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

Underground Storage Tanks 

Program Overview

The goal of the Montana Underground Storage Tank (UST) Leak Prevention Program is to protect human health and the environment by preventing releases of petroleum and hazardous substances from UST systems. The release of these regulated products into the environment threatens groundwater resources and can cause explosive vapors to seep into confined spaces and occupied dwellings.



  • UST systems are properly constructed and designed using recognized industry standards;
  • Installations, repairs and removals are conducted and inspected by qualified, trained and licensed individuals.
  • Active USTs are properly operated and monitored for releases;
  • Upon closure, USTs are properly decommissioned and sites assessed for contamination.
  • Do Not Fill Report:  It is a substantial violation to fill these UST systems

 New:  Fuel Delivery Training on TankHelper - Note: This course is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace or be a substitute for safety training.

  Deadlines for Montana UST Rules are here!- click for more info

  Montana UST Rules Brochure  This brochure highlights the rule changes adopted by UST in October 2018 with many of the rules becoming effective October 2021.  The brochure covers changes (walkthrough inspections, fuel compatibility, release detection requirements, out-of-tank detection, testing requirements, and major provisions adopted by Montana UST Program) that will need to be implemented at your facility, along with leak reporting and resources and forms links and information.


UST Monthly and Annual Walkthrough Inspection Form - Final - updated April 2022

Starting in October 2021, owner or operators will be required to do monthly and annual walkthrough inspections of their underground storage tank systems to make sure your equipment is working properly and catch problems early. The form showing you what you will be required to inspect is now available.  The form is now finalized, so you can start doing your inspections. This inspection is required by the EPA rule revision of 2015. 

Montana 2022 Underground Storage Tank Public Record Report - updated December 23, 2022

Owner Change Forms

State rule requires owners of UST facilities to inform DEQ of any changes to their facility (e.g., new facility name, change of owner, inactivation of tanks, financial responsibility, etc) within 30 days of the change. To view UST FORMs click on this link UST FORMS  and scroll down to Underground Storage Tanks.

New Owner Information click here

Compliance Inspection Checklist to help you prepare for your next inspection and stay on track!

Information Requests

Request information or Submit Records Request regarding a UST Facility

Underground Storage Tank Contacts

UST Program Section Supervisor
Emily Ewart  (406) 444-4194 

UST Program Assistance
DEQ UST Program (406) 444-5300

Email for DEQ UST Program:

FAX: (406) 444-1374

Compliance Inspection Review
Brett Smith (406) 444-0485

Compliance Assistance - Vacant

Data Control Specialist
Kathleen Caeton (406) 444-4656
Construction Permits
Seth Hendrix (406) 444-1416

Database Analyst
Kent Knudsen (406) 444-3840

Program Support Specialist - Vacant

Email Updates

Sign up for email or text updates for Tanks, Waste & Recycling topics.

Facilities on the Do Not Fill List may not receive fuel - DEQ has not issued an operating permit/tag, a conditional operating permit or it is a seasonal tank that is temporarily out of use. It is a substantial violation to fill these UST systems.

Please contact DEQ at (406) 444-5300 if you believe any tank system listed here is listed in error. List may be subject to daily changes.

DO NOT FILL List  -  updated as changes occur.

Are you having trouble logging into TankHelper? Please click here for instructions  

New:  Are you having trouble locating your corrective action training? Click here

 Tank Helper Online Training Course
  • Licensee Testing - please contact us by email or call the office at (406) 444-5300. If you don't live close to Helena, we are now offering testing at approved learning centers. Contact us to learn more!


State regulations (Title 17, Chapter 56, Subchapter 8, Administrative Rules of Montana ) require Underground Storage Tanks (UST) owners and operators to demonstrate financial responsibility for the clean-up or third party liability compensation that results from a petroleum release from UST systems.


Who must demonstrate financial responsibility? 

  • Owners or operators of petroleum UST systems must demonstrate financial responsibility for taking corrective action and for compensating third parties.

What UST systems require demonstration of financial responsibility? 

  • Financial responsibility requirements apply to underground tanks and piping storing petroleum.

There are two categories of exclusions that are listed below:

  • State and federal owned UST systems,
  • Tanks excluded under ARM 17.56.102(2),(3),(4),(5) or (6).

Click here for Financial Responsibility Brochure

FR Types of Mechanisms

Financial Test of Self Insurance

A firm with a tangible net worth of at least $10 million may demonstrate FR by passing one of the two financial tests listed in the Montana Administrative Rules.


You may secure a corporate guarantee from another eligible firm. The provider of the guarantee must pass one of the financial tests listed in the Montana Administrative Rules.

Insurance Coverage and Risk Retention Group Coverage

You may buy insurance from an insurer or a risk retention group.

Surety Bond

You may obtain a surety bond that is a guarantee by a surety company that will satisfy FR obligations if the person who obtained the surety bond does not.

Letter of Credit 

You may obtain a letter of credit that obligates the issuer to provide funding for corrective action and third-party compensation. If selecting this type, must also have a standby trust fund.

Montana Petroleum Tank Cleanup Fund

Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund is a state-funded program. 

Trust Fund 

You may set up a fully funded trust fund administered by a third-party to pay for corrective action and third-party claims.

Standby Trust Fund

Standby trust that uses one of these assurance mechanisms (guarantee, surety bond or letter of credit) to fund the trust.



Elements of FR

There are four primary elements that make up the financial responsibility requirements for Underground Storage Tank (UST) Systems. Owners or Operators must demonstrate each of the following elements:

Financial Responsibility mechanism

This is the financial assurance option selected by owners/operators.

Amount of financial responsibility 

This is the amount of coverage required that depends on the tank operator,  number of tanks covered and name of issuer and mechanism number (if applicable).

Scope of financial responsibility 

This is the financial responsibility mechanism that must cover the required categories of obligations and releases (e.g., corrective action and third-party compensation) and period of coverage.


This is the documentation that demonstrates the correct financial responsibility mechanisms, coverage amount and scope sufficient.

Scope of FR


  • Accidental - Owner/Operator must be able to cover all UST system releases classified as accidental, as opposed to intentional releases.
  • Sudden and Non-Sudden - Owner/Operator must be able to cover both sudden and non-sudden UST system releases.


  • Corrective Action - FR must address both on and off site corrective action due to UST system releases.
  • Third-Party Compensation - FR mechanism must cover both bodily injury and property damage claims from third parties as a result of UST system releases.

FR Forms

Certificate of Financial Responsibility Form 

Financial Statement Forms

Amounts Required and/or Paid 


1) Must have valid operating permit if using Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board (PTRCB) funding
      a) And must be in full regulatory compliance to receive full reimbursement
      b) If not in full regulatory compliance for *period of:
           i) 1-30 days – 90 percent reimbursement
           ii) 31-60 days- 75 percent reimbursement
           iii) 61-90 days – 50 percent reimbursement
           iv) 91-180 days – 25 percent reimbursement
           v) Greater than 180 days = No reimbursement
2) CO-PAY: If checking PTRCB must have other mechanism(s) checked to cover the co-pay requirement of $17,500 and costs in excess of $1 million
     a) If checking Letter of Credit, must also check and have Standby Trust Fund


1) Must meet Owner/Operator requirements listed above
2) PRTCF covers:
      a) Per Occurrence:
           i) 50 percent of the first $35,000 of eligible costs and 100 percent of subsequent eligible costs, up to a maximum total reimbursement of $982,500 for occurrences of a release.
           ii) 50 percent of the first $10,000 of eligible costs and 100 percent of subsequent eligible costs, up to a maximum total reimbursement of $495,000 for all tanks storing heating oil for consumptive use on the premises.
      b) Annual Aggregate:
           i) Federal Requirement:   <= 100 tanks $1 million, OR > 100 tanks $2 million
           ii)  The PTRCF covers each release or occurrence for $1 million less the required copay, without any aggregation (excluding tanks that are storing heating oil that is being consumed on the premises).

Other Coverage 

Farm, Residence or Heating Oil Tanks

Tanks on farms, residences or used for heating oil and that are <= 1,100 gallons

  • -   100 percent eligible for costs up to $500,000 if properly designed and have double-walled system with release between 10/01/1993 to 10/01/2009, OR
  • -   Owner needs $5,000 co-pay, then PTRCB pays 50 percent of first $10,000 and 100 percentof costs up to $495,000

Financial Responsibility Mechanisms for Local Governments

Local governments may use the financial responsibility mechanisms available to other Owners and Operators. However, they have the option of using four additional mechanisms that have been tailored to their characteristics.

  • Bond Rating Test - A local government may demonstrate (or guarantee) financial responsibility by passing a bond rating test.
  • Financial Test - A local government may demonstrate (or guarantee) by passing a financial test.
  • Guarantee - A local government may obtain from another local government or the State of Montana.
  • Dedicated Fund - A local government may demonstrate (or guarantee) financial responsibility by establishing a fund.

More Info on Financial Responsibility

If you have questions about FR, please contact the UST Program at (406) 444-5300, or Petroleum Tank Cleanup Section at (406) 444-9710 or Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board at (406) 444-9710.

Owners or Operators of underground storage tank systems must obtain the services of a licensed UST system installer or remover for any installation, modification, or closure (removal) work, or must do the work themselves under the oversight of a licensed department or local government installation or removal inspector. Make sure you refresh your browser when reviewing these reports for the most up to date version.


  • Some underground storage tank maintenance tests may be performed by individuals without Montana-specific licenses. Cathodic protection tests, line- and tank- tightness tests and leak detector functionality tests may be performed by qualified individuals. 

Be Prepared for Wildfires

Check out EPA’s guidance on Preparation and Recovery for UST and Aboveground Storage Tanks Systems:

 Flood Information Related to Underground Storage Tanks


UST Monthly Walkthrough Inspection
UST Annual Walkthrough Inspection
Hi, I can help answer your questions!