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10 GCA Chapter 76:
Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act

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The Underground Storage of Hazardous Substances Act was first adopted by Public Law 20-106:1 in 1989. It establishes standards for underground storage tanks to prevent contamination from hazardous substances stored underground.

The full text of this law is included on this site for reference purposes only. Any questions about interpretation of these regulations should be directed to appropriate Guam EPA staff.

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CHAPTER 76 Storage of Hazardous Materials

        NOTE: P.L. 20-106:1 added Storage of Hazardous Materials as 

           Chapter 88; however, Compiler has assigned this Act to 

           Chapter 76 to place it in the Division on Public Safety to 

           which it more properly belongs.



76101. Title.

76102. Findings of Necessity and Statement of Purpose.

76103. Definitions.

76104. Powers and Duties.

76105. Notifications Requirements.

76106. New Tank Standards.

76107. Leak Detection and Record Maintenance.

76108. Reporting Requirements.

76109. Corrective Actions.

76110. Hazardous Substances Emergency Response and Remedial Action Fund.

76111. Financial Responsibility.

76112. Closure.

76113. Tank Permit Requirements.

76114. Inspection and Entry.

76115. Confidentiality of Records.

76116. Notice.

76117. Hearings.

76118. Injunction.

76119. Applicability to Government Agencies.

76120. Penalties.





  76101. Title. This Chapter shall be known as the Underground 

Storage of Hazardous Substances Act.



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  76102. Findings of Necessity and Statement of Purpose. (a) The 

people of Guam find that:



                (1) Substances hazardous to the public health and 

        safety, and to the environment, are stored prior to use in 

        hundreds of underground locations in the territory.



                (2) Underground tanks used for the storage of 

        hazardous substances are potential sources of contamination of 

        the ground, underlying sole sources aquifer, surface or marine 

        waters, and may pose other dangers to public health and the 

        environment.



                (3) In several states, underground storage has 

        resulted in undetected and uncontrolled releases of hazardous 

        substances into the ground. These releases have contaminated 

        public drinking water supplies and created a potential threat 

        to the public health and to the waters of these states.



                (4) Current laws do not specifically govern the 

        construction, maintenance, testing, and use of underground 

        tanks used for the storage of hazardous substances for the 

        purposes of protecting the public health and the environment.



                (5) The protection of the public from releases of 

        hazardous substances is an issue of territorial concern.



        (b) It is hereby declared to be the purpose of this Chapter to:



                (1) Establish a continuing program for preventing 

        contamination from, and improper storage of, hazardous 

        substances stored underground;



                (2) Establish orderly procedures that will ensure that 

        newly constructed underground storage tank meet appropriate 

        standards;



                (3) Establish orderly procedures that will ensure that 

        existing tanks be properly maintained, inspected, and tested 

        so that the health, property, and resources of the people of 

        Guam will be protected.



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  76103. Definitions. For the purpose of this Chapter, the 

following definitions apply:



                (a) Administrator shall mean the Administrator of the 

        Guam Environmental Protection Agency or his designee.



                (b) Agency shall mean the Guam Environmental 

        Protection Agency.



                (c) Board shall mean the Board of Directors of the 

        Guam Environmental Protection Agency.



                (d) Guarantor shall mean any person, other than the 

        owner or the operator, who provides evidence of financial 

        responsibility for the underground storage tank.



                (e) Operator shall mean any person in control of, or 

        having responsibility for, the daily operation of an 

        underground storage tank.



                (f) Owner shall mean:



                        (1) In the case of an underground storage tank 

                in use or brought into use on or after the effective 

                date of this Chapter, any person who owns an 

                underground storage tank used for the storage, use, or 

                dispensing of regulated substances; and



                        (2) In the case of an underground storage tank 

                in use before the effective date of this Chapter, but 

                no longer in use after that date, any person who owned 

                such tank immediately before the discontinuation of 

                its use.



                (g) Person shall mean an individual, trust, firm, 

        joint stock company, corporation (including a government 

        corporation), partnership, consortium, joint venture, 

        commercial entity, association, a political subdivision of 

        Guam, interstate body, or any agency, department, or 

        instrumentality of the Federal government or government of 

        Guam, or any other legal representative, agency or assigns.



                (h) Regulated Substance or Hazardous Substance shall 

        mean any element, compound, mixture, solution, or substance 

        that, when released into the environment, may present 

        substantial danger to the public health, welfare, or the 

        environment. The term includes:



                        (1) Any substance defined in Section 101(14) 

                of the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, 

                Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, Public Law 

                96-510, as amended, (but not including any substance 

                regulated as a hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the 

                Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, also 

                known as Public Law 94-580, as amended); or



                        (2) Petroleum, including crude oil or any 

                fraction thereof, which is liquid at standard 

                conditions of temperature and pressure (60 degrees 

                Fahrenheit and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute); 

                and



                        (3) Any other substance as designated by the 

                Administrator.



                (i) Release includes, but is not limited to, any 

        spilling, leaking, emitting, discharge, escaping, leaching, or 

        disposing from an underground storage tank into groundwater, 

        surface water, or subsurface soils.



                (j) Underground Storage Tank shall mean any one (1) or 

        combination of tanks (including underground pipes connected 

        thereto) used to contain an accumulation of regulated 

        substances, and the volume of which (including the volume of 

        the underground pipes connected thereto) is ten percent (10%) 

        or more beneath the surface of the ground. Underground Storage 

        Tank does not include any of the following:



                        (1) Septic tank;



                        (2) Pipeline facility (including gathering 

                lines) regulated under:



                                (A) The Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 

                        1968, Public Law 90-481, as amended;



                                (B) The Hazardous Liquid Pipeline 

                        Safety Act of 1979, Public Law 96-129, as 

                        amended;



                        (3) Surface impoundment, pit, pond, or lagoon;



                        (4) Storm water or waste water collection 

                system;



                        (5) Flow-through process tank;



                        (6) Liquid trap or associated gathering lines 

                directly related to oil or gas production and 

                gathering operations;



                        (7) Storage tank situated in an underground 

                area (such as a basement, cellar, shaft, or tunnel) is 

                the storage tank is situated upon or above the surface 

                of the floor.



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  76104. Powers and Duties. The Agency shall have the 

responsibility to:



        (a) Develop and administer a underground storage tank program 

for Guam pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter;



        (b) Study, investigate, or cause to be studied and 

investigated, pollution from underground storage tanks and causes, 

prevention, control, and abatement thereof, as deemed necessary to 

protect human health and the environment;



        (c) Provide technical assistance to local and federal 

agencies, and other persons, and cooperate with appropriate local 

agencies and private organizations in carrying out the provisions of 

this Chapter;



        (d) Serve as Guam's official representative for all purposes 

of Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 

(Public Law 94-580) as amended, and for the purpose of such other Guam 

or federal legislation as may hereafter be enacted to assist in the 

management of underground storage tanks;



        (e) Prepare, adopt, promulgate, modify, update, repeal, and 

enforce rules and regulations governing underground storage tank 

design, construction, installation, release detection and inventory 

control, compatibility, record maintenance, reporting, corrective 

action, closure, and financial responsibility in order to conserve the 

land and water resources of Guam, protect the health, prevent 

environmental pollution and public nuisances, and enable it to carry 

out the purposes and provisions of this Chapter;



        (f) Establish the procedures for review and issuance of 

permits governing the design, operation, and closure of underground 

storage tanks;



        (g) Prepare, issue, modify, revoke and enforce orders for 

compliance with any of the provisions of this Chapter or of any rules 

and regulations issued pursuant thereto and requiring the taking of 

such remedial measures for underground storage tank management as may 

be necessary or appropriate to implement or effectuate the provisions 

and purposes of this Chapter;



        (h) Prepare, adopt, promulgate, modify, update, repeal, and 

enforce such other rules and regulations as may be necessary to 

establish an underground storage tank program which meets the 

requirements of Section 904 of Subtitle I of the Resource Conservation 

and Recovery Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-580) as amended, and 

regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.



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  76105. Notification Requirements. (a) Any owner who brings 

into use an underground storage tank after the effective date of this 

Chapter shall notify the Agency within thirty days of such action. 

Notices shall include, but not limited to, at least the following 

specifications:



                (1) The date the tanks was taken out of operation;



                (2) The age of the tank on the date taken out of 

        operation;

                (3) The size, type, and location of the tank; and



                (4) The type and quantity of substances left stored in 

        the tank on the date taken out of operation or removed.



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  76106. New Tank Standards. (a) From and after the effective 

date of this Chapter until the effective date of new tank performance 

standards promulgated thereunder, no person may install an underground 

storage tank unless the tank meets all of the following requirements:



                (1) The tank will prevent releases of the stored 

        regulated substances due to corrosion or structural failure 

        for the operational life of the tank;



                (2) The tank is cathodically protected against 

        corrosion, constructed of noncorrosive material, or designed 

        in a manner to prevent the release or threatened release of 

        the stored regulated substance; and



                (3) The material used in the construction or lining of 

        the tank is compatible with the substance to be stored.



        (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), if the Administrator 

determines that soils at an installation location are not corrosive 

enough to cause an underground storage tank to have a release during 

its operating life and the Administrator determines that the tank is 

adequately protected, a storage tank without corrosion protection may 

be installed at that location.



        (c) The performance for new underground storage tanks shall 

include, but are not limited to, design, construction, installation, 

release detection, and compatibility standards.



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  76107. Leak Detection and Record Maintenance. (a) The owner 

or operator of an underground storage tank shall maintain a leak 

system, an inventory control system, and tank testing system, or a 

comparable system or method designed to identify releases in a manner 

consistent with the protection of human health and the environment.



        (b) The owner or operator shall maintain systematic and 

complete records of the information obtained from Subsection (a).



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  76108. Reporting Requirements. (a) The owner and operator of 

an underground storage tank shall notify the Agency of each release 

from the tank as soon as practicable but no later than twenty-four 

(24) hours after the release is detected. The owner may contract with 

the operator to assume the obligations created by this Section.



        (b) The operator of an underground storage tank shall notify 

the owner of each release from the tank as soon as practicable but no 

later than twelve (12) hours after the release is detected.



        (c) Notice by the operator and owner may be made orally or in 

writing but shall be followed within fourteen (14) days by a written 

report to the Agency that a release has been detected. The written 

report shall include, but not be limited to, the nature of the 

release, the period of time over which the release occurred and the 

corrective action taken as of the date of the report and anticipated 

to be taken subsequent to the date of the report.



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  76109. Corrective Action. (a) When a release is discovered 

the owner or operator of an underground storage tank shall take 

immediate action to stop the release.



        (b) The owner or operator of an underground storage tank shall 

take corrective action in response to the release of regulated 

substances from the tank in a manner consistent with future protection 

of human health and the environment, and restoration of the 

environment to a condition and quality acceptable to the Agency. The 

Agency may require the owner or operator to undertake such 

investigations, monitoring, surveys, testings and other information 

gathering as the Agency considers necessary or appropriate to:



                (1) Identify the existence and extent of the release;



                (2) Identify the source and nature of the hazardous 

        substance involved; and



                (3) Evaluate the extent of danger to human health, 

        safety, welfare or the environment.



        (c) If the owner or operator does not take immediate action to 

stop a release from an underground storage tank or immediately 

commence and promptly and adequately complete the cleanup of a 

release, the Agency may stop the release or cleanup the release, or 

contract to stop the release or contract for cleanup of the release.



        (d) Whenever, the Agency is authorized to act under subsection 

(c) of this section, the Agency directly or by contract may undertake 

such investigations, monitoring, surveys, testing and other 

information gathering as it may deem appropriate to identify the 

existence and extent of the release, the source and nature of the 

hazardous substance involved and the extent of danger to human health, 

safety, welfare or the environment. In addition, the Agency directly 

or by contract may undertake such planning, fiscal, economic, 

engineering and other studies and investigations as it may deem 

appropriate to plan and direct cleanup actions, to recover the costs 

thereof and legal costs.



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  76110. Hazardous Substance Emergency Response and Remedial 

Action Fund. (a) There is established a fund to be known as the 

Hazardous Substance Emergency Response and Remedial Action Fund (the 

"Action Fund") which shall be used by the Agency as a nonlapsing, 

revolving fund. The Legislature shall make an initial, one time 

appropriation of Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000) to the Action Fund. 

All fees, reimbursements, assessments, fines, bail forfeitures, and 

other funds collected or received pursuant to this Chapter shall be 

deposited in the Action Fund.



        (b) The Administrator shall administer the Action Fund and 

make disbursements from the fund for the following purposes:



                (1) Funding actions and activities authorized under 

        76109 of this Chapter.



                (2) Training of Agency employees involved in 

        regulation of underground storage of hazardous substances or 

        response to release of hazardous substances from underground 

        storage tanks.



                (3) Providing for the general administration and 

        implementation of this Chapter, including the purchase of 

        equipment and payment of personnel costs of the Agency.



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  76111. Financial Responsibility. (a) The owner or operator of 

an underground storage tank shall maintain evidence of financial 

responsibility for taking corrective action and compensating third 

parties for bodily injury and property damage caused by sudden and 

non- sudden accidental releases arising from the operation of an 

underground storage tank.



        (b) If the owner or operator is in bankruptcy, reorganization,

or arrangement pursuant to the Federal bankruptcy law, or if 

jurisdiction in any Guam, state, or Federal court cannot be obtained 

over an owner or operator likely to be solvent at the time of 

judgement, any claim arising from conduct for which evidence of 

financial responsibility must be provided under this subsection may be 

asserted directly against the guarantor providing the evidence of 

financial responsibility. In the case of such action against a 

guarantor, the guarantor is entitled to invoke all rights and defenses 

which would have been available to the owner or operator if any action 

had been brought against the owner or operator by the claimant and 

which would have been available to the guarantor if an action had been 

brought against the guarantor by the owner or operator.



        (c) The total liability of a guarantor shall be limited to the 

aggregate amount which the guarantor has provided as evidence of 

financial responsibility to the owner or operator under this section. 

The subsection does not limit any other Guam or Federal statutory, 

contractual, or common law liability of a guarantor to its owner or 

operator, including, but not limited to, the liability of the 

guarantor for bad faith in negotiating or in failing to negotiate the 

settlement of any claim. This subsection does not diminish the 

liability of any person under sections 107 or 111 of the Comprehensive 

Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, Public 

Law 96-516, as amended, or other applicable law.



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  76112. Closure. Closure of an underground storage tank shall 

be accomplished in a manner which prevents future releases of 

regulated substances.



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  76113. Tank Permit Requirements. (a) No person shall own, 

install, or operate an underground storage tank unless a permit is 

obtained from the Agency and upon payment of a fee to be prescribed by 

regulations. All such permits shall be non-transferable and 

conditioned upon the observance of the laws of Guam and such rules and 

regulations.



        (b) Each permit holder shall apply for the renewal of each 

permit held, upon forms provided by the Agency, not less than sixty 

(60) days prior to the expiration of such underground storage tank 

permit to be renewed.



        (c) Each permit application and each permit renewal 

application shall be submitted with evidence of financial 

responsibility, in a sum established by the Administrator and 

conditioned on the fulfillment by the permit holder of the 

requirements of this Chapter and the rules and regulations authorized 

herein.



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  76114. Inspection and Entry. The Agency is hereby authorized 

to inspect all underground storage tanks at all reasonable times to 

insure compliance with the laws of Guam, the provisions of this 

Chapter, and the rules and regulations authorized herein. This 

authority shall include, but not limited to, obtaining from any owner 

or operator of an underground storage tank, upon request information 

relating to such tanks, their associated equipment, and their 

contents; conducting monitoring and testing of tanks or surrounding 

soils, air, surface water or groundwater; inspecting and copying all 

records relating to tanks; and inspecting and obtaining samples of 

regulated substances contained in tanks.



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  76115. Confidentiality of Records. Records or other 

information furnished to or obtained by the Administrator concerning 

regulated substances are available to the public, except that any 

records and information which relate to trade secrets, processes, 

operations, style of work or apparatus or to the identity, 

confidential statistical data, amount or source of any income, 

profits, losses or expenditures of any person are only for the 

confidential use of the Agency in the administration of this Chapter 

unless the owner or operator expressly agrees to their publication or 

availability to the public. This section does not prohibit the 

publishing of quantitative and qualitative statistics pertaining to 

the storage of regulated substances. Notwithstanding provisions to the 

contrary in this section, information regarding the nature and quality 

of releases from underground storage tanks otherwise reportable 

pursuant to this Chapter shall be available to the public.



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  76116. Notice. Any notice, order or other official 

correspondence affecting the rights of any person under this Chapter 

shall be delivered by personal service, or sent by registered mail 

with a return receipt to the address of such person as shown by the 

records of the Agency. The return receipt, signed by the addressee, or 

his agent, shall be conclusive proof of delivery.



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  76117. Hearings. (a) Any person who received an order from 

the Administrator as authorized by this Chapter and any person whose 

permit application is disapproved by the Administrator may, within 

fifteen (15) days of the date of receipt of such order or disapproval, 

file a notice of intent to appeal with the Board, setting forth in 

such notice a verified petition outlining the basis for such appeal.



        (b) The Board shall, not more than sixty (60) days after 

receipt of such notice of appeal, hold a public hearing at which time 

the person appealing may appear and present evidence in person or 

through counsel in support of this petition.



        (c) The Board is hereby authorized to administer oaths and to 

issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the 

production of evidence in all such hearings. Transcripts may be made 

by either the Agency or the person appealing.



        (d) The Board shall affirm, modify or revoke any action which 

is appealed and shall notify the appellant of its decision not more 

than thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the hearing. Such notice 

shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the decision.



        (e) Any person may appeal such decision to the Superior Court 

of Guam by filing with the Agency a written notice of such intent to 

appeal within ten (10) days of the notice of subsection (d) of this 

section and shall have a transcript of the proceedings upon request. 

The person making the appeal shall pay the Agency for the expenses 

associated with the preparation of the requested transcript.



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  76118. Injunction. The Agency may maintain an action to 

restrain any violation or threatened violation of the provisions of 

this Chapter or the rules and regulations authorized herein. Such 

right to injunctive relief is in addition to any other powers or

penalties conferred by this Chapter.



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  76119. Applicability to Government Agencies. Agencies of the 

government of Guam and of the Government of the United States shall 

comply with all provisions of this Chapter including permit 

requirements with the exception of 76111 and 76113(c).



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  76120. Penalties. (a) Any person who violates any underground 

storage tank provisions of this Chapter, or any valid underground 

storage tank rule or regulation promulgated under this Chapter, or who 

refuses or neglects to comply with any lawful order issued by the 

Administrator in carrying out the provisions of this chapter shall 

forfeit and pay the government of Guam a civil penalty not less than 

Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) for each tank for each day of 

violation.



        (b) Any person with an interest, which is or may be adversely 

affected by a violation of this Chapter, may intervene as a matter of 

right in any civil action brought by the Agency to require compliance 

with the provisions of this Chapter.



        (c) Any person who knowingly fails to notify or makes any 

false statement or representation in any underground storage tank 

notification, permit application, or other document filed, maintained, 

or used for purposes of compliance with the provisions of this 

Chapter, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not less than six (6) 

months or be fined not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per 

day for each violation, or both.



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URL: https://guamepa.govguam.net/regs/chapter76.html
Last update: 2 January 2001

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