The deadline to register above ground storage tanks (“ASTs”) subject to the West Virginia Aboveground Storage Tank Act (“Tank Act”) has passed but more is on the horizon for tank owners. This includes upcoming deadlines as well as recently published draft regulations to flesh out the details of the Tank Act.
First, AST owners subject to the Tank Act must submit their Spill Prevention Response Plan by December 3, 2014. Second, AST owners must also submit inspections and certifications for their aboveground storage tanks by January 1, 2015. The only change in completing those inspections is who is able to perform the inspection. That difference hinges on what AST Level the tank is assigned. See the Draft 47CSR62 Interpretive Rule for more detail.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) also recently released a Rough Draft of the AST Emergency Rule and held a Stakeholder’s Meeting on October 1, 2014, to present the basics of the new draft regulations. The topics addressed besides ASTs affected, AST Levels, and initial registration requirements were mandatory AST registration amendments, Certificates to Operate, and product delivery prohibition.
Required Amendments to Storage Tank Registration
All qualifying aboveground storage tanks in West Virginia, regardless of the operational state of the AST, must be registered with the state. For ASTs built after October 1, 2014, registration must be completed before the AST is placed into active service. Once an AST is registered, there are six situations in which amendments to the aboveground storage tank registration must be completed:
- Removal or relocation of a storage tank to a new facility
- Change in operating status of the AST
- Change in use of a storage tank to or from regulated to non-regulated status
- Change in substance or substances stored in the tank
- Change of ownership or operator
- Change of contact, mailing address or telephone number
The required timing of filing an amendment varies with the type of change made. For example, if there is a change in the AST’s service or ownership or if the AST will be closed or if there will be an installation or upgrade to the AST, the submission of the registration amendment must occur at least thirty (30) days before the change occurs. Other amendments require less advanced notifications.
If you have questions on when an amendment needs to be filed, contact the West Virginia DEP.
Certificate to Operate Aboveground Storage Tank
Once an owner files the registration for the aboveground storage tank, the DEP will issue an AST Certificate to Operate if the tank is in compliance with the Tank Act. The Certificates to Operate will be renewed automatically annually with the payment of the tank registration fees as long as the fees are paid timely, the owner/operator maintains financial responsibility for the AST system, and the owner/operator continues to comply with the Tank Act.
Product Delivery Prohibition
An interesting addition to the draft regulations is that Section 12 places some burden on liquid product suppliers to ensure that the aboveground storage tanks are in compliance with the Tank Act. Section 12.1 of the Draft Emergency Rule provides:
Product deliverers/transporters, including any person who approves a delivery order or delivers or deposits fluids into an aboveground storage tank, shall not deliver product into an aboveground storage tank, unless the owner or operator provides proof of compliance to the product deliver[er]s for the following requirements:
12.1.a. Compliance with registration requirements and payment of annual registration fee assessments; and
12.1.b. Compliance with the proof of Financial Responsibility requirements set forth in Section 13 of this Rule.
Section 13, Financial Responsibility Requirements for ASTs, has yet to be written.
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