Alaska Underground Storage Tank Permit (18-AK-a)
Under 40 CFR 281 Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Programs 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 AS 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. AS 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. 18 AAC 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. 18 AAC 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 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. AS 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 USC 60101 et seq. or that are intrastate pipeline facilities regulated under state laws comparable to the provisions of 49 USC 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 42 USC 6921 – 6939b; or
- Tank systems that the DEC has exempted by regulations adopted under AS 46.03.365.
18 AAC 78.006 also excludes:
- A UST that holds a hazardous waste identified at 18 AAC 62.020, or a mixture of hazardous waste and petroleum (these are subject to the requirements of 18 AAC 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 18 AAC 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 18 AAC 78.025(i), or if the developer cannot meet the regulatory and industry standards described in 18 AAC 78.025 and 18 AAC 78.400.
18-AK-a.9 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)
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 18 AAC 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 18 AAC 78.050.
18 AAC 78.010(b). Additionally, the developer must follow all procedures, codes, standards, and requirements in 18 AAC 78.005 – 188 AAC 78.100 and must maintain financial responsibility for the facility, as defined in 40 CFR §§ 280.90 – 280.115 and 40 CFR § 281.37. 18 AAC 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. 18 AAC 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. AS 46.03.385; 18 AAC 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. 18 AAC 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. AS 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. 18 AAC 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. 18 AAC 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 18 AAC 15.195 – 18 AAC 15.340. 18 AAC 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. 18 AAC 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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- Title 46 Alaska Statutes
- Title 18 Alaska Administrative Code Chapter 78 Underground Storage Tanks
- 42 U.S.C. 6901 - Solid Waste Disposal Act
- Title 18 Alaska Administrative Code Chapter 62 Hazardous Waste
- Clean Water Act
- Title 18 Alaska Administrative Code Chapter 15 - Administrative Procedure
- 40 C.F.R.§ 280 Technical Standards and Corrective Action Requirements for Owners and Operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST)
- 40 CFR 281 Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Programs
- Title 46 Alaska Statutes Section 03.385 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