Department of Environmental Conservation

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Bulk Storage

Chemicals, Petroleum, and Liquefied Natural Gas

Safe Closure is a Must

People who do not follow standard safety practices are killed or injured every year while closing or removing tanks. For a safe closure, you need qualified professionals who will use standard safety practices.

For more information on standard safety practices, underground storage tank owners and closure contractors should refer to "Closure of Underground Petroleum Storage Tanks," API Recommended Practice 1604 (1996), which is available from the American Petroleum Institute (API), 1220 L Street, Washington, DC 20005, or call (202) 682-8000 for assistance. You can also visit API's website. (Leaves DEC's website)

The video and companion booklet called "Tank Closure Without Tears: An Inspector's Safety Guide" are available from the New England Interstate Environmental Training Center at (978) 323-7929. You can also visit NEIWPCC's website. (Leaves DEC's website)

Improper handling and storage of petroleum, hazardous substances/chemicals or liquefied natural gas (LNG) can result in spills that threaten the environment or pose health and safety risks to nearby persons. Across the state, there have been instances of spills of petroleum or chemicals that have caused groundwater contamination including some public water supplies. Storage and handling of LNG poses primarily fire safety concerns and risks from handling a cryogenic (extremely cold) material.

Based on several federal and state laws, regulations, and guidance documents, DEC has developed the following programs to establish requirements for the safe storage and handling of these materials, inspection programs to verify that these requirements are being met, and enforcement procedures to require that violations be corrected and deter future non-compliance:

A huge black storage tank being installed underground
Underground storage tank installation.

Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Program

PBS registrations can now be submitted online! Instructions and further details can be found here.

The PBS program applies to properties which have, except for tank systems that are specifically exempted:

  • one or more tank systems that are designed to store a combined capacity of more than 1,100 gallons or more of petroleum in aboveground and/or underground storage tanks; or
  • one or more underground tank systems that are designed to store 110 or more gallons of petroleum.

If the property meets the above criteria, it is considered a "facility" and all tank systems storing petroleum (with some exceptions) must be registered with DEC and managed in compliance with applicable regulations for the storage of petroleum. In addition, per the used oil regulations, all aboveground and underground tank systems designed to store used oil, regardless of size, must be registered with DEC and managed with applicable regulations for storage and handling of petroleum.

Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS) Program

The CBS program applies to properties that store a hazardous substance (a substance listed in 6 NYCRR Part 597) in:

  • an aboveground storage tank larger than 185 gallons;
  • any size underground storage tank; or
  • in a container that can store 1,000 kg or more for a period of 90 consecutive days or more.

All regulated tanks at facilities must be registered with DEC and managed in compliance with applicable regulations for the storage and handling of hazardous substances.

Federal Underground Tank Regulations

Certain underground storage tanks (USTs) storing petroleum or hazardous substances/chemicals are also subject to federal regulations (40 CFR Part 280) from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Requirements for PBS, MOSF, & CBS UST Operator Training

Under federal and state regulations, certain underground storage tank (UST) systems must have Operators who are trained in tank-specific knowledge. The revision of New York State's petroleum bulk storage (PBS) regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 613, went into effect on October 11, 2015 and required facilities with such tanks to designate the names of their authorized Class A and Class B Operators with DEC by October 11, 2016. To become authorized, Operators must be trained and must pass a DEC-administered exam that demonstrates their competence to operate these tank systems.

Major Oil Storage Facility (MOSF) Program

The MOSF program applies to facilities that store a total of 400,000 gallons or more of petroleum in aboveground and underground storage tanks. Facilities must be licensed by DEC and managed in compliance with applicable regulations for the storage and handling of petroleum. Vessels that transfer petroleum to another vessel while operating in the waters of New York State must also obtain an MOSF license prior to these transfers. As applicable, both on-shore MOSFs and MOSF vessels must submit monthly license fees and surcharges to DEC. These fees apply to each barrel of petroleum the first time that the petroleum is imported into New York State (see Navigation Law Section 174).

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Program

The LNG program applies to facilities that store LNG or convert it back into a gas, with some exceptions. Facilities must be permitted by DEC and managed in compliance with applicable regulations for the storage and handling of LNG.

Revised PBS and CBS Regulations Effective 10/11/2015

Owners of Commercial and Residential Fuel Oil Tanks Located in Flood-Prone Areas Should Take Precautions to Minimize Risk for Flooding of the Tank

Preparing for Storms/Flooding: Owners of Fuel Oil Tanks
New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) What Homeowners Need to Know About Fuel Oil Spills and Flooding (PDF, 100KB, this links to a PDF which can be downloaded from the NYSDOH's website)
NYSDOH - Preparing for Storms & Weathering Floods and Power Outages (link leaves DEC's website)
New York State Office of Emergency Management - Flood Safety Tips (link leaves DEC's website)

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