The Uniform Environmental Covenants Act-Leaking Underground Storage Tank (UECA-LUST) Program is an alternative remediation option for releases from underground storage tanks (USTs).

Leaking underground storage tank (LUST) sites are traditionally cleaned up through enforcement until impacted soils and groundwater meet established cleanup standards. Through the UECA-LUST Program, applicants may instead remediate these sites to risk-based standards utilizing engineering and institutional controls, such as covers, caps, and land use restrictions, in accordance with the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (W. Va. Code § 22-22B).

Any leaking underground storage tank site may enter into the UECA-LUST Program; however, this program is most beneficial for more complicated sites that may have free product, extensive or deep soil contamination, groundwater contamination, or vapor intrusion impacts. Because a land use covenant restricting certain future property uses will be required to control the risks/exposures, property owners, whether the UST owner or not, must agree to any potential property use restrictions.

Comparision of LUST Remediation Options

The UECA-LUST Program is similar to the Voluntary Remediation Program; however, there are two key differences:

  1. Extent of Remediation

    Remediation through the UECA-LUST Program only addresses contamination associated with the release from the underground storage tank.

    In contrast, the Voluntary Remediation Program addresses all contamination associated with historical use of the property.

  2. Documentation of Remediation

    Upon completing risk-based remediation in the UECA-LUST Program, the UST owner receives a "No Further Action" (NFA) letter indicating that response requirements have been fulfilled and satisfactory remediation of the release has been achieved.

    In contrast, the Voluntary Remediation Program applicant receives a Certificate of Completion which contains a provision relieving a person who undertook the remediation and subsequent successors and assigns from all liability to the state. This liability protection remains effective as long as the property complies with the applicable standards in effect at the time the Certificate of Completion was issued.

  Traditional Enforcement Program UECA-LUST Program Voluntary Remediation Program
Contamination Addressed Only contaminants associated with LUST release Only contaminants associated with LUST release All contaminants associated with historical property use
Remediation Standards Established soil values and drinking water standards Risk-based Risk-based
Land Use Restrictions No Anticipated Anticipated
Remediation Documentation NFA Letter NFA Letter Certificate of Completion
Licensed Remediation Specialist Not Required Required Required
WVDEP Oversight Fees No Yes Yes

A leak from a regulated underground storage tank may be remediated through one of three different programs to satisfy required compliance. When determining the best pathway for a given site, UST owners should consider the complexity of the site, associated costs, consent of the current property owners, and the desired end result of remediation.