Our Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program enforces “North Carolina Administrative Code Title 15A Subchapters 2N and 2L”. Our staff enforces the UST regulations of North Carolina through a memorandum with NC Department of Natural Resources (DENR), Waste Management Division. We determine who is the responsible party for environmental contamination, conduct leak detection compliance inspections, and oversee tank removal, assessment, and remediation.


Underground Storage Tank (UST) systems are regulated by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The 2N rules establish criteria and standards applicable to REGULATED USTs and include the requirements and procedures for permanently closing UST systems. The 2N rules do not apply to Non-REGULATED USTs. However, when a release from a Non-regulated UST is discovered or confirmed, the responsible party (tank owner) needs to comply with 15A NCAC 2L .0115 for the assessment and remediation.

  • Any UST containing regulated substances, as defined in 15A NCAC 2N, specially petroleum (including but not limited to gasoline, diesel, and used/waste oil) or a hazardous substance (including halogenated or non-halogenated solvents).
  • Farm and residential tanks <1,100 gallons of motor fuel used for non-commercial purposes.
  • Tanks storing heating oil used on premises where stored.
  • Tanks on or above the floor of an underground area.
  • Septic tank.
  • Storm water or waste water collection systems.
  • Tanks <110 gallons.
  • Emergency spill and overfill tanks.
  • Field construction tanks.
  • Flow through tanks.
  • Operational tanks (hydraulic lifts etc.)

Leaking Petroleum UST Cleanup Fund

A State Trust Fund is available for the cleanup of leaking petroleum USTs. The commercial fund covers regulated USTs and those non-regulated USTs required to be registered, permitted, and to pay annual operating fees. The Non-Commercial Trust Fund has been phased out by Session Law 2015-241 Section 14.16A.


Commercial USTs

Non-Commercial USTs

  • commercial motor fuel USTs.
  • USTs for heating oil >1,100 gallons such as used by: churches, hospitals, schools, colleges, orphanages, factories, commercial centers etc.
  • USTs for petroleum fuel used at golf courses etc. even if< or = 1,100 gallons.
  • Farm or residential USTs >1,100 gallons.
  • Farm or residential USTs < or = 1,100 gallons of motor fuel for non-commercial purposes.
  • USTs < or = 1,100 gallons of heating oil for consumptive use on premises where stored.
  • USTs >1,100 gallons of heating oil for consumptive use by 4 or few households.


If you have any questions about the Trust Fund, please contact Guilford County Environmental Health at (336) 641-3771, Winston-Salem Regional Office at (336) 776-9800, or UST Section Central Office Trust Fund Branch at (919) 707-8600.


Notification Requirements

  • Following a known or suspected release from an underground storage tank (UST) system, the responsible party (tank owner or operator) is required to submit a 24-Hour Release and UST Leak Reporting Form within 24 hours of discovery of a known or suspected release to the Winston-Salem Regional Office UST Section or Guilford County Environmental Health.
  • Prior to removing a regulated UST, the tank owner or operator must complete and submit a GW/UST-3 Form (UST Permanent Closure of Change-in-Service) at least five (5) working days if a Professional Engineer (P.E.) or a Licensed Geologist (L.G.) provides supervision for closure assessment activities and signs and seals all closure reports. Otherwise, thirty (30) days notice is required.

Regulatory Procedures for Regulated USTs

    Please refer to the UST Section’s Guidelines for Assessment and Corrective Action.

  • Once evidence of a petroleum release is discovered, the responsible party must take immediate action to prevent any further release of product from the UST and identify and mitigate any fire, explosion or vapor hazards, remove free product, and comply with the 2N requirements.
  • If the responsible party cannot demonstrate that soil contamination has been cleaned up, a limited site assessment report (LSA) must be submitted within 120 days of the discovery of the release., The LSA report must include the information needed by the DENR to assign a land use classification and to determine the risk level for the incident.

Before installing any monitoring/remediation wells at the site, a permit must be obtained from Guilford County Health Department.  The Well Installation Application can be downloaded for your use.

  • After determining the risk level of the site, the DENR will notify the responsible party about the requirements for assessment and remediation.

UST for Home Heating Oil

Home heating oil tanks are those tanks defined as non-regulated, non-commercial USTs above.  A list of frequently asked questions has been compiled for your information about heating oil tanks.

UST Compliance Inspection

The HERA Team also conducts compliance inspections for UST systems operated in Guilford County. For more information, visit Compliance Inspection.