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Indiana Department of Environmental Management


Table of Contents: Land Quality

Underground Storage Tank (UST) Requirements

An Underground Storage Tank (UST) is a tank or combination of tanks which hold regulated substances and have at least ten percent of their volume underground, including underground piping connected to the tank. USTs that contain petroleum or hazardous substances are regulated by IDEM. Hazardous substances are those substances defined as hazardous in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 101(14) [PDF].

Systems Not Regulated by IDEM's UST Program

However, the following UST systems are not regulated under the IDEM UST program (for a complete definition and list refer to the Indiana Code under IC 13-11-2-245):

  • Tanks which store any substance defined as hazardous waste under Subtitle C of RCRA (These tanks are regulated by the IDEM hazardous waste program for more on hazardous waste regulation see the Generating Hazardous Wastes Permit Guide page).
  • Farm or residential tanks containing less than 1,100 gallons of motor fuel for noncommercial use.
  • Tanks containing heating oil used on the premises where it is stored. Tanks on or above the floor of underground areas, such as basements or tunnels.
  • Septic tanks and systems for collecting storm water and wastewater.
  • Equipment or machinery that contains regulated substances for operational purposes such as hydraulic lift tanks and electrical equipment tanks.
  • A pipeline facility, including gathering lines, that are regulated under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 or regulated under the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979. (These are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Pipeline Safety).
  • Tanks containing a capacity of less than 110 gallons of petroleum or hazardous substances regulated by the UST program, unless a combination of USTs on site, that hold the same substance, have a combined capacity of 110 gallons or greater.
  • Tanks identified under the Indiana Administrative Code under 329 IAC 9-1-1(b):
    1. Any UST system holding:
      1. hazardous wastes regulated under Subtitle C (42 U.S.C. 6921 through 42 U.S.C. 6939b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6901, et seq., in effect on September 30, 1996; or,
      2. a mixture of such hazardous waste and other regulated substances.
    2. Any wastewater treatment tank system that is part of a wastewater treatment facility regulated under Section 402 (33 U.S.C. 1342) or 307(b) (33 U.S.C. 1317(b)) of the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., in effect on October 31, 1994.
    3. Equipment or machinery that contains regulated substances for operational purposes and that may include any of the following:
      1. Hydraulic lift tanks; or,
      2. Electrical equipment tanks.
    4. Any UST system whose capacity is one hundred ten (110) gallons or less, except an owner and operator with two (2) or more UST systems on-site whose individual capacities are one hundred ten (110) gallons or less are not excluded if the total capacity of all tanks on-site containing the same product exceeds one hundred ten (110) gallons.
    5. Any UST system that contains a de minimis concentration of regulated substances.
    6. Any emergency spill or overflow containment UST system that is expeditiously emptied after use.

Compliance Requirements for Regulated USTs

  • All regulated UST systems must be registered with the IDEM UST Program;
  • All documents required to be submitted in order to comply with the UST program must include an original signature in ink;
  • All notifications must be complete and on time;
  • A Department of Fire and Building Safety (DFBS) certified contractor or worker must be present on-site at all times during installation, testing, upgrading, closures, removals, or change-in-service of the UST system;
  • Corrosion protection and leak detection systems must be correctly operated, maintained, and inspected periodically;
  • If a release is discovered, it must be reported to IDEM within 24 hours to (317) 233-7745 or toll free at (888) 233-7745. If any emergency condition exists (vapors found in buildings, drinking water source impacted, or if free product present, etc.), then it must be reported immediately to the emergency response branch 24 hour response line at (317) 233-7745 or toll free at (888) 233-7745. Immediate actions to prevent further release into the environment must be taken.

All UST systems must be registered with IDEM. Tank fees are $90 per year for each regulated petroleum tank and $245 per year for each hazardous substance tank. Owners whose tank fees exceed $500 may make (4) four equal installment payments. For payment processing questions, the Indiana Department of Revenue should be contacted at (317) 615-2630.

For questions regarding why a tank fee was assessed, the IDEM OLQ UST Branch should be contacted at (800) 451-6027 ext.4-0343. For closures, notification must be given at least 30 days before activity begins. IDEM will then respond in writing with the closure approval date (closure approval letter will expire 90 days after date given). IDEM's OLQ UST Branch must be notified, by phone (317) 234-6645, at least 14 days in advance of the intended closure date. At least 14 days notice must also be given to both the Department of Fire and Building Safety and local fire department prior to the closure date. For change-in-service, only IDEM needs to be notified.

Who Must Submit a Notification of an Underground Storage Tank?

The owner/operator of an UST system must complete and submit a Notification for Underground Storage Tanks form (available on the IDEM Forms page), within 30 days whenever an UST system has been brought into service, acquired by a new owner, upgraded, repaired, temporarily closed, undergoes a change-in-service, or is permanently closed. This notification includes information on the tank's ownership, size, type, location, age, uses, construction, installation, external and internal protection, piping, and release detection methods. Additionally, any person who sells a tank intended to be used as an UST must notify the purchaser of these notification obligations.

Notification forms should be sent to:
IDEM Office of Land Quality, UST Program
100 N. Senate Avenue
MC 66-30 IGCN 1101
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2251
Phone: (317) 234-4112
Fax: (317) 234-0428

Indiana's laws and rules regarding underground storage tank systems may be found in the Indiana Administrative Code under 329 IAC 9 [PDF] and the Indiana Code 13-23-5-1. Also see UST Notification, Reporting, & Closure Requirements.

UST System Requirements

Every UST system in use and every new underground storage tank (UST) system to be put in use has to have proper design and construction to prevent corrosion, have spill and overfill protection, and have a leak detection system as specified in 329 IAC 9-2-1 [PDF] (Scroll to approximately page 18, "New UST systems") and for new and replaced piping, IC 13-23-5-1(a)(4).

Who Must Submit an Underground Storage Tank Closure Notification?

The owner/operator of an UST system must complete and submit a Notification for Underground Storage Tanks form (available on the IDEM Forms page) requesting closure 30 days prior to an UST system permanent closure (removal or in-place), or change-in-service. Soil sample boring results must also be submitted prior to a permanent closure or change-in-service being completed. Permanent closure (removal or in-place) requires written approval from both IDEM and the Indiana Department of Fire and Building Safety (DFBS). For a change-in-service written approval is required only from IDEM.

In addition to the 30 day notice for permanent closure, it is required that the IDEM OLQ UST Branch be given at least 14 days prior notice (by phone) of the intended closure date at (317) 234-6645. The DFBS and the local fire department must also be notified at least 14 days prior to closure.

Within 30 days after an UST system permanent closure, a Notification for Underground Storage Tanks form and UST system closure report must be submitted together (if not, they will be returned to the owner/operator).

If a permanent closure is determined necessary due to a release or leak from an UST system, then a waiver of the 30-day advance notification period may be granted. See UST System Waiver, below. Providing all application requirements are met, IDEM sends out a closure approval Letter in response to the tank closure request. The letter gives authorization for the owner to remove (close) USTs. This authorization must be kept on site during the closure process and be made available upon demand to fire departments, health departments, etc.

UST System Waiver

If a permanent closure is determined necessary due to a release or leak from an UST system, then a waiver of the 30 day advance notification period may be granted. All UST systems must be registered with IDEM prior to waiver approval. An IDEM spill/incident number is also required prior to obtaining a waiver. Contact IDEM at (317) 234-6645 to obtain a spill/incident number. The DFBS and local fire department must be notified prior to closure. Other closure notification requirements must still be followed during and after closure.

Certification Requirements for Persons Who Install, Upgrade, and Decommission USTs

Under the Indiana Code (IC 13-23-3), the Indiana Department of Fire and Building Services (formerly named the Office of the State Fire Marshall), must certify all persons who install, upgrade and decommission underground storage tanks.

For information on becoming certified to perform such work, please contact the Indiana Department of Fire and Building Services (DFBS) at (317) 232-1407. Owners/operators of UST systems must use DFBS-certified persons to oversee any tank system installations, testing, upgrading, closures, removals, and change-in-service. In addition, the Notification for Underground Storage Tanks form (available on the IDEM Forms page) submitted to IDEM for tank installations, upgrades, testing, or permanent closures must be signed by a DFBS-certified worker or contractor, who must also provide his or her DFBS certification number.

For More Information

Visit IDEM’s Underground Storage Tanks Web site. Contact IDEM staff at (317) 233-1512.

Leaking Underground Storage Tank Requirements

  • Reporting a Release: A suspected or confirmed release must be reported within 24 hours. If a release is from an unregulated tank, report the release to the Spill Line, (317) 233-7745 or (888) 233-7745.
  • IDEM’s Leaking Underground Storage Tanks program can be reached Monday through Friday at (317) 232-8900 or (800) 451-6027 or weekends and holidays at (317) 233-7745 or (888) 233-7745.
  • For more information concerning IDEM’s Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program, including reporting and clean-up requirements, visit IDEM’s Leaking Underground Storage Tanks Web page.