Assessment & Remediation

The UST Assessment and Remediation Program investigates petroleum releases from USTs and oversees the initial response, assessment, monitoring, risk evaluation and remediation of petroleum contamination to remove risks to human health and the environment. Through the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund, the Assessment and Remediation Program reimburses eligible tank owners for the reasonable and just costs associated with assessment and remediation activities.

After a release has been determined to have occurred at a facility, the tank owner (or tank owners representative contacts our office to Report a Release. Our office then determines if immediate action is necessary to protect human health or the environment.

The site is assigned to a project manager (Division of Owners by Project Managers), and the project manager requests records, requests a 10-day bailing program from the owner, and then performs a site visit.

If assessment or remedial action is necessary for the location, the project manager reviews the site to determine if it is eligible for the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund.

If the site is determined to be eligible for the Trust Fund, the Tank Owner, is required to submit paperwork and select either an ERAC or IRAC.

Typically, the owner will be asked to hire an ERAC and begin an Assessment. After the area of contamination has been defined, the tank owner will be asked to monitor their location with the aide of their ERAC (GW Sampling SOW), or they will be asked to proceed to Remediation. Once it has been determined that the site is no longer a threat to human health or the environment, the tank owner is asked to close all of the assessment wells with the aide of their ERAC or IRAC (Monitoring Well Plugging Scope of Work). Then, the tank owner is issued a letter indicating that no further assessment or remediation actions are necessary to meet present regulatory requirements.


Tanks owners are the responsible parties for all assessment and remediation activities when a release at the facility has been reported. Once a release has been reported, the site is assigned to a project manager Division of Owners per Project Manager.

Our office will require information from the tank owner, perform a site visit, and if necessary, determine if the site is eligible for the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund. If the site is Trust Fund Eligible, the tank owner will be responsible for the hiring either an Environmental Response Action Contractor or an Immediate Response Action Contractor. The tank owner will also need to complete the following:


Only after a release has been reported, a site visit has been completed, and compliance records have been submitted, can the site be determined to be eligible for the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund.

Show details for What is the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund (Trust Fund)?What is the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund (Trust Fund)?
Hide details for What is the purpose of the Trust Fund?What is the purpose of the Trust Fund?
    Federal and state laws require that all underground storage tank owners be able to prove that they have at least $1.5 million dollars of financial responsibility to pay for the investigation and assessment of contamination from their leaking underground storage tank(s), the restoration and replacement of drinking water supplies; and cleanup of contamination from their underground storage tank(s). The tank owner also must be able to pay up to $1.0 million dollars in third party damages. The Trust Fund is a mechanism for eligible underground storage tank owners to use to prove that they meet the financial requirements without having to buy insurance.
Show details for What must an underground storage tank owner do to be eligible for the Trust Fund?What must an underground storage tank owner do to be eligible for the Trust Fund?
Show details for What are the criteria for a Trust Fund site?What are the criteria for a Trust Fund site?
Hide details for For what may Trust Fund monies be used?For what may Trust Fund monies be used?
    Monies from the Trust Fund may generally be used to evaluate and clean up environmental problems associated with a motor fuel release from an underground storage tank system. Each tank owner must receive prior written approval from the MDEQ, Office of Pollution Control, Underground Storage Tank Branch before incurring any expenses for which the tank owner expects Trust Fund reimbursement. The costs incurred during the clean up at each individual site must be evaluated for eligibility by the UST staff. However, generally reimbursable expenditures to the underground storage tank owner include the following:
      • All digging, removal, disposal, and replacement of pavement and contaminated soil. However, MDEQ may reimburse only a portion of the cost for replacement of worn or damaged concrete/asphalt.
      • Recovery of released or leaked motor fuels.
      • Cleanup of contaminated surface or ground water.
      • Installation and operation of recovery wells.
      • Construction of interceptor trenches.
      • Third party damages ordered by a court of law.

Environmental Response Action Contractors/Immediate Response Action Contractors

In order to perform work through the Trust Fund, tank owners must use the services of ERACs and/or IRACs as indicated in the Mississippi Groundwater Protection Trust Fund Regulations (11 Miss. Admin. Code, Pt. 5, Ch. 1).

An ERAC is an environmental firm that meets the following minimum requirements:

    Proof of $1,000,000 Professional Liability insurance
    Approved QA/QC Plan on file with our office
    40 hour full time P.E. and/or P.G.
    Experience of 3 assessments & 2 remediation
At any time, an engineer or geologist can submit this information along with the ERAC Application in order to be added to the list of Environmental Response Action Contractors.

ERACs must complete:
ERAC activities typically include assessment, monitoring, and remediation activities. The ERAC is also responsible for managing the project to reasonably control costs.

An IRAC is a person who has been approved by the Commission to carry out any immediate response action. Twice a year, our office solicits applications from contractors who desire to be approved as an IRAC. The contractors submit an application including:
  • Copy of a current certificate of responsibility issued by the State of Mississippi Board of Contractors
  • Copy of current certificate of insurance showing coverage of $1,000,000 general liability insurance
  • Copy of a current certification from the Department of a full-time employee of the company to permanently close UST systems
  • Copies of certification of applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration training for all personnel
  • Evidence of successful completion of three jobs within one year prior to application
IRAC activities typically include, excavating, transporting and disposal of contaminated media, responding to any site with 24 hours of notification to proceed, and effectively recovering and properly disposing of free phase petroleum hydrocarbons.


There are several different guidance documents for performing assessments based on the scope of the assessment and the drilling method used. Again, all Trust Fund work must be pre-approved by our office. If the assessment activities will be reimbursed under the Trust Fund, the proposal and/or reports must be submitted in our established formats.

Request for Access to Your Property


Remediation, also known as corrective action, is necessary to cleanup contamination caused by a leaking UST system. The remediation documents below must be used when preparing proposals and reports for remedial action: