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Regulation of Petroleum Tanks

Important Notice On Registration Fees Increase

Recently enacted legislation in which the Environmental Conservation Law S 17-1009(2) was amended to increase petroleum bulk storage registration fees hereby supercedes the Petroleum Bulk Storage Regulations 6 NYCRR Part 612.3 as follows:
Combined Storage Capacity at Facility 5-Year Fee for Facility
Greater than 1,100 to 2,000 gallons $100 per storage facility
Greater than 2,000 gallons to less
than 5,000 gallons
$300 per storage facility
5,000 gallons to less than 400,000 gallons $500 per storage facility


In 1983, the State Legislature enacted Article 17, Title 10 of the Environmental Conservation Law, entitled "Control of the Bulk Storage of Petroleum." The Law applies both to Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs), or groupings of such tanks with a combined storage capacity of more than 1,100 gallons. Exempted from this law because they are regulated under other programs are facilities licensed under the Navigation Law and facilities regulated under the Natural Gas Act.

Under the regulations (6NYCRR 612-614) promulgated in 1985, owners are required to register storage facilities with DEC. Facilities must be re-registered every five years. Registration fees vary from $100 to $500 per facility, depending on capacity.

New facilities must be registered before being placed into service. DEC must be notified within 30 days prior to substantial modifications.

Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester and Cortland Counties administer the program in these localities, pursuant to delegation from DEC. Because these counties may have more stringent requirements than the State, owners and operators should contact the county to learn of specific local requirements.

All facilities regulated under Article 17, Title 10 must meet certain handling and storage requirements established by DEC. Existing USTs and ASTs must observe rules for color coding of fill ports, shutoff valves, gauges and check valves. Aboveground tanks must be provided with secondary containment (i.e., berms or other devices to contain spills).

Operators of USTs must keep daily inventory records, reconcile them on a 10 day basis (and maintain them for five years) and notify DEC and the tank owner within 48 hours of unexplained inventory losses. They must also test tanks and pipes every five years or monitor the interstitial space of double-walled equipment.

Operators of ASTs must conduct monthly visual inspections. Every 10 years they must clean out the tanks that are resting on grade, remove the sludge from the bottom, inspect for structural integrity and test for tightness.

Tanks that are temporarily out of service (30 days or more) must be drained of product to the lowest draw off point. Fill lines and gauge openings must be capped or plugged. Inspection and registration must continue. Those tanks that are permanently out of service must be emptied of liquid, sludge and vapors. The tanks that are permanently out of service must then either be removed or if left in place USTs must be filled with solid inert material such as sand or concrete slurry. DEC must be notified 30 days prior to filling or removal.

Part 614 applies to all new and modified facilities. New USTs must either be made of fiberglass reinforced plastic; cathodically protected steel (to protect against the corrosion caused by contact between steel and soil); or steel clad with fiberglass reinforced plastic. Secondary containment such as a double-walled tank,or a vault, must be provided. If tank is double walled, monitoring of the interstitial space is required, otherwise use of an in-tank monitoring system or one or more observation wells is required.

New ASTs must be constructed of steel. If their bottom rests on the ground, the tank must have cathodic protection. An impermeable barrier must be installed under the tank bottom, with monitoring between the barrier and the bottom.

New underground piping systems must be designed with a 30-year life expectancy. If made of steel, they must be cathodically protected. Pipes may be constructed of fiberglass-reinforced plastic or other equivalent non-corrodible materials.

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