Underground Storage Tanks

In 1986 the State of Arizona adopted certain rules and timelines pertaining to Underground Storage Tanks (UST's). A storage tank and associated piping is defined as a UST if 10% or greater of the total volume is buried underground. As of December 1998, all UST's must have been removed, abandoned in place or upgraded to new tank standards. All new installations and upgrades must meet "New Tank Standards." These standards include tank system volumetric reconciliation, overfill and spill protection, and release detection.

Before 1990, the University of Arizona (UA) owned and operated over 60 UST's statewide. These tanks were used to store fuels, waste oil and even pesticide tank mix. Tank size varied from 50 gallons up to 12,000 gallons. Currently the UA owns/operates only eight (8) UST's statewide. Over 50 USTs have been removed and decommissioned.

Whenever feasible, Risk Management Services (RMS) strongly recommends that all fuel storage be aboveground to minimize potential environmental impact. Tanks of this type are called Aboveground Storage Tanks or AST's. It is most environmentally sound to fuel emergency generators with natural gas when available. Installation of an AST on state property requires a permit from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. RMS will assist departments with completion and submission of AST permit application.

For questions or assistance with ASTs or USTs, contact Herb Wagner at 520-621-7691 or hwagner@arizona.edu.