Alaska Underground Storage Tank Permit (18-AK-a)
Under Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Programs, 40 C.F.R. § 281 a state can obtain approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to implement a state program that regulates Underground Storage Tanks in compliance with the technical standards established in 40 C.F.R. § 280, Technical Standards and Corrective Action Requirements for Owners and Operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST).
SPAR is responsible for regulating underground storage tank (UST) facilities pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 46.03.365. An “underground storage tank” means one or a combination of stationary devices, including underground pipes connected to the devices, that is designed to contain an accumulation of petroleum, the volume of which, including the volume of underground pipes, is 10% or more beneath the surface of the ground. Alaska Stat. § 46.03.450(8).Unless otherwise excluded, all UST systems in use must be registered and display a permanently affixed current tag, decal, or notice. Alaska Admin. Code tit 18 § 78.015(a)(3)-(4).
Underground Storage Tank Permit Process
18-AK-a.1 – Intent to Install or Reconfigure (Form 18-0507)
The developer must notify SPAR of all UST installations by submitting an Intent to Install or Reconfigure at least 15 days, but not more than 60 days, before beginning the installation. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.025(b).
18-AK-a.2 – Review Notice for Completeness
SPAR will review the Intent to Install notice for completeness. It typically takes SPAR approximately two (2) days to process these notices.
18-AK-a.3 to 18-AK-a.4 – Is the Notice Complete?
If there are deficiencies in the Intent to Install notice, SPAR will request additional information from the developer, typically by email.
18-AK-a .5 to 18-AK-a.6 – Is the Underground Storage Tank Excluded From Registration?
If a UST system is excluded from registration requirements, SPAR will notify the developer that no registration is needed. Alaska Stat. § 46.03.450(8) excludes the following UST systems from regulation:
- Farm or residential tanks of 1,100 gallons or less capacity used for storing motor fuel for noncommercial purposes.
- Tanks used for storing heating oil for consumptive use on the premises where stored;
- Septic tanks;
- Pipeline facilities, including gathering lines, regulated under 49 U.S.C. § 60101 et seq. or that are intrastate pipeline facilities regulated under state laws comparable to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 60101 et seq.;
- Surface impoundments, pits, ponds, or lagoons;
- Stormwater or waste water collection systems;
- Flow-through process tanks;
- Liquid traps or associated gathering lines directly related to oil or gas production and gathering operations;
- Storage tanks situated in an underground area such as a basement, cellar, mineworking, drift, shaft, or tunnel, if the storage tank is situated upon or above the surface of the floor;
- Tanks with a capacity of 110 gallons or less;
- Tanks containing hazardous wastes regulated under the Solid Waste Disposal Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6921 – 6939b; or
- Tank systems that the DEC has exempted by regulations adopted under Alaska Stat. § 46.03.365.
Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §78.006 also excludes:
- A UST that holds a hazardous waste identified at Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 62.020, or a mixture of hazardous waste and petroleum (these are subject to the requirements of Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 62);
- A wastewater treatment tank system that is part of a wastewater treatment facility subject to 33 U.S.C. § 1317(b) or 33 U.S.C. § 1342 (Clean Water Act) (these are subject to the requirements of Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 72);
- Equipment or machinery, including hydraulic lift tanks and electrical equipment tanks, containing petroleum for operational purposes;
- An emergency spill or overflow containment UST that is emptied within 24 hours after use;
- A tank used for storing heating oil for consumptive use on the premises where stored.
18-AK-a.7 to 18-AK-a.8 – Is the UST System Approved for Installation?
When the Intent to Install notice is complete, SPAR issues a formal Authority to Proceed letter authorizing the developer to proceed with installation. Approval may be denied if the UST system is to be installed too close to certain water classifications, as described in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §78.025(i), or if the developer cannot meet the regulatory and industry standards described in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.025 and Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.400.
18-AK-a.9 – Appeal Decision (Optional)
If SPAR denies the authority to proceed with installation, the developer may request an adjudicatory hearing under Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §§ 15.195 – 15.340 within 30 days of that decision. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.960.
18-AK-a.10 to 18-AK-a.11 – Install UST System
After notifying SPAR, the developer may install the UST system. Installation of new USTs must be performed by a state-licensed UST worker, certified in installation, as defined in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.025(c). A UST may not be installed unless it:
- Will prevent a release caused by corrosion or structural failure for the operational life of the system;
- Is cathodically protected against corrosion, constructed of noncorrodible material, steel clad with a noncorrodible material, or designed to prevent the release or threatened release of stored petroleum; and
- Is constructed or lined with a material that is compatible with the stored petroleum as provided at Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.050.
Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.010(b). Additionally, the developer must follow all procedures, codes, standards, and requirements in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §§78.005 – 78.100 and must maintain financial responsibility for the facility, as defined in 40 C.F.R. §§ 280.90 – 280.115 and 40 C.F.R. § 281.37. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §78.910. More information may be found at the SPAR’s Financial Responsibility for Underground Storage Tank Owners website.
SPAR will also conduct a site visit during the installation process.
18-AK-a.12 – Underground Storage Tank Registration and Certification (Form 18-0500)
The developer must register the tank or tank system by submitting the Underground Storage Tank Registration and Certification form and the applicable fee to SPAR within 30 days after installation. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.015(a)(1). The annual registration fee is $50 for each upgraded tank. The annual fees for non-upgraded tanks are as follows:
- $150 for tanks with a capacity of less than 1,000 gallons
- $300 for tanks with a capacity of 1,000-5,000 gallons
- $500 for tanks with a capacity of over 5,000 gallons.
AS 46.03.385. Upgraded tanks include those that have been retrofitted to improve the UST system’s leak detection, spill and overflow protection, and corrosion protection. Alaska Stat. §46.03.385; Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.995(156). UST registration expires on December 31 of each year and must be renewed annually at least 30 days before the registration expires. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.015(c). Fees received after December 31 are considered late. There is a $10 per day late fee for each day that fees are overdue. Alaska Stat. § 46.03.385(c).
18-AK-a.13 – Review Registration Materials for Compliance
SPAR reviews the registration and certification form for compliance with all applicable regulatory and industry standards. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §78.025.
18-AK-a.14 to 18-AK-a.16 – Does the UST System Meet Regulatory and Industry Standards?
If SPAR determines that the UST system does not meet regulatory and industry standards, it will notify the developer of its decision in writing within three (3) working days of making the determination. SPAR will also post the non-compliant UST to the Tanks Without Tags website to notify fuel distributors that a tank is on delivery prohibition. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §78.018(b). This assists in ensuring that only USTs with a valid tag, decal, or notice receive deliveries of petroleum.
18-AK-a.17 to 18-AK-a.18 – Does the Developer Appeal SPAR’s Determination?
Any person who is aggrieved by SPAR’s decision regarding issuance, denial, suspension, or revocation of an approval or certification may request an adjudicatory hearing under Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §§ 15.195 –15.340. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.960.
18-AK-a.19 to 18-AK-a.20 – Does the developer correct the deficiencies?
SPAR will withdraw a prohibition against fuel delivery to a UST once it receives satisfactory written documentation that the deficiencies have been corrected. SPAR will notify the developer in writing no later than three (3) working days after the date of withdrawal and will remove the UST from the Tanks Without Tags website. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 § 78.018(d) – (e).
18-AK-a.21 – Underground Storage Tank Tag, Decal, or Notice
SPAR will issue the developer a tag, decal, or notice for each approved UST system within 30 days of receiving the registration. Once the tag is received, the developer may continue with the project.
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- Alaska— Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §§ 78.005 - 78.995, Underground Storage Tanks
- 42 U.S.C. § 6901, Solid Waste Disposal Act
- Alaska— Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §§ 62.010 - 62.990, Hazardous Waste
- Clean Water Act
- Alaska— Alaska Admin. Code tit. 18 §§ 15.010 - 15.100, Administrative Procedure
- 40 C.F.R. § 280, Technical Standards and Corrective Action Requirements for Owners and Operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST)
- 40 C.F.R. § 281, Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Programs
- Alaska— Alaska Admin. Code tit. 46 §§ 03.380 et seq., Registration Fee for Registration of Tanks and Tank Systems
- Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Underground Storage Tanks Intent to Install or Reconfigure
- Alaska Division of Spill Prevention and Response Financial Responsibility for Underground Storage Tank Owners Website
- Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Underground Storage Tank Registration and Certification
- Alaska Underground Tanks Without Current Inspection Tags Website