NYMPP: Section 4 - Fueling
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New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 4:
- Fuel Storage

Potential Environmental Impacts

Accidental fuel spills can be damaging to the marina environment. According to the EPA, the hydrocarbon compounds in oil and gasoline can be toxic to marine life, upset fish reproduction and interfere with growth and reproduction of bottom dwelling organisms even in small concentrations.

Best Management Practices

Because petroleum spills can have significant environmental and safety impacts, storage facilities are closely regulated. Make sure your facility complies with the state and federal regulatory requirements regarding fuel storage listed below.

Keep all information about registered underground storage tanks, subsequent updates from your state environmental agency, and maintenance records in file in a central location.

Regularly inspect aboveground fuel storage tanks and associated piping for leaks.

If possible and appropriate, cover above ground tank with a roof to prevent rainwater from filling the containment area.

Regulatory Issues

If your facility stores 10,000 pounds or more of gasoline (about 1626 gallons), diesel fuel, and/or fuel oil (about 1390 gallons), either above- or underground for dispensing or for on-site use, you must report storage of that substance under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) [40 CFR 355, click here]. For more information on EPCRA requirements, click here.

Both above and underground storage tanks and their piping systems are subject to the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Automotive and Marine Service Station Code (NFPA 30A). (To view a copy of this section of the code on line at the NFPA Web site, click here.) These requirements are adopted locally. Check with your municipal fire marshal for local requirements, or contact the State Fire Marshall's Office (In New York call (518) 474-6746 or e-mail at fire@dos.state.ny.us).

Underground Petroleum Storage: Tanks with ten percent or more of total volume below grade (including the volume of connected underground pipes) are considered Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and must meet certain requirements, which have been in effect since1985. For more information on the federal UST program, click here. Specific program requirements can vary state by state and by regions within a state. The general requirements are that:

1) the tank and piping be constructed of noncorrosive materials or externally coated cathodically protected steel and installed according to manufacturer's specifications

2) the facility has an approved method of leak detection which includes the maintenance of all activity records for 5 years

3) fill-pipes on tanks have means to collect spills from delivery hoses

4) the tanks have overfill protection, such as automatic shutoff devices which activate at 90% UST capacity and restrict flow during deliveries

5) the tank be registered with the state environmental agency and the local fire marshal and

6) if a facility has a total underground buried storage capacity of more than 42,000 gallons of petroleum product, it may require a Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan [40 CFR 112, click here]. (For more information on the federal program for marinas, click here). For a sample SPCC plan, click here.

There are additional requirements for facility owners or operators when they are closing USTs through removal or in-place abandonment.

Aboveground Petroleum Storage: If your facility stores a certain amount of gas or oil in aboveground tanks (total aggregate volume greater than 1,320 gallons) it may require an SPCC Plan [40 CFR 112, click here] which outlines a facility-wide plan to prevent spills and contingency plans in case of spills. (For more information on the federal program for marinas, click here). For a sample SPCC plan, click here. The aboveground storage tank should be located within a dike or over an impervious storage area with containment volumes equal to 110% of the capacity of the storage tank.

Gasoline Storage: Air emissions from refueling operations are addressed in U.S. EPA's AP-42 Section, click here and in New York in 6 NYCRR Part 230, click here. In New York, Part 230 does not apply as long as no vehicles are refueled from the marina gasoline pumps and there is no drop tube in the storage tank. In addition, Stage 1 and Stage II Vapor Recovery are not required if no vehicles are refueled at the facility. For information on New York's air regulations related to marinas, click on the New York Regulatory Compliance Button at the bottom of this page.

Any petroleum product that is discharged to the waters of the state must be reported to the state (In New York call the NYSDEC Oil Spill Hotline at (800) 457 7362) For more information on spill response requirements, click here.

If any petroleum product discharged into navigable waters causes a visible sheen, it may also be necessary to report the discharge to the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802.

A hazardous waste determination must be conducted on any materials used to clean a spill to determine whether or not disposal of the materials is subject to hazardous waste regulations [40 CFR 262.11, click here]. For more information on New York hazardous waste testing requirements, click here. If they are hazardous, they must be managed as a hazardous waste. For more information on New York's Hazardous Waste Regulations and storage requirements, click here.

If there is a stormwater discharge from your facility you may have to register for a General Permit for the Discharge of Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activity ("Storm Water General Permit"). For more information on storm water permitting in New York, click here.