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Storage Tank Closure

Storage systems that are no longer needed or are unsuitable for product storage must be emptied and
  • placed in temporary out-of-service (UST) or removal-from-service (AST) condition;
  • closed-in-place; or
  • removed.

This avoids future safety and environmental hazards by ensuring that there is no available product to be released. The Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act requires the department to publish rules for each of these operations. Upon discontinuance of use of a storage tank, the owner or operator must empty the tank and either remove the tank or seal it. The area around the storage tank must be restored in a manner that prevents any future release. If contamination is present the site must be cleaned up in accordance with the proper corrective action procedures.

A change in service is a type of closure in place where the tank no longer stores a regulated substance. As in all types of closure, proper procedures must be followed to ensure that the residue of past tank operation will not present a hazard to the environment.

The technical document, Closure Requirements for Underground Storage Tank Systems (PDF), contains the department's closure requirements and appropriate practices for the proper closure of USTs in Pennsylvania. The document can also be obtained by calling or writing the DEP, Division of Storage Tanks, P.O. Box 8762, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8762. Phone 717-772-5599 or 1-800-42-TANKS (within PA).

The Storage Tank System Closure Requirements document for underground tanks includes the following:

The technical document, Closure Requirements for Aboveground Storage Tank Systems (PDF), contains the department's closure requirements and appropriate practices for the proper closure of ASTs in Pennsylvania. The document can also be obtained by calling or writing the DEP, Division of Storage Tanks, P.O. Box 8762, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8762. Phone 717-772-5599 or 1-800-42-TANKS (within PA).

The Storage Tank System Closure Requirements document for aboveground tanks includes the following:

For questions and information regarding corrective action and release reporting, contact the Storage Tanks and Hazardous Sites Cleanup Section. Information is available at Storage Tank Cleanup Program on the DEP website. The notification form for reportable releases and suspected or confirmed contamination is as follows:

  • Notification of Reportable Release - Notification of Contamination (2550-FM-BWM0082)
  • For questions or assistance on closure, contact DEP's Division of Storage Tanks, Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields, P.O. Box 8762, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8762. Phone:
    1-800-42-TANKS (within PA) or 717-772-5599; or by contacting the appropriate DEP regional office.