Underground Storage Tank Removal

Environmental Health Code, Chapter 4, Underground Storage Tanks, Board of Health Resolution 2015-4443

Appeals Process of Orders and Decisions of the Health Officer, Board of Health Resolution 2010-4224

UST RemovalUnderground storage tanks (UST) are regulated by the Washington State Department of Ecology and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. The Health Department's regulations for USTs come into play when a tank is to be removed from the ground or there has been a leak of hazardous substances from a tank. The removal of the tank and remediation of any associated contamination is termed "Decommissioning" by the Health Department.

Before UST Removal and Site Clean-up, please complete a Site Cleanup and UST Removal Permit application. This is required within all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Pierce County. If an UST is found to be leaking, the tank owner and property owner will be required to clean up the leaking material, as well as any soil or groundwater impacted by that leak.

Usually, USTs used for home heating oil use are exempt from these regulations.

By following the UST Decommissioning Application Process, UST owners and removal firms can avoid unnecessary costs and delays.

Exempt USTs
The following types of USTs are not regulated by the health department under the definition of Underground Storage Tank as defined by Board of Health Resolution 2010-4225.

  • Any underground storage with a volume of 1,100 gallons or less used for the sole purpose of storing heating or fuel oil used in heating equipment, furnaces or boilers.
  • Any tank that forms an integral part of an industrial or commercial process (flow-through process tank) through which there is a steady or uninterrupted flow of materials during the operation of the process, subject to proper spill and management practices.
  • Any on-site sewage disposal system or holding tank that serves as a method of storage, conveyance, treatment, or disposal of human or animal wastes.
  • Any surface impoundment, pit, pond, or lagoon

For more information about home heating oil tanks click here.


Hiring a Consultant

Financing Cleanups

UST Variance or Waiver Request

UST Fee Schedule

UST Service Providers

Chapter 4 Regulation Summary

If you have any questions, please call (253) 798-2855 or email us.