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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 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.

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.

Minimal Requirements for Operating Permits

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.

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 not installed within a previously registered UST system; 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.