Daniel R. Munsey, Fire Chief/Fire Warden
  1. Home
  2. Office of the Fire Marshal
  3. Hazmat – CUPA
  4. Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program

About the UST Program

Hazardous Materials oversees the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program throughout San Bernardino County. The purpose of this program is to ensure that hazardous substances are not released into the groundwater and/or the environment from UST systems.

Hazardous Materials Specialists annually inspect underground storage tank system components and the associated monitoring equipment, as well as inventory records, to ensure that the UST systems comply with applicable laws and regulations.

The Hazardous Materials Section oversees the construction (installation, modification, repair) and the closure of UST systems. Prior to commencing site work, project activities require a valid permit and approval of plans. If the construction begins prior to submitting plans or prior to receiving a Plan Check Permit, the facility may be subject to additional fees and/or enforcement action.

UST Owner/Operator Responsibilities

  • checkedMaintain appropriate permits and pay annual fees.
  • checkedComply with applicable laws and regulations set forth in Chapter 6.7 of the California Health & Safety Code and the associated regulations in Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations. Submit required UST-related information and forms via the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS).
  • checkedMaintain and monitor the UST system.
  • checkedReport and remediate all unauthorized releases.

Report an Unauthorized Release

Unauthorized releases from a UST system shall be reported to the 24-Hour Emergency Hazardous Materials Spill Reporting Hotline within 24 hours

Within 5 working days, the UST Unauthorized Release Form shall be completed and uploaded into CERS.

UST Monitoring & Inspections

Annual UST Inspection

Purpose of this Inspection

  • To verify that the UST system is being monitored, tested, and operated in accordance with state laws & regulations.
  • To verify the functionality of leak detection equipment.
  • To verify that the UST system is in compliance with design & construction standards.

When is it Completed?

The annual UST inspection is typically conducted at the same time as the annual monitoring system certification. If the inspection is not completed at the time of the monitoring certification, then another date will be scheduled to conduct the annual inspection. The owner/operator must have someone available to open up all sump lids and dispenser panels.

Inspection Expectations

The inspector will need access to the following during the inspection:

  • All sumps & under dispenser containments (UDCs) must be viewable.
  • Alarm history & system set up from the monitoring panel (if the alarm panel does not print history, then a daily alarm log must be maintained).
  • Monthly Designated UST Operator (DO) inspection reports.
  • UST Training Records.
  • Other documents pertaining to the monitoring & maintenance of the UST as specified in 23 CCR 2712(b).

Inspection Report

An inspection report will be e-mailed to the Environmental Contact listed in the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS).


Photographs may be taken during the inspection.

Return to Compliance (RTC)

If violations are cited, the Certificate of Compliance and any documentation that may have been requested as part of the corrective action must be sent to ustcompliance@sbcfire.org within the time frame specified in the Certificate of Compliance.

UST Plan Check

Plan Check Types

The following are examples of the most common types of questions

The following do not require a Plan Check Permit from this section:

  • Replacing a turbine motor
  • Replacing an electrical relay
  • Replacing a manhole cover if sump walls or risers within the sumps don’t need to be modified (shortened or replaced)
  • Replacing a vapor spill container
  • Replacing a vent riser
  • Replacing PV caps
  • Replacing flexible test boots
  • Tightening clamps within the secondary containment
  • Replacing equipment above the shear valve, such as fuel filters
  • Installation of a unistrut support for a sensor sleeve if no fiberglassing to sump is involved
  • Upgrade of monitoring system that does NOT cause the system to lose power, sensor programming, or ISD mapping (e.g. does not require cold start)
  • Replacing flexible connector within tank sumps
  • Replacing or removing jumper hoses in a sump or UDC unless the dispenser needs to be removed for access
  • Fuel conversion from diesel to B20 (20% Biodiesel) – CERS does need to be updated.

The following does not require a Plan Check Permit, but a Notification must be sent within 10 days of replacement to ustclerk@sbcfire.org. Test Results for the following must be sent to this Section within 30 days of replacement and certification to usttestresults@sbcfire.org.


  • Replacing like-for-like sensors (including smart sensors & vacuum sensors)
    • Must be manufacturer and model specific unless model numbers only vary by cable length or model year (e.g. VR 460 to VR 420)

Functional Elements of Turbine

  • Replacing mechanical line leak detectors (LLDs)
    • Does not need to be manufacture or model as long as it is mechanical LLD to mechanical LLD
  • Replacing check valves
  • Replacing siphon jets
  • Replacing functional elements on the turbine

Spill Containment

  • Replacing a spill container with a container of the same size

The Minor Modification Permit is applicable for UST system modifications requiring 1 plan check review and 1 final inspection. Typically this work does not require excavation.


  • Dispenser removal or replacement
  • Upgrading from floats & chains to UDC stand-alone sensors
  • Upgrading from a stand-alone sensor to a sensor monitored by the UST system Controller (e.g. BEI 406 to VR 208)
  • Replacement of Flexible Connectors within the UDC.
  • Replacing flexible connectors within the UDC
  • Replacing product or vapor shear valves in the UDC
  • Installing liquid detection sensors in place of UDC float & chain assemblies
  • Removing dividers in the UDC


  • Replacing a mechanical line leak detector (MLLD) with a electronic pressurized line leak detector (PLLD) or vice versa
  • Replacing sensors from of one manufacture/model to a different manufacture/model


  • Replacing secondary containment penetration fittings
  • Installation of rigid fiberglass test boots (e.g. Bravo Split FRP Retrofit Entry Fitting)
  • Fiberglassing repairs
  • Application of Adhesive to a secondary containment


  • Replacing a spill container to a different volume
  • Raising or lowering drop tubes to change the spill containment capacity
  • Replacing direct bury spill container with a double-walled spill container


  • Cold Starts – any upgrade or reprogramming that triggers recertification of the monitoring system
  • Upgrading or installation of new low voltage electrical wiring that affects more than 50% of the leak detection equipment
  • Replacing the monitoring system/controller


  • Changing or replacing any OPE


  • Coverting from one type of hazardous substance to another as long as excavation is not required.

Major Modification Permits and Fees are applicable for UST system modifications that require 1 plan check review and up to 4 inspections. Typically, modifications that require excavation that may affect the UST system is a Major Modification


Installation, upgrade or repair of primary piping


Installation, upgrade or repair to secondary piping or penetrations that involve excavation


Investigational/exploratory permits that require excavation to determine cause of secondary containment failures, loss of hydrostatic fluid or vacuum, or alarm conditions


Installation, upgrade, or repair of any of the following that require excavation:

  • UDCs
  • Tank Sumps
  • Vent Transition Boxes
  • Piping Transition Sumps


Any other permit that requires more than 1 inspection

In San Bernardino County, no person shall abandon, close, or remove a UST without a permit from the CUPA. A Plan Check Application must be submitted and an approval letter must be received prior to initiating closure activities. An inspector must be present to witness the removal.

Review the San Bernardino County Fire Protect District UST Closure Requirements for details of the closure application, inspection, and post-inspection documentation.

Plan Check Process

All UST installations, modifications, and closures require a plan check permit.

CUPA Permits

CUPA facility permits must be current in order to apply for a UST Plan Check Permit.

Submittal Packet

In order to apply for a Plan Check Permit, the following must be submitted:

  • UST Installation / Modification Permit Application
  • Plan Check Fee
  • Owner Acknowledgement
  • Contractor Acknowledgement Form
  • Certifications of all Contractors & Testers
  • Plot Plan or Site Map (if applicable)
  • Test Results (if the plans are to address failures)
  • Compatibility Statements (for alternative fuels)
  • Additional Documents might be requested based on the type of project

Contact the UST Front Counter Technician for additional information.

A Resubmittal or addenda to submitted plans may be made for any of the following reasons:

  • Plan Checker requests additional information on the plans.
  • Plan Checker determines that the Plan Submittal Packet is deficient.
  • The Contractor Certifications are expired.
  • There has been a change in contractor.
  • There is a change in the plans (regardless of the size of the change)
  • There is a change in piping layout.
  • There is a change in tank orientation.

Each resubmittal will be charged a fee.

If the resubmittal is requested by a Plan Checker during the plan review process, a notice will be sent outlining the deficiencies of the plans. Submit the resubmittal plans within two weeks to avoid delays in plan review. If the resubmittal is not submitted within one year of the deficiency communication, then the plans may be rejected and a new set of plans may need to be submitted.

Plan Check Permit

Once plan review is complete, the Contractor and the Environmental Contact listed in the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) will receive a Plan Approval Letter. This Plan Approval Letter is the Plan Check Permit. After receiving this permit, the construction work may commence.

Plan Expiration

The Plan Approval Letter has an expiration. The Conditions of Approval on the Plan Approval Letter must be met prior to the Permit Expiration. Contact the UST Front Counter Technician if the permit has expired.

Contact Us

UST Contacts
620 South “E” Street
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0153
UST Secretary:
UST Front Counter Technician: