Underground Storage Tanks

​The goal of the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program is to protect public health and safety, the environment, and the waters of the state from discharges and releases of hazardous substances from USTs. These hazardous substances include petroleum, used oil, waste antifreeze, and more. This goal is accomplished by conducting annual inspections, reviewing and approving submissions regarding UST installations, repairs, upgrades, and closures, overseeing UST system closure activities, and more.


California Code of Regulations, Title 23
California Health and Safety Code, Chapter 6.7


HMCD implements this program within the cities of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, San Jose, Saratoga, and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County (including Moffett Field, San Martin, and Stanford). In addition, HMCD handles County-owned and operated facilities regardless of location.

General Requirements

  • If you are the owner or operator of a UST system storing any hazardous material and are located within any of the areas noted above, you must obtain and keep current a UST Permit to Operate issued by HMCD. To apply for a permit, please use the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) website to complete and electronically submit​ the Underground Storage Tanks submittal element.
  • Underground Storage Tanks are required to have the following testing done by an International Code Council (ICC) certified California UST Service Technician with current training from the manufacturer(s) of the monitoring equipment and test equipment, and witnessed by one of our inspectors:
    • Monitoring System Certification testing every 12 months.
    • Secondary containment (SB-989) testing every 36 months, for tanks installed prior to July 1, 2004.
    • Overfill Prevention Equipment Inspection (OPEI) by 10/13/2018 and every 36 months thereafter. 
  • Each UST facility must have a Designated UST Operator who:
    • Possesses a current "California UST System Operator" certification issued by the ICC, which must be renewed every 24 months.
    • Provides and documents site-specific job training for facility employees.
    • Performs visual inspections and records results in inspection reports, which must be provided to the UST owner/operator.
  • A separate 5-year Permit to Operate is required for each UST facility.
  • The permittee must pay annual permit fees and surcharges to keep the permit active.

Forms and Guidance Documents

Designated UST Operator

Financial Responsibility

Installation / Retrofitting / Repair

Monitoring & Self-Inspections

Operation & Response

Testing & Inspections


Permit fees are based on the number of USTs at your facility. For information on UST Program fees, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like answers to frequently asked questions about USTs, click here.

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