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Permit Requirements for UST Cleanup Sites

Petroleum-contaminated soil treatment

If you are treating petroleum contaminated soil from an underground storage tank release on your property (on-site) or beyond your property's boundary (off-site), you must obtain a Solid Waste Letter of Authorization permit from DEQ. The SWLA permit application requires a Soil Treatment Plan. Off-site treatment also requires a Land Use Compatibility Statement.

Before planning to use on-site or off-site soil treatment, you must make sure that the site you intend to use for treatment is not in a wetlands area, and that soil treatment is compatible with local land use regulations or concerns. You are advised to contact local authorities (city or county) for this purpose. Some jurisdictions have ordinances prohibiting soil aeration or have additional controls which they place on the treatment unit.

Prior to remediating the petroleum-contaminated soil, you must provide DEQ with a written treatment plan which outlines how you intend to manage your soil. This plan must include:

  • Treatment cell and leachate collection system designs,
  • A plan to cover the treatment pile during inclement conditions,
  • A sampling plan under which regular sampling will occur, and
  • A soil tilling schedule (if applicable).

Contaminated soil may not be moved to an off-site location without first coordinating with the appropriate regional DEQ office and having written approval from the local jurisdictions.

Water Quality Permits

Information about permits required if petroleum-contaminated groundwater or surface water is treated and will be discharged to public waters (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, or NPDES) or on land (Water Pollution Control Facilities Permit, or WPCF).

Cleanup activities which result in discharge of treated contaminated water may be allowed under certain circumstances. These activities may include dewatering excavations, (short term) pump tests, and ongoing discharges from groundwater remediation. Water with a sheen may not be discharged to waters of the state. Discharge permits must be obtained from the DEQ Water Quality Division prior to treatment.

Air Quality Permits

Information about permits required if the emissions from a soil vapor extraction system or air stripper groundwater treatment system exceed 10 tons per year of hazardous air pollutants is found here. A standard Air Contaminant Discharge Permit may be required to cover the projected emissions from these groundwater treatment systems.

Some treatment systems, such as vapor extraction systems or air strippers, remove contaminants from the soil or groundwater, but result in emissions to the air. If those emissions are significant, you may be required to obtain a separate Air Contaminant Discharge permit. If you intend to use one of these systems, you must notify the Department in advance of activating the system. Detailed plans that demonstrate how your treatment system will work, and calculations that show the amount of contaminants that will be emitted to the air must be submitted with the corrective action plan.


For more information, contact the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program or call 503-229-5696.

For more information, contact the 
Heating Oil Tank Program or call 503-229-6170.