Managing Hazardous Waste

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Imperial CUPA Underground Storage Tank Program

Program Overview

Any California business that stores hazardous substances in underground storage tanks must follow the law in California Health and Safety Code, Division 20, Chapter 6.7, and the underground regulations in the California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 3, Chapter 16. The purpose of the program is to promote the early detection of release from USTs and reduce the potential for contamination of groundwater.

Regulatory Authority


  • 40 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 280-281 and 282.50-282.105


What is an Underground Storage Tank?

An underground storage tank (UST) is any one or combination of tanks, including pipes connected thereto, that is used for the storage of hazardous substances that is substantially or totally beneath the surface of the ground.  The definition of “tank” is a stationary device designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous substances which is constructed primarily of nonearthen materials, including, but not limited to, wood, concrete, steel, or plastic that provides structural support. An underground tank system mean an underground storage tank, connected piping, ancillary equipment, and containment system, if any.

Installation, Repair, Modification, and Closure Requirements

In order to install, repair, modify, or close an UST, a permit application must be submitted to the CUPA. Modification includes the installation or replacement of any leak detection equipment. The permit application will be reviewed by the CUPA and if the application is approved a permit is issued to the owner/operator. These permits must be completed by the date identified in the permit. Please email for the most updated permit applications.

All permit applications must also include the following documents:

  • Site map
  • Contractor’s license
  • ICC license of technician performing the work
  • Training certificate issued by the manufacturer

More information may be requested at the time of the review of the permit application. 

Contact Us

DTSC Imperial CUPA Office
627 Wake Avenue
El Centro, California 92243
Phone: (760) 352-0381
Fax: (760) 352-1641

Toll Free Number: 1-866-357-3990