Underground Storage Tank Environmental Results Program

For Technical Issues

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The Environmental Results Program or ERP is an innovative program in which State regulatory agencies:

  • Educate regulated facilities about their environmental impact and obligations,
  • Require the facilities to self-evaluate and certify compliance,
  • Measure environmental performance changes, and
  • More effectively manage limited resources.

The State of Massachusetts developed ERP to improve environmental performance in sectors with large numbers of smaller facilities, such as dry cleaners and printers.

ERP can be adopted by State underground storage tank (UST) regulating agencies to produce similar environmental performance improvements by UST facilities.

Better operation and maintenance by UST facilities could produce fewer releases from USTs. ERP also:

  • Provides both the opportunity and the incentive for a facility to understand and meet its environmental requirements.
  • Creates a powerful incentive, through its self-certification requirement, for UST owners or operators to focus on environmental responsibilities.
  • Leverages scarce State inspection and other enforcement resources.
  • Fosters best management practices that can help to prevent releases.

How Does ERP work?

The State agency provides compliance assistance - it puts together training workshops and plain language workbooks that clearly explain all of a facility's environmental obligations as well as proposed pollution prevention and health and safety practices.

An owner/operator certifies to the State agency that the facility is in compliance and will continue to be in compliance.

If the facility is not in compliance, it must file a Return to Compliance Plan with a schedule for returning to compliance.

The State agency conducts "before and after" inspections to judge the accuracy of certification and the degree of performance improvements for individual facilities and for sectors as a whole.

The State agency can also use the data to strategically target inspections and compliance assistance efforts, to track results to show success to the public, industry and legislators and, as appropriate, take enforcement action.