The Indiana Legislature has before it Senate Bill 312 regarding above ground storage tank registration.  The Bill was introduced by Sen. Ed Charbonneau and Sen. Mark Stoops.  This Bill appears to be following the lead of West Virginia in requiring above ground storage tanks to be registered with the state environmental department.

The West Virginia Above Ground Storage Tank Act was a swift reaction to a chemical spill in the Elk River caused by an above ground steel storage tank owned by Freedom Industries.  The chemical reached the local water supply, and the water plant was not able to keep up with the amount of chemical.  The result was several weeks of the water in the Charleston, West Virginia area being undrinkable or useable due to chemical contamination.

Because Senate Bill 312 would be an addition to the Water Pollution Control article of the state code, the aim of the above ground storage tank registration is to prevent pollution of the water supply as in the case of West Virginia.

Requirements of Registration

The proposed tank registration would apply to any stationary above ground storage tank that stores liquid other than drinking water or residential heating fuel and has a capacity of at least two hundred gallons (swimming pools are also exempt from this definition).  If a storage tank meets the requirements, then the tank would need to be registered with Indiana Department of Environmental Management (“IDEM”).

While the proposed Bill 312 leaves the creation of a registration form to IDEM, the basic information required for registration by the Bill is (1) the storage capacity of the tank; (2) the age of the tank; (3) the type of liquid stored; (4) the composition of the tank; (5) the location of the tank; and (6) the name and address of the tank owner.  Of course, the current version of the Bill leaves open the ability of IDEM to require other reasonable details in the registration.

Impact of Bill 312

For those in the fluid fertilizer business, Bill 312 should not create a significant change because current Indiana law requires all fertilizer storage facilities to annually notify the state chemist of the facility’s location, owner, rated or calculated capacity of all bulk tanks and dry storage units, and other basic information.  355 IAC 2-9-1.  This applies to facilities that have capacity starting in a range of thousands of gallons of fertilizer.  355 IAC 2-2-16.  Thus, the proposed above ground storage tank registration would simply include smaller stationary fertilizer tanks to the registration requirement.  The only question would be whether there would be dual registration, one to the state chemist and separate one to IDEM for water safety purposes under Bill 312.

If you have any questions on the current laws regarding fertilizer tanks in Indiana, feel free to contact us at Heartland Tank Services, Inc. on our website or at 800-774-3230.