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Tank Removal


What is an Underground Storage Tank?

An underground storage tank (UST) is one or multiple tanks, including pipes, beneath the sidewalk and/or roadway surface which are typically used for the storage of hazardous substances and wastes that are potential sources of contamination of the ground and underlying aquifers. These hazardous substances and contaminants may pose other dangers to public health and the environment as defined under the State Health and Safety Code (Chapter 6.7, Division 20) and the California Underground Storage Tank Regulations (Subchapter 16 of Title 23 of the California Code Regulations).

Under SF Public Works Code (Article 2.4, Section 2.4) and SF Public Health Code (Article 21, Section 1120), a permit is required for excavation of the Public Right-of-Way for the removal of any UST. For information regarding permits from Department of Public Health (DPH), please contact DPH directly at (415) 252-3800.


The following agencies may need to be contacted when installing, modifying, repairing or removing an Underground Storage Tank system or component:


Application Guidelines

  1. Complete application and submit letter of request addressed to the Director of Public Works, Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping, 1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103.

  2. The Permittee shall file and maintain a Street Excavation Bond with a minimum amount of $25,000.00 with the Department of Public Works, to guarantee the maintenance of the pavement in the trench and roadway area for a period of 3 years following the completion of the backfill and pavement restoration pursuant to Article 2.4 of the Public Works Code. All fees shall be paid prior to the issuance of the permit. See fee schedule.

  3. HAZ” (Hazardous Substance Removal) classification on contractor’s license as required by Senate Bill 2004, amending Section 7058.7 of the Business and Professions Code of the State of California.

  4. Shoring plans and calculations wet stamped and signed by a Registered Engineer within the State of California.

  5. A plan showing the location of the tank(s) and the approximate depth of the proposed excavation.

  6. A fee for direct costs associated with Public Works administering the permit and inspecting the work associated with the removal of the UST.


Other Requirements and Special Conditions

  1. The Permittee shall call Underground Service Alert (U.S.A.), telephone 1-800-642-2444 a minimum of 48 hours prior to excavation.

  2. The Permittee shall submit to the Bureau of Street-Use and Mapping nonrefundable fees for its services and shall arrange an inspection schedule, at least 10 Business Days in advance, with the Street Improvement Section Inspectors, telephone 554-7149, between the hours of 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. or 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. and agrees to reimburse Public Works for all field inspection fees.

  3. The Permittee shall satisfy all the requirements and obtain all proper permits from the Fire Department, Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Toxics, Health & Safety Services.

  4. The Permittee shall conduct his construction operations in accordance with the requirements of Article 11 of the Traffic Code. The Permittee shall contact the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), 1 South Van Ness, 7th floor, telephone 701-4500, for specific restrictions before starting work.

  5. All restoration shall be performed per Article 2.4 of the Public Works Code and  Order 178,940. All work including sidewalk and pavement cutting and removal, lagging, excavation, backfill, and sidewalk and pavement restoration shall be done by a licensed paving contractor and in accordance with the requirements of the Standard Specifications.

  6. All excavated material shall be removed from site 72 hours from the completion of work authorized by this permit and shall be confined so as not to present a threat to public health or safety. Contaminated soil shall be disposed of in accordance with all applicable hazardous waste regulations.

  7. Any violation of the above conditions shall render this permit null and void and Permittee shall be subject to fines of up to $1,000.00/day.



For More Information

For more information or clarification on any of the permit requirements, please contact us at:

San Francisco Public Works • Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping 
1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103 • Map
Telephone : (415) 554-5810   Fax: (415) 554-6161
Office Hours : 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday, except official holidays

Note: all cash and check transactions must be submitted before 4:00 p.m.