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An underground storage tank system (UST) is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least 10 percent of its combined volume underground. . . Nearly all USTs regulated by the underground storage tank requirements contain petroleum.
What is a UST? (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Facts About USTs
- 538,704 active USTs at approximately 192,676 facilities regulated by EPA’s UST program
- 40,116 total on-site inspections at federally-regulated UST facilities
- 3,246 (completed in Indian country) cleanups completed •cumulative since 1984 inception of the program = 505,947
Semiannual Report of UST Performance Measures Mid Fiscal Year 2022 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oct. 1, 2021 – Mar. 31, 2022)
The Basics of Underground Storage Tanks
Signs There’s an Underground Storage Tank on Your Property (Racine County Eye, Oct. 1, 2021)
“When the tank was put in, a company had to remove a lot of earth, deposit the tank, and fill the ground back in. Sometimes, they wouldn’t get everything quite right, so you may notice depressions or small hills in your yard. Dirt may have filled in the tank through severe cracks, resulting in uneven landscaping.”
How to Remove/Dispose Your Old Oil Tank (Dandelion Energy, Mar. 30, 2021)
“Underground oil tanks represent a major environmental hazard and must be removed by a certified professional, and depending on where you live, often with direct supervision from the state. While the cost of excavating an underground storage tank varies depending on the degree of contamination and your local clean up standards, the EPA estimates that UST removal will run you anywhere from $10,000 to over $1 million, with an average cost of $130,000.”
What You Need to Know About Underground Oil Tanks (Family Handyman, Feb. 10, 2021)
“Many Realtors will advise clients to remove an underground oil tank before listing, because most buyers won’t take on the risk.”
As a Real Estate Agent, What Should I Know About Underground Tanks? (GreenTrax, Inc., Jul. 27, 2020)
“It is better for all parties to REMOVE the tank instead of ABANDONING the underground tanks. It is usually always CHEAPER to REMOVE the tank instead of ABANDONING underground storage tanks”
The Influence of Leaking Underground Storage Tanks on Nearby House Values (Journal of Economic Insight, Jan. 1, 2018) E
“Households living near (within 'A mile of) exactly one LUST have a weakly significant (willingness-to-pay) premium to live even farther away from the LUST. Lastly, households living more than 'A mile from a LUST are willing to pay a statistically significant premium to live even farther away from it.
Insurance & Liability Issues
List of Insurance Providers For UST Financial Responsibility Requirements (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
“EPA compiled this list of insurance providers based on information we received from them. UST owners and operators may find that these providers can help you obtain UST insurance that fulfills your financial responsibility obligation. “
Leaking UST Cleanup Enforcement Tools (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
“EPA may take administrative or judicial enforcement action against an owner and/or operator of an underground storage tank (UST) from which there is a release. Whether the enforcement action is administrative or judicial depends on the circumstances surrounding the release and the authority that EPA relies on to address the contamination caused by the release.”
Government & Non-Profit Organizations
Many U.S. states have environmental departments or commissions. These departments can be a great source of information on state specific compliance and disclosure requirements.
Regional Offices Around the Nation (U.S. Department of the Environment)
Health and Environmental Agencies of U.S. States and Territories (U.S. Department of the Environment)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Underground Storage Tanks
U.S. EPA/Office of Underground Storage Tanks
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Mail Code: 5401T
Washington, DC 20460
U.S. EPA/Office of Underground Storage Tanks
William Jefferson Clinton West Building (WJC West)
1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
1st Floor; Suite 1215
Washington, DC 20004
Environmental Council of the States (A Non-Profit Association of State and Territorial Environmental Agency Leaders)
The Environmental Council of the States
1250 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
The Groundwater Foundation (A Non-Profit, Non-Government Affiliated Organization)
601 Dempsey Road
Westerville OH 43081
Toll Free 1-800-858-4844
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Complete Book of Insurance (eBook)
How to Insure Your Home (eBook)
Land Use Law for Sustainable Development (eBook)
Pollution & Property (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
Green Building and Sustainable Development: The Practical Legal Guide (Chicago, IL: American Bar Association, 2009) KF5505 .G735 2009
The Effect of Underground Storage Tanks on Residential Property Values in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Ohio, 1994) NAC 1565 Oh3
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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.