Indiana Senate Bill 312 addressing above ground storage tank reporting and water threat minimization has gone through several changes since its introduction in January 2015.  Bill 312 was sent back to the Indiana Senate for a vote after several amendments were made by the House.

Major Bill Amendments

The definition of an above ground storage tank (“AST”) has been altered from the original version submitted.  An AST is now defined as a device (1) with at least 10% of the outer surface above ground; and (2) can hold more than 660 gallons of a liquid product. The size of the tank is an increase from the original content capacity of at least 200 gallons.

Bill 312 also specifically exempts ASTs used for agriculture. The revised definition of this type of exempt AST is: an AST that is located on a farm or premises of an agribusiness, and the contents are used by the AST owner or operator for farming purposes or produced as an agricultural commodity.

Large Liquid Fertilizer Tanks Exempt

While Bill 312 will have an impact on many industries, the retailer fertilizer suppliers in the agricultural industry will not be affected. The current draft of Indiana Bill 312 exempts all ASTs that contain pesticides or fertilizers that are regulated by the Indiana state chemist under 355 IAC. This prevents creating duplication in the reporting requirements.

The state chemist under 355 IAC regulates bulk fertilizer storage facilities, which are defined in part as storing fluid bulk fertilizer in excess of 2,500 undivided gallons or 7,500 gallons total.  Thus, all large field erected liquid fertilizer tanks (50,000+ gallons) in Indiana qualify for this exemption because they are regulated by the Indiana state chemist.

What are your thoughts on the trend of states enacting above ground storage tank registration? Do you think there is a simpler way for government entities to prevent environmental contamination from storage tank leaks? Use the comment section below to leave your response.