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Asphaltic Emulsions and Operational Tanks

Past changes to Article 17, Title 10 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) altered the definitions of petroleum, tank, and facility. These changes made tanks which stored product for operational purposes and tanks storing asphaltic emulsions subject to the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations. However, with the revision of the PBS regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 613, these changes were specifically addressed and were made to reflect federal enforcement discretions.

Operational Tanks

As defined in 6 NYCRR Part 613, an operational tank system means "a tank system that is integral to, or connected to, equipment or machinery for which the petroleum in the system is used solely for operational purposes. Petroleum in an operational tank system is not consumed in any context (such as being combusted as fuel or used as a raw material in a manufacturing process). Examples of operational tank systems include hydraulic lift tank systems, lubricating oil system reservoirs, electrical cable oil reservoirs, and electrical transformers."

These tanks were specifically excluded from the definition of facility, 6 NYCRR section 613-1.3(v)(3)(i), and therefore do not need to be registered or comply with such regulations

Tanks Storing Asphaltic Emulsions

PBS Facilities

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) considers asphalt to be petroleum. However, it is specifically excluded in the definition of facility in 6 NYCRR Part 613 and therefore tanks storing it do not need to be registered at PBS facilities. However, asphaltic emulsions do not share the same exemption and are fully regulated as petroleum. This clarification is specifically mentioned in the PBS regulations, 6 NYCRR section 613-1.3(v)(3)(vi). Tanks storing asphaltic emulsions are therefore subject to all applicable regulations required for such tanks.

Major Oil Storage Facilities (MOSFs)

The definition of petroleum in New York State differs between PBS facilities and MOSFs (these are PBS facilities storing petroleum in quantities of 400,000 gallons or greater). Specifically, the asphalt exemption found in PBS does not exist for MOSFs. Therefore, asphalt is fully regulated as petroleum for MOSFs and must be included on their licenses. Asphaltic emulsions are also still subject to regulation.

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