed about the rulemaking and public involvement
Visiting our web page
- Signing up to receive email notices
- Contacting the UST Coordinator:
Department of Ecology
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
You can get involved in the rulemaking by:
- Participating in Rule Development
During the development of the rule proposal, Ecology plans to consult with:
The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the rule changes meet the minimum
federal requirements for state program approval.
- Other state agencies
that implement or may be affected by the rule changes, including the
Department of Revenue (about licensing), the Pollution Liability
Insurance Agency (about financial responsibility), and the State
Building Code Council (coordination with state codes).
- Representatives of the
regulated community and other interested persons to help determine how
to incorporate required changes and whether any other changes should be
made to the existing rule.
Ecology will also extend an offer for government-to-government
consultation with tribal governments during each phase of rule
development. In general, UST systems in Indian country are
regulated under federal law, not state law.
As part of the consultations, Ecology may share preliminary drafts of
Commenting on the Rule Proposal
Ecology will submit the proposal for review and comment and hold at
least one public hearing on the proposal.
ADDITIONAL RULE INFORMATION
State UST Program:
Federal UST Program
Frequently Asked Questions