Financial Responsibility


“I need to demonstrate financial assurance/responsibility for my USTs”

How To Demonstrate Financial Responsibility

Environmental Protection Agency rules allow different methods for the tank owner to demonstrate financial responsibility.

These methods are:

  • Self-Insurance
  • Insurance
  • Surety Bond
  • Guarantee
  • Letter of Credit
  • Trust Fund
  • Standby Trust Fund

(Specific requirements for each mechanism are published in Chapters 173-360-413 through 436 RCW)

Who Is Responsible

Federal and state laws require that owners and operators of petroleum underground storage tanks must, as a condition for continued operation, demonstrate financial responsibility for the costs of environmental cleanup in case of a release or spill.

The most visible operators of petroleum underground storage tanks are gas stations and convenience stores.

Other tank operators include hospitals, rental car agencies, construction companies, local city and county public works facilities, school districts, contract loggers, fire districts, automobile dealers, etc.

What Is Required

Financial responsibility includes taking corrective action and compensating third parties for bodily injury and property damage caused by accidental releases from the operation of the tank(s). (40 CFR Part 280.93 and Chapter 173-360-406 WAC)

Per-occurrence Amount Requirements:

  • $1,000,000 per-occurrence for USTs located at marketing facilities, or for facilities that handle an average of more than 10,000 gallons per month.
  • $500,000 per-occurrence for all others.

Annual Aggregate Amount Requirements:

  • $1,000,000 annual aggregate for owners or operators of 1 to 100 USTs.
  • $2,000,000 annual aggregate for owners or operators of 101 or more USTs.