Aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are regulated by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal Division. Before installing aboveground tanks storing flammable or combustible liquids, plans must be submitted to the Fire Marshal Division for approval.

Until the mid-1980s, most underground storage tanks (USTs) were made of bare steel, which is likely to corrode over time and allow UST contents to leak into the environment. The greatest potential hazard from a leaking UST is that its contents (petroleum or other hazardous substances) can seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans.

To address a nationwide problem of leaking USTs, Congress passed a series of laws to protect human health and the environment, with enforcement by the Environmental Protection Agency. In Iowa the Department of Natural Resources administers UST regulations. EH&S can assist with registration, operator training, regulatory compliance, inspections, reporting, release investigations, and closures.