Storage Tank Requirements
In June, the Environmental Quality Board adopted changes to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 245, concerning administration of the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Program.  This concerns aboveground storage tanks (AST), underground storage tanks (UST) and facilities that store regulated substances.  The Storage Tank Program is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Waste Management. 
Highlights of the changes which are most likely to apply to farmers are as follows:

  • Regulates large aboveground heating oil tanks with more than 30,000 gallons storage capacity (product is consumed on premises where stored).  These were previously regulated, but exempted in 1996.
  • Adds the following to the regulated substances list: biodiesel, several non-petroleum oils, synthetic fuels and fluids (motor oils) and ethanol intended for blending with motor fuel. 

If you have a tank that contains a newly regulated substance, the tank must be registered by January 9, 2008.  If you have a tank which is currently, or will need to be, registered, you will want to carefully review the regulation changes.  Regulated tank owners may need to follow new requirements: including registration, permitting, technical standards, inspection, monitoring, and reporting.  More information, including the complete text of changes, can be found at http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/landrecwaste/cwp/view.asp?A=1240&Q=453631 or by calling 1-800-42-TANKS. is this the right link????

Summary of Storage Tank Requirements including Changes

Tanks located on farms which are NOT regulated under the act include:

  • UST storing heating oil used on the premises where stored
  • AST 30,000 gallons or less in capacity storing heating oil used on the premises where stored
  • Propane tanks
  • Pressure vessels operating at greater than 15 psig
  • Liquid manure tanks
  • Tanks not containing a regulated substance
  • Nonstationary tanks that receive, store or dispense regulated substances at different locations within a 12-month period

Farm tanks regulated by the act include:

  • AST and UST in excess of 1,100 gallons that store motor fuels, such as gasoline, biodiesel and diesel
  • AST in excess of 1,100 gallons storing motor oil, lubricating oil or hydraulic fluid (including synthetic oils and fluids)
  • UST in excess of 110 gallons containing motor fuels used in combination with other business activities, such as fueling school buses, commercial trucking and excavating
  • Stationary AST in excess of 1,100 gallons and UST in excess of 110 gallons storing substances used for the production of crops or livestock.  These may include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizer solutions.
  • Aboveground heating oil tanks with more than 30,000 gallons storage capacity (product is consumed on premises where stored) 

Requirements for tanks regulated under the act include:

  • Registration and payment of the annual registration fee
  • Annual payment to the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund administered by the Department of Insurance (UST only)
  • Use of a department-certified installer to install, modify and close tanks
  • Meeting the technical requirements for tank construction and operation.  Total secondary containment is required for new and replacement UST systems. 
  • Monitoring for releases using an appropriate leak detection method, such as inventory control, automatic tank gauging and interstitial monitoring
  • Inspection conducted by department-certified inspectors at the required frequency.  An UST facility operations inspection is now required every three years.
  • Reporting any confirmed release to the appropriate DEP regional office.  This also applies to tanks not regulated under the act.

The Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act defines a farm as land used for the production for commercial purposes of crops, livestock and livestock products, including the processing or retail marketing of these crops, livestock or livestock products if more than 50 percent of these processed or merchandized products are produced by the farm operator.  The phrase ‘‘Crops, livestock and livestock products’’ includes, but is not limited to:

  • Field crops, including corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and dry beans.
  • Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
  • Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, cabbage, carrots, beets, onions and mushrooms.
  • Horticultural specialties, including nursery stock, ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees and flowers.
  • Livestock and livestock products, including cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, horses, poultry, furbearing animals, milk, eggs and furs.
  • Aquatic plants and animals and their by-products.

The Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act defines a farm as land used for the production for commercial purposes of crops, livestock and livestock products, including the processing or retail marketing of these crops, livestock or livestock products if more than 50 percent of these processed or merchandized products are produced by the farm operator.  The phrase ‘‘Crops, livestock and livestock products’’ includes, but is not limited to:

  • Field crops, including corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, potatoes and dry beans.
  • Fruits, including apples, peaches, grapes, cherries and berries.
  • Vegetables, including tomatoes, snap beans, cabbage, carrots, beets, onions and mushrooms.
  • Horticultural specialties, including nursery stock, ornamental shrubs, ornamental trees and flowers.
  • Livestock and livestock products, including cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, horses, poultry, furbearing animals, milk, eggs and furs.
  • Aquatic plants and animals and their by-products.