Low-Threat UST Closure Policy

  • Provide a forum for public information and review of the State Water Resources Control Board's proposed Low-Threat UST Case Closure Policy.

The SWRCB's  proposed Low-Threat UST Case Closure Policy has far reaching implications to stakeholders in the California's environmental community. On the surface, the concept of closing UST cases based on low risk of contaminating drinking water and on low risk to human health will ease the strain on limited resources (funding) available for cleanups. As is stands, UST cases closed under the proposed Low Threat Policy would not necessarily be cleaned up to standards that would allow unlimited use of the properties.

Some closures will be granted with deed restrictions or with other limitations on future use of the property. These restrictions and limitations can decrease the value of properties even though a closure or "no further action" letter is issued for the case.  Furthermore, future development of properties closed by Low Threat guidelines may incur tremendous costs dealing with contaminated soil. If the UST case receives closure, any further costs associated with contamination will not be reimbursed by the California UST Cleanup Fund.

While the option of a quick closure based on Low Risk criteria may sound appealing, property owners should consider their future plans for the site. Further discussion can be found at http://ustlowriskpolicy.org/.

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