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Part 596: Hazardous Substance Bulk Storage Regulations

(Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 3-0301, 15-0514, 17-0303, 37-0103, 37-0105, 40-0107, 40-0109, 40-0111, 40-0113, 40-0117)

[Effective 07/15/88 ]

[Amended 08/11/94]

[page 1 of 1]



§596.1 General

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this Part is to regulate hazardous substances in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and the lands, waters, air and environment of the State. This Part sets forth requirements for registration of storage tanks which contain hazardous substances and requirements for the sale and delivery of hazardous substances.

(b) Applicability.

(1) This part applies to a storage facility which has one or more of the following:

(i) an aboveground tank storing a hazardous substance, or mixture thereof, with a capacity of one-hundred and eighty-five (185) gallons or greater;

(ii) an underground tank storing a hazardous substance or mixture thereof of any capacity; or

(iii) a non-stationary tank used to store one thousand (1,000) kilograms (2,200 lbs.) or more of a hazardous substance or mixture thereof for a period of ninety (90) consecutive days or more.

(2) Any tank identified in paragraph 596.1(b)(1)(i) through (iii) above which has not been permanently closed is regulated by this Part.

(3) This Part does not apply to:

(i) process tanks;

(ii) assembly line tanks and accessory equipment the volume of which is more than ninety (90) percent above the surface of the ground;

(iii) a non-stationary tank, barrel, drum, or other holding vessel unless used to store one thousand (1000) kilograms (2200 lbs) or more for a period of ninety (90) consecutive days or more;

(iv) a septic tank, storm water or wastewater collection system;

(v) capacitors or transformers;

(vi) any aboveground storage tank on an operating farm used solely to store or contain a hazardous substance which will be used for agricultural purposes on such farm;

(vii) storage tanks related to liquid petroleum pipeline corporations (Public Service Law, Article 3-C);

(viii) storage tanks regulated under Article 23, Title 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), (Liquefied Natural and Petroleum Gas Act);

(ix) storage tanks regulated under Article 27, Title 7 of the ECL (Solid Waste Management and Resource Recovery Facilities);

(x) storage tanks regulated under Article 27, Title 9 of the ECL (Industrial Hazardous Waste Management);

(xi) storage tanks regulated under Article 27, Title 11 of the ECL (Industrial Siting Hazardous Waste Facilities);

(xii) storage tanks regulated under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 as set forth in ECL section 40-0103.2;

(xiii) storage tanks regulated under the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 as set forth in ECL section 40-0103.3;

(xiv) storage tanks regulated under the Natural Gas Act as set forth in ECL section 40-0103.4;

(xv) storage tanks regulated under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as set forth in ECL section 40-0103.7; and

(xvi) storage tanks regulated under Article 12 of the Navigation Law or ECL Article 17, Title 10 (Petroleum Bulk Storage Act).

(c) Definitions. The following is a list of terms and definitions which will be used in this Part:

(1) "Aboveground tank" means any stationary tank with a capacity of 185 gallons or more which is not entirely covered with earth or other backfill material, or any stationary tank with a capacity of 185 gallons or more which can be inspected in a subterranean vault.

(2) "Ancillary equipment" means any device including, but not limited to, hoses, piping, fittings, fixtures, gages, alarms, rupture disks, pressure release valves, flanges, or valves and pumps that are used to distribute, meter or control the flow of a hazardous substance to and from a storage tank.

(3) "Assembly line tanks" are tanks used for the production of a manufactured product. Examples of such tanks include dispensing vats, weigh tanks or volumetric measuring devices, metal cleaning dip tanks, electroplating tanks and cutting fluid reservoirs.

(4) "Authorization" means the possession, where required, of a valid license, permit or certificate issued by an agency of the State of New York or the federal government or an order issued by the commissioner or the administrator of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency under applicable statutes, rules or regulations regarding the possession or release of hazardous substances or engagement in conduct which is exempt under applicable statutes, rules or regulations from the requirements of possessing such a license, permit, certificate or order.

(5) "Best management practice plans", or "BMP's" are plans designed to prevent or minimize the release of hazardous substances into the environment. BMP's can include, but are not limited to, spill reporting procedures, risk identification and assessment, employee training, inspections and records, preventive maintenance, good housekeeping, materials compatibility, structural measures and security.

(6) "Capacity" refers to the total volume of the tank measured in U.S. gallons, unless otherwise specified.

(7) "Carrier" means a person who transports and transfers hazardous substances from one pipe or tank to another.

(8) "Cathodic protection" means a technique to prevent corrosion of a metal surface by making that surface the cathode of an electrochemical cell. For example, a tank system can be cathodically protected through the application of either galvanic anodes or impressed current.

(9) "Change-in-service" means the material stored within a tank is switched from a hazardous substance to a non-hazardous substance, a non-hazardous substance to a hazardous substance or from one hazardous substance to another.

(10) "Compatible" means the ability of two or more materials to maintain their respective physical and chemical properties upon contact with one another under conditions likely to be encountered for the design life of the tank system.

(11) "Continuous" when referring to a release means a release that occurs without interruption or abatement or that is routine, anticipated, and intermittent and incidental to normal operations.

(12) "Department" means the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

(13) "Design pressure" means the internal pressure at which the weakest element of the vessel is loaded to the ultimate permissible point. Also, the pressure used in the design of the vessel.

(14) "Dielectric material" means a material that is a nonconductor of direct electrical current.

(15) "Environment" means any water, water vapor, land including land surface or subsurface, air, fish, wildlife, biota and all other natural resources.

(16) "Existing storage tank" means a storage tank which has been constructed and is capable of being operated as of the effective date of these regulations.

(17) "Flammable" means a substance having a flash point below 1000F (37.80C) and having a vapor pressure not exceeding 40 pounds per square inch (absolute) (2,068 mm Hg) at 1000F (37.80C).

(18) "Flash point" means the temperature at which a liquid or volatile solid gives off vapor sufficient to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid or solid.

(19) "Hazardous substance" means any substance listed as hazardous or acutely hazardous in Part 597 this Title, or a mixture thereof. Petroleum as defined in section 597.1 of this Title and hazardous wastes as identified or listed in Part 371 of this Title are not hazardous substances under this definition.

(20) "Incompatible" means those substances or materials which if allowed to come in contact, may pose an adverse environmental impact such as releasing a toxic gas or vapor, causing or intensifying a fire, creating an explosion, or causing any other adverse reaction which may threaten human health, safety, welfare or the environment.

(21) "Lining" means a coating of a non-corrodible material resistant to the product stored and bonded firmly to the interior surface of the tank.

(22) "Liquid" means a fluid which is in a state of matter intermediate between gaseous and solid. Such fluids flow immediately when stressed, the rate of flow being directly proportional to the stress.

(23) "Mixture" means a heterogenous association of substances where the various individual substances retain their essential original properties. The term "mixture" includes solutions (but does not include alloys or amalgams) where one or more active ingredients are hazardous substances. Mixtures are regulated if they contain one (1) percent or more by volume or weight of at least one hazardous substance.

(24) "New storage tank" means a tank which is not an existing storage tank.

(25) "Non-stationary tank" means any tank, barrel, drum or other holding vessel which is mobile in design or practice and which is used to store 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lbs) or more of a hazardous substance, or mixture thereof, for a period of 90 consecutive days or more. This includes tanks on wheels, trolleys, skids, pallets and rollers.

(26) "Operating pressure" means the pressure at which the vessel is normally operated.

(27) "Operator" means any person who is responsible for the overall daily operation of a storage facility.

(28) "Out-of-service" means a storage tank which was used for the storage of hazardous substances or mixtures thereof but is no longer used for that purpose. Tanks which are used for seasonal storage, for surcharge storage, or for standby storage are not considered out-of-service.

(29) "Overfill" means a release or spill that occurs when a storage tank is filled beyond its capacity.

(30) "Owner" means any person who owns a storage tank system. When reference is made to owner and operator, and the owner and operator are separate persons, only one person is required to comply with the applicable provision; however, both parties are liable in the event of non-compliance.

(31) "Permanently closed" means an out-of-service tank which has been emptied of all product and residual materials, cleaned, rendered free of any hazardous or flammable vapors, disconnected from any process or dispensing units and closed or converted to another purpose consistent with department standards for closure as outlined in section 598.10 of this Title.

(32) "Person" means any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, co-partnership, association, firm, trust, estate or any other legal entity.

(33) "Piping" or "piping system" means a fixed or permanent pipe including attached equipment and components used to convey, distribute, mix, separate, discharge, meter, control, or stop the flow of a hazardous substance to or from a storage tank.

(34) "Pressure relief valve" means a device which is designed to prevent excessive internal pressure or vacuum, and is characterized by rapid opening (pop action) or by opening in proportion to the increase in pressure over the opening pressure, depending on application.

(35) "Process tank" is a vessel or other equipment used to mix or physically, chemically or biologically change a hazardous substance. The term process tank does not include tanks used to store hazardous substances prior to their introduction into the process, or tanks used to store substances as intermediates, by-products or finished products of the process. Examples of process tanks include, but are not limited to, flow-through chemical reactor tanks, batch tanks and mixing hoppers. Feed tanks upstream of the process are considered storage tanks for the purposes of these regulations.

(36) "PSIG" and "PSIA" refer to pounds per square inch gage and pounds per square inch absolute, respectively.

(37) "Qualified", "qualified engineer," "qualified technician" or "qualified inspector" means a person who has knowledge of the physical sciences, technology or the principles of engineering and mathematics acquired by education and/or related practical experience, and is competent to engage in the practice so required. Engineers engaged in the practice of engineering must be licensed or otherwise permitted to practice engineering pursuant to Article 145 of the State Education Law.

(38) "Release" means any unauthorized pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, overfilling, spilling, leaking, leaching or disposing, directly or indirectly, of a hazardous substance, or any other substance which results in the formation of a hazardous substance upon release so that the substance or any related constituent thereof, or any degradation product of such a substance or of a related constituent thereof, may enter the environment.

(39) "Repair" means the work necessary to restore a storage tank or component to a safe and satisfactory operating condition provided that in all cases the storage tank or component design must continue to comply with the requirements herein, that special service requirements do not restrict such work, and the basic design concept is not altered.

(40) "Reportable quantity" means the amount of a hazardous substance that must be reported to the department in the event of a release, spill or overfill. The reportable quantity for mixtures is the amount of the hazardous substance components of a mixture. Reportable quantities are listed in section 597.2 of this Title.

(41) "Secondary containment" means a dike, remote impoundment, or any other containment area which protects a tank, pipe or transfer station from damage due to vehicle traffic, fire exposure, spills from nearby tanks and which prevents any material spilled or released from reaching the land or water outside the containment area before clean-up occurs.

(42) "Site" or "single contiguous site" means an unbroken tract or abutting tracts of land upon which is located one or more storage tank systems. Land under one ownership or control which is divided only by a highway or right-of-way corridor is considered to be a single contiguous site.

(43) "Spill" or "spillage" means any escape of a substance from the containers employed in the normal course of storage, transfer, processing or use.

(44) "Spill Prevention Report" or "SPR" means a report which is prepared pursuant to the requirements of subdivision 598.1(k) of this Title.

(45) "Stable in quantity and rate" means a release that is predictable and regular in amount and rate of emission.

(46) "Stationary tank" means any underground tank and any aboveground tank which is stationary in either practice or design. Examples of stationary aboveground tanks include tanks which may rest on the ground or may be in permanent operation or fixed permanently in place on foundations, racks, cradles, or stilts. A stationary tank includes any aboveground container, barrel, tank car, drum or other holding vessel with a capacity of 185 gallons or more that is connected to piping for a period of ninety (90) days or more.

(47) "Storage facility", "bulk storage facility", or "facility" means a site which has one or more storage tank systems.

(48) "Storage tank system" or "storage tank" means anaboveground tank, an underground tank or a non-stationary tank, and any associated piping, lines, dikes, curbs, transfer stations and ancillary equipment.

(49) "Substantially modified" means an existing storage facility that is modified in one or more of the following ways:

(i) a new stationary tank is added to the site;

(ii) an existing stationary tank is replaced, reconditioned or permanently closed; or

(iii) a leaking tank is replaced, repaired, or permanently closed.

The repair, replacement or installation of the piping system or ancillary equipment is not considered a substantial modification unless such repair, replacement or installation is due to a release reportable under section 595.2 of this Title.

(50) "Tank" means a container or other holding vessel designed to store a hazardous substance which is constructed of non-earthen materials (e.g., concrete, steel, plastic) which provide structural support. (51) "Tightness test" means a test on any underground or aboveground tank, piping system or ancillary equipment which is performed in a manner consistent with the criteria set forth in subdivision 598.6(e) of this Title.

(52) "Transfer" means the movement of a hazardous substance between a storage tank and another tank or container, as contrasted to feeding to a use or application device.

(53) "Transfer station" refers to an area where pipes or hoses are connected and disconnected for the purpose of emptying and filling a storage tank. This includes, but is not limited to, railways, roads, containment basins, curbs, collection sumps, and impervious pads, where a vehicle or container is located to off-load or receive a hazardous substance, where a coupling to a transfer line is made for the purpose of hazardous substance transfer, or where a system to collect and contain spills resulting from transfer operations is located.

(54) "Underground storage tank" means any tank or other vessel used for the storage of a hazardous substance which is completely covered with earth or other backfill material. Tanks in subterranean vaults accessible for visual inspection are considered aboveground tanks for the purposes of these regulations.

(55) "Unstable liquid" means a liquid which will vigorously polymerize, decompose, undergo condensation reaction or become self-reactive under conditions of shock, changes in pressure or changes in temperature.

(56) "Waters" or "waters of the State" shall include lakes, bays, sounds, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Atlantic Ocean within the territorial limits of the State of New York, and all other bodies of surface or underground waters, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, public or private (except those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or underground waters), which are wholly or partially within or bordering the state or within its jurisdiction.

(57) "Working capacity" means the total capacity of a storage tank less an allowance for expansion and freeboard.

(d) Severability. If any provisions of this Part or its application to any person or circumstances is held to be invalid, the remainder of this Part and the application of that provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.

(e) Access to records and storage tanks.

(1) Any designated officer or employee of the department may:

(i) have the right of entry to, upon, or through any site containing a storage tank system in which a hazardous substance is stored or on which records are required to be maintained during normal business hours or at any other time during which regulated activity is reasonably believed to be occurring. Such entry shall be accomplished with the minimum disruption to business operations occurring at such site;

(ii) have access to and copy any records required to be maintained;

(iii) inspect any equipment, practice or method which is required by the provisions of this Part; and

(iv) have access to and inspect any monitoring stations or conduct tests or take samples to identify any actual or suspected release of a hazardous substance resulting from the operation of the storage facility, including the right to take split samples.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3) below, inspections shall be limited to a neutral regulatory scheme which shall consider the following factors:

(a) potential environmental harm of the regulated activity;

(b) complexity of the regulated activity and the time needed to determine compliance;

(c) specific federal or state inspection requirements;

(d) noncompliance history of the facility or operator involved;

(e) existence of or the need for permits or other authorizations;

(f) information received of noncompliance; and

(g) self-reporting violations or releases that warrant a response by the department.

(3) In addition to the provisions of paragraph (2) above, the department may conduct inspections when:

(a) a permit, license or order authorizes more frequent access;

(b) the department has a reasonable basis to determine access is warranted in order to make a compliance determination;

(c) prior inspections indicate a history of or potential fornoncompliance at the individual site.

(4) Any person storing a hazardous substance may be required to furnish the department with information on the storage facility, repairs or replacements, hazardous substances stored, storage and handling practices, results of tests, monitoring and inspections, and the nature and extent of research concerning the effects of such substance on human health and the environment.

(f) Confidentiality. Any person submitting information to the department pursuant to this Part may, at the time of submission, request that the department exempt such information from disclosure under paragraph (2)(d) of section 87 of the Public Officers Law. All requests under this section must be made in accordance with the provisions of section 616.7 of this Title and all determinations will be made pursuant to that section.

(g) Enforcement. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Part, or any order issued by the commissioner, shall be liable for the civil, administrative and criminal penalties set forth in Article 71 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

§596.2 Registration of stationary storage tanks

(a) Existing storage tanks.

(1) By July 15, 1989, the owner of any stationary storage tank regulated by this Part must register each storage tank with the department. Registration is required for any tank storing a hazardous substance which has the following total capacity:

Type of Storage Tank Total Capacity of Storage Tank
Aboveground stationary storage tank 185 gallons or greater
Underground storage tank Any size

Registration is required for out-of-service storage tanks which have not been permanently closed.

(2) Registration must be renewed every two (2) years from the date of the last valid registration until the Department receives written notice that the storage tank has been permanently closed or that ownership of the storage tank has been transferred.

(b) Application forms.

(1) All storage tanks at a facility must be registered together on an application form provided by the Department unless an alternative means of registration is approved by the Department. Forms are available at all Department offices, or by writing the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York, 12233-3520.

(2) An application submitted by a corporation must be signed by a principal executive officer of at least the level of vice-president or a duly authorized representative. An application submitted by a partnership or a sole proprietorship must be signed by a general partner or the proprietor. An application submitted by a municipal, state or other public facility must be signed by either a principal executive officer, ranking elected official or other duly authorized employee.

(c) Transfer of ownership. If ownership of the storage tank changes, the new owner must re-register the storage tank with the Department at least thirty (30) days prior to the transfer of ownership.

(d) Registration of new facilities. Stationary tanks at new sites must be registered with the Department three (3) business days prior to installation unless the new storage tank or tanks are installed on an emergency basis to protect public health, safety or the environment. When an emergency installation occurs, the Department must be notified no later than two (2) hours after the decision is made by the owner or operator to install the new tank.

(e) Change of substance. The owner or operator must keep accurate records of any changes in the type of hazardous substances stored in the tank and must provide the Department this information when registration is renewed every two (2) years.

(f) Substantially modified storage facilities. Prior to substantially modifying a storage facility, the owner must notify the Department of such modification. Notification should be made on forms supplied by the Department. Notification must include the dates substantial modification will begin and end and must be given to the Department three (3) business days prior to modification unless immediate action is required to protect public health, safety or the environment or immediate equipment replacement, reconditioning or repair is necessary to keep the facility operating. When such circumstances exist, the Department must be notified no later than two (2) hours after the decision is made by the owner or operator to substantially modify the storage facility.

(g) Registration certificate.

(1) Upon submittal of a complete registration application and payment of the registration fee, the Department shall issue a validated registration certificate. The operator must at all times conspicuously display a current and valid temporary or permanent certificate either at the tank, at the entrance to the site or at the main office at the site where the storage tanks are located.

(h) Identification numbers on stationary storage tanks. Within thirty (30) days following receipt of a validated registration certificate, or whenever there is a change in the hazardous substance contained in the storage tank, the owner must clearly mark or label each storage tank or fill port (where the tank is underground), with the following information:

(1) tank identification number as shown on the registration certificate;

(2) chemical name or common name if the chemical name is not appropriate for the substance stored;

(3) total capacity and working capacity of tank; and

(4) warning signs required by 9 NYCRR Section 1174.1(h) of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code shall be posted.

§596.3 Registration of non-stationary storage tanks


§596.4 Registration fees for stationary tanks

(a) For the first two hundred and fifty (250) stationary storage tanks at the site, the owner must submit with each application for registration, re-registration or renewal, a two-year fee as follows:

Total Capacity Per Tank Two Year Fee
Less than or equal to 550 gallons $50 per storage tank
551 - 1,100 gallons $100 per storage tank
Greater than 1,100 gallons $125 per storage tank

The above fee schedule shall apply to the largest 250 tanks at the site. For each additional stationary tank over two hundred and fifty (250) tanks at the site, the fee is as follows:

Total Capacity Per Tank Two Year Fee
Less than or equal to 550 gallons $ 50 per storage tank
551 - 1,100 gallons $75 per storage tank
Greater than 1,100 gallons $75 per storage tank

In no case shall the registration fee charged for all storage tanks located at a single continuous site exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

(b) Fee for substantial modification. No fee is required for notifications of substantial modifications provided to the Department as required in section 596.2(f) of this Part, or for updating the information contained in the Department's tank registry.

§596.5 Sale of hazardous substances

(a) Requirements for distribution.

(1) Commencing one (1) year after the effective date of these regulations, the manufacturer or distributor of a hazardous substance must provide the owner or operator of a storage tank who purchases such substance with technical guidance and recommended practices for the storage and handling of such substance. Guidance and recommended practices shall be kept on file by the owner or operator at the site where the storage tank(s) is located.

(2) The manufacturer or distributor of a hazardous substance shall insure that the owner or operator of a storage tank who purchases such substance receives technical guidance and recommended practices for storage and handling with the initial shipment and with the first shipment after the technical guidance and recommended practices for storage and handling has been updated or revised. Recommended practices and technical guidance shall also be provided when a new hazardous substance is shipped to a site.

(3) Sales of hazardous substances which do not satisfy the requirements of this section are prohibited.

(b) Contents of technical guidance and recommended practices. Technical guidance and recommended practices for the proper handling and storage of a hazardous substance does not need to be a site-specific engineering design nor is it intended to be a site-specific engineering assessment of the need for proper storage and handling. However, it must identify or reference industry standards and include recommended practices, procedures, precautions and advice. Technical guidance must consist of the following minimum information relating to the substance to be stored:

(1) Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number, chemical name, common name, hazardous substance mixture components, physical and chemical characteristics (such as vapor pressure and flash point) and toxic and hazardous properties of the substance and mixture components including the potential for fire, explosion and reactivity;

(2) compatibility of substance with respect to materials which may be used to construct a storage tank, recommended materials which may be used for construction, prohibited materials for construction, and standards for storage tank design;

(3) conditions for the safe and proper storage of the substance, including temperatures, pressures, relative humidity and light conditions for storage;

(4) recommended storage equipment, which could include tanks, pumps, gauges, piping, valves, gasket materials, overfill alarms, rupture discs, vents, automatic shut-off devices, monitors, transfer stations, labeling or color coding, leak detectors, secondary containment, curbs, liners, hoses, cathodic protection systems and safety equipment;

(5) recommended inspection and maintenance procedures and intervals of time recommended for internal inspection of tanks and testing of equipment;

(6) safety precautions, warnings and procedures for handling and unloading bulk deliveries; and

(7) spill and emergency response procedures.

(c) Filing requirements. Commencing one year after the effective date of these regulations, the manufacturer or distributor of a hazardous substance must file an up-to-date copy of its technical guidance and recommended practices with the Department. The copy should be sent to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, Room 300, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York, 12233-3520. Any subsequent revisions or additions to the guidance and recommended practices shall be filed with the Department at the time of such revision or addition.

(d) Prohibition on delivery to unregistered storage tanks. Commencing one (1) year after the effective date of these regulations, no person shall deliver hazardous substances to a regulated tank that has not been properly registered pursuant to this Part.

§596.6 Spill Response, Investigation and Corrective Action

(a) Emergency Response.

(1) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision, the owner or operator must take immediate action upon discovery of a release to protect human health, safety and the environment. Immediate actions which may be necessary include, but are not limited to, signaling alarms, mitigation of fire and safety hazards, contacting emergency response officials, evacuation of personnel from the site, isolation of the impact zone, preventing the migration of the release and stopping, plugging or containing the release. Corrective action as specified in subdivision (c) of this section must also be undertaken to clean up and remove the released material and restore the site to protect public health, safety or the environment.

(2) It is unlawful to continue operation of a tank where a continuing release is occurring. If the owner or operator cannot expeditiously and permanently stop the release or further releases cannot be prevented while repairs are being made, the tank must be emptied and the contents promptly removed to a secure storage tank.

(b) Release or spill investigation and confirmation.

(1) All actual, probable or suspected releases or spills requiring reporting must be immediately investigated to determine the quantity of release or spill, extent of contamination and threat to public health, safety and the environment. The investigation shall be performed at a sufficient level of detail to determine immediate and long-term steps needed for corrective action and emergency response. The owner or operator must investigate the release by one or more of the following procedures:

(i) a visual inspection to initiate immediate response;

(ii) a physical investigation which may include sampling of the soil, air or water to determine on-site and off-site impacts, hydrogeologic and atmospheric investigations, mapping of contamination, and evaluation of potential impacts on plant life, wildlife, nearby water supplies and surrounding population;

(iii) monitoring of the interstitial area between the tank and secondary containment system;

(iv) an inspection to determine if the tank is tight. This may include an internal inspection, testing for structural soundness, nondestructive testing, inspection/testing of ancillary equipment or tightness testing of the tank or piping system;

(v) a check of inventory records to detect discrepancies;

(vi) monitoring of observation wells; or

(vii) any other additional and further investigation which may be required by the department in order to adequately determine the cause of the release and to assess the impact of the release or spill on the environment.

(2) The results of the investigation must be submitted to the department within 14 days unless an alternative schedule is established by the department. Upon review of this information the department may require the collection, evaluation and submission of additional information and preparation of a response and corrective action plan.

(3) Where a release of any hazardous substance has occurred, is suspected or appears probable, the department may order the owner to inspect any storage tank, location and/or associated equipment which might be the source of the actual, suspected or probable release and to test for tightness and structural soundness. If the owner fails to conduct such tests within ten days of notification of such an order, the department may do so. The reasonable expenses of conducting such tests incurred by the department shall be paid by the owner.

(c) Corrective action.

(1) Upon completion of an investigation of an actual, probable or suspected release, the owner or operator must initiate corrective action and take other spill response actions as may be required by the department. This may include one or more of the following:

(i) removal and proper disposal of contaminated soil;

(ii) removal and recovery of free floating and dissolved hazardous substances in ground and surface waters;

(iii) removal, venting, dispersing or recovery of vapors from the soil or air;

(iv) repair or replacement of leaking equipment and improvement of storage and handling practices, including improvements to secondary containment systems;

(v) installation of temporary or permanent water supply systems;

(vi) relocation of residents; and

(vii) other actions which the department may require to remediate the site in order to protect the public health, safety or environment.

(2) The owner or operator must report to the department progress on implementing the response and corrective action plan in accordance with a schedule for reporting established by the department.

(3) The requirements of this subdivision do not apply to releases from underground storage tanks:

(i) identified as solid waste management units at facilities subject to corrective action pursuant to ECL Article 27, Title 9; or

(ii) constituting hazardous waste at a site subject to a remedial program pursuant to ECL Article 27, Title 13.

(d) Best management practices (BMP's) - The department may require that the owner or operator of a facility prepare, submit for approval, and implement a BMP plan in the event of the following:

(1) a release which results in significant environmental impacts, including but not limited to, a violation of ambient air or water quality standards, fish kills, or damage to sensitive environmental areas; or

(2) a series of releases which indicate that a facility is not employing generally accepted engineering practices that would prevent the recurrence of such releases.