New PA Tank Regulations Go Into Effect

January 16, 2008
by BRIDGET DORFMAN
Client Alert Newsletter Forecast 2008

In November 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ("PADEP") issued amendments to the 25 Pa. Code Chapter 245 regulations administering the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Program. These changes expand the program's scope and will affect virtually every owner of underground and aboveground storage tanks. The amended regulations, which are effective now, bring a number of non-petroleum-based oils into the program, including biodiesel, synthetic fuels and oils, and pure ethanol intended for blending with motor fuel. Also, aboveground storage tanks holding greater than 30,000 gallons of heating oil are no longer exempt from regulation. PADEP is placing a new emphasis on the certification and training of tank installers and inspectors, who will serve as PADEP's eyes and ears in the field. Some tanks will require general operating permits or site-specific installation permits, and new tanks and upgraded tanks must comply with more rigorous technical standards that include spill control, release detection, more frequent inspections, and additional containment. Deadlines for complying with the new regulatory requirements will be phased in over the next several years.