Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund

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What is the LUST Trust Fund?

In 1986, Congress created the Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund to address petroleum releases from federally regulated underground storage tanks (USTs) by amending Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act. In 2005, the Energy Policy Act expanded eligible uses of the Trust Fund to include certain leak prevention activities. The LUST Trust Fund provides money to:

  • Oversee cleanups of petroleum releases by responsible parties;
  • Enforce cleanups by recalcitrant parties;
  • Pay for cleanups at sites where the owner or operator is unknown, unwilling, or unable to respond, or which require emergency action; and
  • Conduct inspections and other release prevention activities.

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How is the LUST Trust Fund financed?

The Trust Fund is financed by a 0.1 cent tax on each gallon of motor fuel sold nationwide.

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What is the current LUST Trust Fund balance?

The U.S. Department of Treasury provides information on the current balance of the LUST Trust Fund.

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How much LUST Trust Fund money is made available every year?

EPA’s UST program receives approximately $100 million annually to prevent, detect, and clean up releases from federally-regulated USTs. In addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a one-time allocation of $200 million to assess and clean up UST leaks. EPA provides almost 90 percent of its LUST money directly to states, territories, and tribes to implement UST cleanup and prevention programs.

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How is LUST Trust Fund money made available to states and tribes?

To receive money from the Trust Fund, a state, territory, or tribe must enter into an assistance agreement with the federal government to spend the money for its intended purpose.

For more information about assistance agreements for states and tribes to clean up and prevent releases from USTs, see:

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How do states and tribes use Trust Fund money?

States and tribes use Trust Fund money to support underground storage tank cleanup and prevention programs. States and tribes use LUST Trust Fund cleanup money to:

  • oversee corrective actions by responsible parties; and
  • clean up sites that require prompt action to protect human health and the environment and/ or where the responsible party is unknown, unwilling or unable to perform the cleanup (about 4 percent of all cases).

States use LUST Trust Fund prevention money to:

  • inspect federally regulated UST facilities;
  • conduct release prevention and compliance assurance activities; and
  • pay for enforcement activities related to release prevention.

Tribes use LUST Trust Fund prevention money to:

  • promote release prevention by providing compliance assistance to owners and operators.

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What guidance is available regarding the LUST Trust Fund?

For guidance on the use of LUST Trust Fund money see:

LUST Cleanup Cooperative Agreement Guidance:

LUST Prevention Assistance Agreements Guidance

EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks, in partnership with EPA's regional offices, implements the underground storage tanks (UST) program in Indian country. We provide technical and financial support to tribal governments to prevent and clean up petroleum releases from USTs.

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