RUST Program

Who offers the program/ Why it is offered/ Who it serves

The State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Financial Assistance offers loans to assist small gas station owners and operators who cannot otherwise afford the expense associated to comply with Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulatory requirements, through the Replacing, Removing, or Upgrading Underground Storage Tanks (RUST) Program.

What has the RUST Program done?

1. Protect California’s drinking water from contaminates, including methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBD);

2. Protect California’s air, by assisting small gas station owners in complying with air resources board’s (ARB’s) Enhanced Vapor Recovery (EVR) Phase I & II requirements.

Eligibility requirements

  • The loan applicant is a small business that employs fewer than 500 full time and part time employees, is independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field of operation;
  • The principle office and the officers of the loan applicant are domiciled in California
  • The loan applicant owns or operates the project tank
  • All tanks owned and operated by the applicant are subject to compliance with health and safety code chapter 6.7 and the regulations adopted pursuant to that chapter
  • Loan applicants must provide evidence that their USTs are operating at the time of application (e.g., copy of current UST operating permit issued by the local agency) ; and
  • Credit worthiness: the loan applicant must demonstrate the ability to repay the loan and the availability of adequate collateral to secure the loan.


  • May be used to finance up to 100% of costs
  • Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $750,000
  • Loan Terms and Collateral: the loan term is ten years when secured by Uniform Commercial Code Financing Statement on business assets. The loan term is twenty years when the loan is secured by a deed of trust on real estate with adequate equity
  • Interest Rate and Fees: the interest rate on RUST loans is below conventional market rates. A loan fee of 2 percent must be paid at final loan closing.

Eligible projects

  • To upgrade, remove or replace project tanks, including corrective actions to meet applicable local, state, or federal standards, including but not limited to, any design, construction, monitoring, operation, and maintenance requirements adopted pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 25284.1, 25292.4, 25292.5, and 41954.

Such as:

    • Replacing underground storage tanks
    • Installing containment sumps, double-walled piping
    • Dispensers meeting an applicable standard
    • Under-dispenser containment boxes/pans
    • Electronic monitoring systems
    • Enhanced vapor recovery systems
    • Conducting enhanced leak detection tests


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