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About the PST Responsible Party Lead Program

Information on the mission and legal authority of the leaking petroleum storage tank program.

The Remediation Division oversees the assessment and cleanup of leaking petroleum storage tanks (LPSTs), which include sites that are handled by the responsible party (RP) and by the state (State-Lead). The program's mission is to supervise the cleanup of spills from regulated storage tanks by recording and evaluating all reported incidents of releases of petroleum and other hazardous substances from underground and above-ground storage tanks. The goal is to assure that the public is not exposed to hazardous levels of contamination by requiring the removal of the contamination to levels protective of human health and the environment.

The owner or operator of a regulated storage tank is required to notify the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) within 24 hours of any discharge or spill that causes or could cause pollution to the waters of the State of Texas. Notification may be by:

Emergency situations should be reported to the TCEQ State-Lead Emergency Response Project Manager at 512/239-2120, or at pager number 512/606-9197 after normal business hours or on weekends.

To ensure that a release incident has been abated, and that the contamination resulting from the release incident is properly assessed and remediated, the Remediation Division monitors all reported incidents, from initial environmental assessments, through corrective action plans and requests for closure.

As of Janurary 31, 2013, the TCEQ has been notified of 26,549 leaking petroleum storage tanks. Of this total, 9,877 were confirmed to have affected groundwater. Since the initiation of the program, 24, 849 LPST cases have been closed.

Legal Authority

The EPA has delegated regulatory authority to the state of Texas to oversee releases from regulated storage tanks within the state. The statute creating and governing the Texas PST Program is the Texas Water Code, Chapter 26, Subchapter I. The regulations governing the program are included in 30 Texas Administrative Code §334 Exit the TCEQ.

House Bill 1588 created the petroleum storage tank reimbursement (PSTR) fund, which is the primary funding source for the Texas State-Lead Program.