Montana Department of Environmental Quality About Us Permitting & Operator Assistance Public Participation

Petroleum Tank Cleanup

Program Overview

The goal of the Petroleum Tank Cleanup Section is to protect human health and the environment from petroleum and hazardous substance releases from storage tank systems, both underground and above ground. Meeting this goal requires definition of the extent and magnitude of the contamination and implementation of the necessary corrective action.

Petroleum Tank Cleanup Section Environmental Scientists direct and oversee cleanup of petroleum releases. They are available as technical resources for tank owners and operators, local government officials, and the public to help respond to questions or concerns about tank leaks.

Petroleum releases can contaminate soil, groundwater and surface water, and may threaten or impact public and private drinking water supplies. In addition, harmful and potentially explosive hydrocarbon vapors can accumulate in buildings or confined spaces such as basements and utility corridors.  If a petroleum release occurs, DEQ staff assists and oversees the efforts of the facility owner or operator in assessing the potential threat to human health and the environment, and provides assistance with corrective action. The staff works closely with the Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board (PTRCB) which provides financial assistance for eligible corrective action cleanup costs. 

The Petroleum Tank Cleanup Section administers the federal Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund Program. This allows funding to DEQ to conduct investigations and remediation activities at petroleum release sites where: (1) the release source is unknown or (2) the tank owner is insolvent or recalcitrant. The LUST Trust Fund can also be used for emergency response activities to mitigate immediate human health hazards such as petroleum-impacted drinking water supplies and buildings impacted with petroleum vapors.

State statutory authority for corrective actions is found in the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act, 75-11-501, MCA, et seq. The department's administrative rules are found in Title 17, Chapter 56 of the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM). These rules include the requirements for release reporting, investigation, confirmation, abatement measures, and corrective action.


HOTLINE for Reporting Leaks

Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
call 1-800-457-0568

After hours and holidays call 1-406-324-4777

NOTE: You must report to a live person.

Leaving a message does not constitute a report.



(800) 457-0568

After Hours Release Reporting
(406) 324-4777



Helena PTCS Office
1225 Cedar St.
Helena, MT 59601

Billings PTCS Office
Airport Business Park IP-9
1371 Rimtop Dr.
Billings, MT 59105-9702

Bozeman PTCS Office
Martel Building Ste 3B, 220 West Lamme St.
Bozeman, MT 59715

Kalispell PTCS Office
655 Timberwolf Pkwy
Kalispell, MT 59901

Marla Stremcha, P.E. - Helena
Petroleum Tank Cleanup Section Supervisor

Deb Sutliff
Program Support Services

William Bergum
Environmental Science Specialist

Shannon Williams-Cala
Lead Environmental Science Specialist

Kendall Gustafson
Environmental Science Specialist

Donnie McCurry
Environmental Science Specialist

Allen Schiff
Environmental Science Specialist

Sue Fairchild
Database Analyst

Brandon Kingsbury
Petroleum Brownfields Coordinator

Jonathan Love, P.G. - Billings
Environmental Science Specialist

Jay Shearer - Billings
Lead Environmental Science Specialist

Eric Krueger - Bozeman
Environmental Science Specialist

Latysha Pankratz - Bozeman
Environmental Science Specialist

Reed Miner - Kalispell
Lead Environmental Science Specialist

Save the Date February 8, 2022 (Hybrid Event)

Coming Soon:

Registration and Survey Monkey


The work plans on this table have been Submitted for Local Government Review or subsequently Approved by DEQ since January 1, 2014. They are organized chronologically by expected completion dates, and entries will be removed following completion. More information regarding implementation and scope of work is available at the links provided in the Work Plan column. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the associated DEQ Project Manager, either at the linked email address or by calling: (406) 444-6444

Last updated December, 2021.




Project Manager

Work Plan


Completion Date


Former Andy's Exxon

Chinook Allen Schiff 34424 Local Gov Review 12/17/2021

Stromberg Sinclair Station

Havre Donnie McCurry 34358 Local Gov Review 12/16/2021
471 & 5247

Zip Trip 59

Miles City Jay Shearer 34366 and 34367 Local Gov Review 12/15/2021

Former Vogue Cleaners Inc.

Butte Allen Schiff 34422 Local Gov Review 12/10/2021

Former Cardinal True Value

Kalispell Reed Miner 34407 Local Gov Review 11/22/2021
3406 & 0911

Former Noon's #422

Helena William Bergum 34340 and 34341 Local Gov Review 11/17/2021

Robins Service

Glendive William Bergum 34414 Local Gov Review 11/17/2021

Rindal's Fort Lewis Trading Post

Lewistown Allen Schiff 34249 Local Gov Review 11/4/2021

Groundwater Monitoring Work Plan and Report Guidance

Cleanup Guidance

Electronic Submittals:
File Transfer Service for Corrective Action Plans (CAP)and Reports

Technical Guidance Documents:

Landfarming Soils: Contact Solid Waste Section for permitting and monitoring requirements at 406-444-5300.

Vapor Intrusion Guidance Document

UpdatedMontana Vapor Intrusion Guide 

APH VI Calculator

The following are links to example field sampling forms that may be of assistance.

Petroleum Brownfields Guidance

 APH VI Calculator
The Air-Phase Petroleum Hydrocarbon Vapor Intrusion (APH VI) Screening Level Calculator is designed as a simple screening tool to determine if vapor intrusion exceeds generic risked-based screening levels at sites with only petroleum contamination. This calculator is not meant to be used with solvent sites or mixed waste sites containing a combination of petroleum and other sources. The results from this calculator should be considered one of the multiple lines of evidence in your vapor intrusion investigation.  Below you will find the APH VI Screening Level Calculator as well as the VI APH Calculator Discussion that explains how to use the calculator and the general assumptions used for site-specific vapor intrusion risk assessment/analysis (also found on DEQ SRS’s FAQs website).

Data Validation Guidelines

Data Validation Summary Form

Petroleum Cleanup Section FAQ

A. Program overview and applicable laws and rules
B. Cleanup Process-Confirmation, Investigation, Release Cleanup, Long-Term Monitoring
C. Resolving or Closing a Petroleum Tank Release

 Program overview and applicable laws and rules

A1. I have a petroleum release from a tank; what do I do now? 

If the petroleum release is from a tank system, either an underground storage tank or an above-ground storage tank, you need to call one of the following numbers within 24-hours of detecting the leak: 

  • 1-800-457-0568 From 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday (DEQ)
  • 1-406-324-4777 After-hours and holidays (Disaster and Emergency Services)

If your petroleum release is from a tanker truck that is not connected to a UST or AST system, or any other source, call the DEQ Enforcement Division at (406) 444-0379. 

A2. Who is responsible for notifying the state of a petroleum release from a tank?

An owner/operator, any person who installs or removes an UST, or who performs subsurface investigations for the presence of regulated substances, and any person who performs a tank tightness or line tightness test must notify DEQ or the Disaster and Emergency Services officer available at the phone numbers listed in the response to A1 above. 

A3. What are the most common risks to human health, safety, and the environment at a typical petroleum tank release site? 

For a release regulated under the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act (75-11 Chapter 5, MCA) or the Petroleum Storage Tank statute (75-11 Chapter 3, MCA), the most common risks at petroleum release sites are from: 

  • People potentially drinking contaminated water (either from a contaminated aquifer or permeation of a water pipe);
  • Human exposure to vapors migrating into buildings; and
  • Construction workers contacting petroleum-contaminated soil during excavation work. 

Other risks can include direct human contact with contaminated surface or subsurface soil and contaminated surface water (rivers and lakes) which may impact humans or the environment. For more information on potential risk, select the “Risk Assessment/Analysis” topic at

Cleanup Process-Confirmation, Investigation, Release Cleanup, Long-Term Monitoring

 B1. How do I hire an environmental consultant?

The Petroleum Tank Cleanup section maintains a list of environmental consultants who you can hire to assist you with your petroleum tank release. Please refer to the following webpage for names of consulting firms, phone numbers, and advice for hiring a consultant. Consultant List .

B2. Is there any financial assistance available?

Remedial efforts at petroleum tank releases that have been deemed eligible for reimbursement from the Petroleum Storage Tank Cleanup Fund are reimbursable. For more information, please visit the Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board website.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) works with DEQ in granting cleanup funds to eligible sites with environmental issues and compelling benefits to the impacted communities. The specific grant program is called Reclamation and Development Grants program and for more information on the grants available through DNRC, please visit their website at: Reclamation and Development Grants Program

DEQ and the US Environmental Protection Agency oversee Brownfields funding for investigation and cleanup to eligible petroleum release sites. For more information regarding the Montana DEQ Brownfields funding or a petroleum release’s potential eligibility for Brownfields, please visit: Montana Brownfields Program

Resolving or Closing a Petroleum Tank Release

C1. What is required to close a petroleum release regulated by the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act (75-11 Chapter 5, MCA) or the Petroleum Storage Tank statute (75-11 Chapter 3, MCA)?

The term close or closure is synonymous with resolving the release in accordance with Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM 17.56.607(4)).

The technical guidance document for petroleum release closure provides a comprehensive look at closure requirements. Please use the following link to find the Site Closure Evaluation, Including Petroleum Mixing Zones technical guidance document: Petroleum Release Closure Categorization

C2. Does DEQ-7 contain all the chemicals found in gasoline and diesel?

No. Gasoline, diesel, and other refined petroleum products are made up of hundreds of chemicals. Only about a dozen or so of these chemicals have standards listed in DEQ-7. DEQ created and periodically updates its guidance document called Montana Tier 1 Risk Based Corrective Action Guidance for Petroleum Releases (also referred to as RBCA). In its RBCA document, DEQ has defined risk-based screening levels (RBSL) for soil and groundwater at petroleum release sites. For specific chemicals of concern, both DEQ-7 chemicals and those with calculated risk-based screening levels (RBSL), refer to the RBCA Document.

C3. What cleanup levels do petroleum release regulated by the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act (75-11 Chapter 5, MCA) or the Petroleum Storage Tank statute (75-11 Chapter 3, MCA) have to meet?

The DEQ has developed a method published in Montana Tier 1 Risk-based Corrective Action Guidance for Petroleum Releases (RBCA) to address petroleum chemicals not listed in DEQ-7. RBCA identifies concentrations of petroleum chemicals called “risk-based screening levels” or “RBSL” to evaluate risks posed to human health and the environment. Petroleum releases cleaned up to levels below RBSL are determined to be protective of human health and the environment. RBCA has been incorporated by reference into Montana tank rules addressing site closure found at ARM 17.56.608.

C4. Can a petroleum tank release regulated by the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act (75-11 Chapter 5, MCA) or the Petroleum Storage Tank statute (75-11 Chapter 3, MCA) be closed when groundwater exceeds DEQ-7 standards or RBSL, and the contamination is not migrating beyond the property boundaries?

Maybe; all groundwater is state water even that located only under the facility that is the source of the release. DEQ considers all exposure routes and all receptors before making a determination if a petroleum release is ready for closure. If no receptor is exposed to groundwater contaminated by residual petroleum fractions that have only an RBSL, the petroleum tank release could close. However, if a specific chemical listed in DEQ-7 exceeds water quality standards (such as benzene), the release will remain open until the contamination is less than the standard or until petroleum mixing zone has been approved.

C5. What is a petroleum mixing zone closure?

A petroleum mixing zone closure is a category that a petroleum tank releases regulated by the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act (75-11 Chapter 5, MCA) or the Petroleum Storage Tank statute (75-11 Chapter 3, MCA) can be resolved or closed in situations where the groundwater continues to have petroleum chemicals that exceed DEQ-7 water quality standards. A petroleum mixing zone may be granted if the owner/operator demonstrates that the release has been cleaned up to the maximum extent practicable, the groundwater contamination plume is decreasing, and there is no other risk to receptors. A petroleum mixing zone closure will allow a petroleum tank release to be closed that has a groundwater plume that exceeds water quality standards.

The Petroleum Tank Cleanup uses a guidance document to explain a petroleum mixing zone closure and the requirements needed for a petroleum tank release to be considered for such a closure. Please see the Site Closure Evaluation, Including Petroleum Mixing Zones technical guidance document for a full description: Petroleum Release Closure Categorization.

C6. What are the cleanup levels for soil?

DEQ does not have specific soil standards for petroleum contamination but has developed risk-based screening levels (RBSLs) for soil to evaluate risk to human health and the environment. Soil RBSLs are conservatively calculated to represent concentrations of the various chemicals that should not cause unacceptable risks to human health through direct contact (ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact) and will not leach into groundwater above DEQ-7 standards or groundwater RBSLs anywhere in Montana. Soil RBSLs are available for surface soil (less than two feet deep) and deeper soils and for both residential and commercial purposes. Soil RBSLs can be used as default cleanup levels for soil. DEQ may approve other methods to evaluate risks to human health, safety, and the environment.


LUST Site List

Click the links below to open, save, or print the Montana Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) list of all sites or of all active sites. If you have questions or need further information, please call the program support specialist at 406-444-6443. 

These lists are current through November 2021.

The Spatial (Lat\Long)  data is no longer accessible on the LUST List.

The data available from these lists is summary information and should be used for general purposes only. Street addresses are provided as a courtesy and should be verified by the user. 

Not finding what you need?  Submit a records request through the DEQ Public Records Center

Waste Management and Remediation Division Headquarters, located at 1225 Cedar Street in Helena, Montana, contains indexed libraries of documents, reports, and correspondence. For more detailed, hardcopy information, please visit our website at  MT DEQ Public Record Center for record requests. 

Emerging Cleanup Technology (9/14/2016)

Description: Aimed at state and tribal corrective action employees, this webinar will provide participants with information on:

  • High Vacuum Dual Phase Extraction
  • Activated Carbon Injection

Webinar Recording

Webinar Presentations:
High Vacuum Dual Phase Extraction - Noel Shenoi, CalClean, Inc.
Activated Carbon Injection - Tom Fox, CO Division of Oil and Public Safety; Edward Winner, KY UST Branch

Smart Characterization - The New Era of Site Investigations

This is a two hour recorded webinar that consists of the following topics: 

  • Smart Characterization and Return on Investigation: Newly developed tools and strategies for mapping source zones and dissolved-phase plumes. Using high-resolution, Smart characterization strategies to reduce total life-cycle costs of restoration by 3x-5x

  •  Stratigraphic Flux: A new classification system that enables one to extend sequence stratigraphy to understand transport and restoration potential and improve restoration performance. The approach maps relative mass flux and plume maturity using high-resolution characterization data and classical geology interpretation.
  • A new approach to NAPL Management: leveraging return-on-investigation and stratigraphic flux approaches to develop digital NAPL CSMs, and determine when to manage and when to remediate NAPL. Topics will include advanced NAPL mapping methods, how to evaluate NAPL mobility and risk, and how inclusion of natural source zone depletion in the NAPL CSM is critical to practical restoration decisions.

The training was led by Arcadis experts in ROI (Return on Investigation) and Smart Characterization:

Nick Welty, director of Site Investigations for North America, and Rick Ahlers, global lead for NAPL Management.

For a full abstract, please see the attached PDF Smart Characterization

A recording of the webinar is on NEIWPCC’s website along with a pdf of the PowerPoint slides:

*Under Construction

Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board Forms and Worksheets
The Certificate of Financial Responsibility below is required to be on file at your facility or place of business. Your compliance inspector is required to inspect it for proper record keeping.

Enforcement Spill Report

**If there is an emergency, please dial 911 to alert local services, then fill out our spill/complaint form or call DEQ Enforcement staff at (406) 444-0379.

DEQ UST Montana Certificate of Financial Responsibility Form
Financial Data Request Form for Individuals
Financial Data Request Form for Businesses

Work Plan and Report Templates:

Release Closure Plan (PDF not fillable)
Release Closure Plan (Excel)
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