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Regulatory Requirements Due to Hurricane Sandy - Temporary Aboveground Petroleum Bulk Storage Tanks Storing Motor Fuel

NYS Regulatory Requirements

Non-stationary (e.g., mobile fuel dispensing packages) petroleum tanks to be used on a temporary basis to provide motor fuel to vehicles in the NY metropolitan area in response to Hurricane Sandy are not required to be registered under the NYS Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Program.

There is no provision or definition in regulation (6 NYCRR 612-614) or law (ECL Article 17, Title 10) for a "temporary tank." Therefore, the Department regulates all tanks which are stationary tanks at a facility which is otherwise required to be registered for PBS purposes.

Pursuant to Article 17 Title 10 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), a "Facility" means a single property or contiguous or adjacent properties used for a common purpose which are owned or operated by the same person on or in which are located one or more stationary tanks which are used singularly or in combination for the storage or containment of more than one thousand one hundred gallons of petroleum.

Pursuant to 6 NYCRR 612.1(c)(14), a non-stationary tank is a tank which "in practice and design practice and design is mobile including tanks on wheels, trolleys, skids, pallets or rollers, and vessels such as a 55-gallon drum."

An individual aboveground storage tank (AST) has to be evaluated to determine whether the tank is viewed as stationary or non-stationary. A 5,000 gallon skid tank brought on-site at a construction site and utilized for 2-3 months fueling on-site vehicles and then moved off-site is considered a non-stationary tank.

For NYSDEC regulatory requirements, the evaluation is a two step approach. First is to determine if the tank is stationary or non-stationary. If non-stationary, it isn't required to be registered and the only applicable DEC statutory and regulatory controls are for petroleum spills. If the tank is stationary, then is it at a Facility and must be registered. If the tank is located at a property that is already required to be registered, it must be registered if it is stationary.

The NYC and the Counties of Nassau, Westchester and Suffolk have individual requirements relating to the registration and use of Casts storing petroleum including temporary tanks for vehicle fueling.

Best Management Practices for Above Ground Temporary Petroleum Bulk Storage Tanks

  1. Shut-Off Valves - All tanks which cause a gravity head on a dispenser of motor fuels should be equipped with a device such a solenoid valve which is positioned adjacent to and downstream from the operating valve required in paragraph 613.3(c)(5). The valve should be installed and adjusted so that liquid cannot flow by gravity from the tank in case of piping or dispenser hose failure.
  2. All aboveground petroleum tanks should be equipped with a gauge which accurately shows the level of product in the tank. The gauge should be accessible to the carrier and be installed so it can be conveniently read.
    1. The design capacity and working capacity of the tank should be clearly marked on the tank and at the gauge.
    2. A high level warning alarm, a high level liquid pump cutoff controller or equivalent device may be used in lieu of the gauge identified above.
  3. Mark all fill ports to identify the product inside the tank. These markings should be consistent with the color and symbol code of the American Petroleum Institute which follows.
    1. The colors to be used are:
      # Type of Fuel Color
      (i) High gasoline Red
      (ii) Middle gasoline Blue
      (iii) Lower gasoline White
      (iv) High unleaded gasoline Red w/white cross
      (v) Middle unleaded gasoline Blue w/white cross
      (vi) Lower unleaded gasoline White w/black cross
      (vii) Vapor recovery Orange
      (viii) Diesel Yellow
      (ix) #1 fuel oil Purple w/yellow bar
      (x) #2 fuel oil Green
      (xi) Kerosene Brown
    2. The symbols to be used are:
      1. a circle for gasoline products and vapor recovery lines;
      2. hexagon for other distillates; and
      3. a border must be painted around fuel products containing extenders such as alcohol.
      4. The border will be black around a white symbol and white around all other colors.
  4. If possible, have a secondary containment system around the tank. If an AST is not contained within a dike, the tank should at a minimum have a catch basin around the fill port to catch spills. Both the secondary containment and/or the catch basin should be kept free of petroleum, other liquids and debris, and should be checked and cleaned prior to and after any petroleum delivery.
  5. Maintain a traffic barrier around the tank system to keep the tank system from being struck by vehicular traffic. At a minimum, having Jersey barriers on at least three sides other than where the dispenser is located would be a recommended.Prior to the transfer, the operator or carrier must determine that the receiving tank has available capacity to receive the volume of petroleum to be transferred. The operator or carrier must monitor every aspect of the delivery and must take immediate action to stop the flow of petroleum when the working capacity of the tank has been reached or should an equipment failure or emergency occur.
  6. Prior to the transfer, the operator or carrier must determine that the receiving tank has available capacity to receive the volume of petroleum to be transferred. The operator or carrier must monitor every aspect of the delivery and must take immediate action to stop the flow of petroleum when the working capacity of the tank has been reached or should an equipment failure or emergency occur.

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