UST Program's 25th Anniversary
November 8, 2009 marks 25 years since Congress created the national underground storage tanks program by adding Subtitle I to the Solid Waste Disposal Act. Through the joint efforts of EPA, states, territories, tribes, communities, and industry, America's land and groundwater are better protected from petroleum underground storage tank releases.
Over the past quarter century, EPA and our partners closed over 1.7 million substandard tanks that, if corroded, would have leaked petroleum into the environment; cleaned up more than 388,000 petroleum leaks, approximately 80 percent of all reported releases; and reduced the number of new releases from a high of almost 67,000 in 1990 to under 7,200 in 2009. Today tank systems are much less likely to leak and cause significant environmental damage. More than anything else, this quarter century milestone is a testament to the successes that can be achieved when diverse partners come together to achieve a common goal.
EPA developed the booklet, Underground Storage Tank Program: 25 Years Of Protecting Our Land And Water, to celebrate the progress so far and outline the challenges ahead.