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Permitting


 
Act 32 authorizes the department to develop regulations and implement a permitting program. The permitting regulations became effective Oct. 11, 1997.

 
There are two kinds of permits operating and installation. All regulated underground (UST) and aboveground (AST) storage tanks must be permitted in order to operate. It is unlawful to operate a tank system without an operating permit.

 

Operating Permit

An Operating Permit allows the tank owner to operate a storage tank system. There are two types of Operating Permits, depending on the size of the tank and substance stored. They are either a Permit-By-Rule (PBR) or a General Operating Permit (GOP).

 
There are no fees for operating permits. The tank owner's registration certificate will indicate the permit status for each tank. Operating permits are automatically renewed each year concurrent with proper registration, if the minimal requirements are met. No additional paperwork or fees beyond the annual registration requirements are needed for renewal.

 
The Department will automatically withhold or withdraw the operating permit for a storage tank that is reported on the registration form in temporary out of use status.  An online search is available to determine the permit status of USTs and small ASTs.

 

Permit-By-Rule (PBR)

A Permit-By-Rule applies to the following tanks:
  • Manufactured USTs storing petroleum;
  • ASTs 21,000 gallons or less that are NOT highly hazardous substance tanks.
A PBR requires no application or fee and is issued concurrent with registration. The department does not give an actual permit document. As long as tanks meet the minimal requirements the tanks are considered to have permit coverage. The registration certificate will indicate the permit status for each tank.

 
New tanks that are covered by a PBR, are permitted upon proper registration with DEP. The current  Registration/Permitting of Storage Tanks form must be used for registration and permitting.

 

General Operating Permit (GOP)

A General Operating Permit applies to the following tanks:
  • ASTs greater than 21,000 gallons;
  • Highly hazardous substance tanks;
  • Hazardous substance USTs; and
  • Field constructed USTs.
A GOP requires no fee, however an application is required. The current Registration/Permitting of Storage Tanks form must be used to apply for a GOP. The department does not give an actual permit document. Instead, the registration certificate will indicate the permit status for each tank.

 
Owners of new tanks must apply for a permit using the new Registration/Permitting of Storage Tanks form at the time of registration. This form can also be used to register the new tanks. If a previous version of the Registration Form was used at the time of registration, the new Registration/Permitting of Storage Tanks form will be sent to the owner to be completed and returned to DEP.

 

Minimal Requirements for Operating Permits

In order to maintain permit coverage, the following requirements must be met. The owner/operator must:
  1. properly register each tank and, if required, pay the annual registration fee;
  2. use certified individuals for inspections and tank handling activities;
  3. meet proper technical standards;
  4. meet financial responsibility requirements; and
  5. follow proper corrective action procedures, when necessary.
For tanks covered by a GOP, these requirements must first be met in order to receive a permit.

 
If violations of the above requirements occur, the department can suspend or revoke a permit. Should suspension or revocation of a permit be necessary, the facility must stop operating immediately. An online search is available to determine the permit status of USTs and small ASTs.

 

Site Specific Installation Permit (SSIP)

A Site Specific Installation Permit or SSIP is a permit that allows the owner to proceed with construction, reconstruction or installation of new or modified storage tanks.

 
A Site Specific Installation Permit applies to the following tanks:
  • New large ASTs greater than 21,000 gallons;
  • New large AST facilities (total of all ASTs is greater than 21,000 gallons);
  • New field-constructed USTs; and
  • New highly hazardous substance tanks.
An application for an SSIP and permit fee is required to be submitted to and the permit issued by the department before construction, reconstruction or installation can begin. The SSIP application form (2630-PM-BECB0002) can be obtained by contacting DEP.

 
The Department's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Handling and Reviewing of Site-Specific Installation Permits can be found on the DEP Standard Operating Procedures Page.