Regulations Updates

Published on Thursday, October 01, 2015

NYSDEC Adopts Final Changes to the Petroleum and Chemical Bulk Storage Regulations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has adopted amendments to update and revise the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS), Chemical Bulk Storage (CBS), and Used Oil regulations as of September 30, 2015.  The changes will affect nearly all registered PBS facilities at some level, and some that may not be currently registered, so we recommend that all facility owners and operators review and understand the changes to ensure compliance. 


Key Highlights:


  • Revised definitions of “facility”, “petroleum”, and tank systems
  • Operator training requirements
  • Delivery prohibitions for non-compliant systems
  • Revised secondary containment requirements
  • Inventory reconciliation changes – now required for retail motor fueling systems only




Summary of Changes:


NYSDEC has revised the regulations pertaining to the handling and storage of petroleum and hazardous substances to reflect changes made to state and federal laws and to clarify and update existing bulk storage regulations.  The revisions include 6 NYCRR Parts 612-614 of the PBS regulations, 6 NYCRR Parts 596-599 of the CBS regulations, 6 NYCRR Subpart 374-2 of the Standards for the Management of Used Oil, and 6 NYCRR section 370.1(e)(2) of the Hazardous Waste Management regulations.  The changes to the regulations are the first phase of a two-part process; additional changes will be made in the second phase to incorporate any federal underground storage tank (UST) initiatives required by revisions to 40 CFR Part 280.


Several counties (Cortland, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, and Westchester) administer the PBS regulations locally and may have additional County-specific requirements; these counties must adopt the revised rule within 6 months.


Petroleum Bulk Storage Revisions:


The revisions to the PBS program consolidate existing Parts 612-614 into a new Part 613, which governs both aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) and USTs, and includes new requirements for operator training, delivery prohibitions, spill response, recordkeeping, and corrective actions.  Many of the changes are designed to align the PBS regulations with existing state and federal UST regulations, and changes to definitions and operational requirements will likely mean changes for owners and operators.


The revised Part 613 includes significant changes to many PBS definitions.  The definition of “petroleum” has been expanded to match the federal definition and now includes synthetic forms of certain oils, including lubricating, dielectric, insulating, hydraulic, and cutting oils, as well as complex blends of hydrocarbons and petroleum mixtures.  Animal and vegetable oils and substances that are normally gases are excluded from the definition.  The definition of “facility” has been modified to mean the property on which the tanks are located, not the tanks themselves.  The property owner is therefore responsible for registration of the tanks, and the tank owner/operator is responsible for operation and maintenance of the tanks.  The “UST system” definition has been modified to match 40 CFR Part 280, which states that a UST system is 10% or more tank volume beneath ground or covered by materials; the definition of “AST system” is now the converse of a UST system.  In addition, exceptions to the “tank system” definition include dispenser systems and flow-through process tanks.


For new UST systems, double-walled tanks and piping are now the only acceptable method of secondary containment, and under-dispenser containment is required for new dispenser systems.  All UST systems must be monitored for leaks weekly, and a monthly operability check of the leak detection system is required.  The 10-day reconciliation process for inventory monitoring is now required only for retail motor fuel UST systems.  Operator training requirements are also being added to comply with federal requirements; operators of UST systems regulated by Part 613 will be required to undergo training and pass an exam within one year.


Delivery prohibitions are incorporated into the regulations for facilities that are identified by NYSDEC as in significant non-compliance.  If tank systems are identified as in significant non-compliance, they will be red-tagged, making delivery or acceptance of delivery of product illegal and subject to enforcement action.  Examples of significant non-compliance include tanks that are leaking or suspected to be leaking, UST systems with equipment violations, or inadequate spill prevention, leak detection, corrosion protection, or secondary containment systems.



For new and existing AST systems installed after December 27, 1986, secondary containment requirements have been clarified.  All ASTs with a design capacity of 10,000 gallons or more must have secondary containment that is able to contain and prevent the release of petroleum leaked from any portion of the AST.  ASTs with a design capacity of less than 10,000 gallons and in close proximity to sensitive receptors are also required to have secondary containment; the revisions have clarified that ASTs within 500 horizontal feet of resources including streams, wetlands, lakes, wells, aquifers, and storm drains must also have secondary containment.  Depending on the facility, a standard double-wall tank may not meet the secondary containment requirements.



Chemical Bulk Storage Revisions:


The revisions to the CBS program consolidate the existing regulations by repealing Part 595 (Releases of Hazardous Substances) and moving those requirements to Parts 597 (Hazardous Substance Identification, Release Prohibition and Release Reporting) and Part 598 (Handling and Storage of Hazardous Substances).  Part 596 (Hazardous Substance Bulk Storage Facility Registration) contains updated definitions and registration information.  Part 597 contains the list of regulated substances, which has been modified to be consistent with federal CERCLA regulations under 40 CFR Part 302.4. 


The reportable quantity (RQ) for each hazardous substance remains unchanged, though the reporting provision has been clarified such that the RQ will apply to a release of a hazardous substance within a 24-hour period.  Part 598 includes operator training and delivery prohibition requirements similar to the PBS regulations, as well as requirements for release reporting, investigation, and corrective action.  Part 599 (Standards for New Hazardous Substance Tank Systems) is revised to be consistent with definitional changes in Part 596.


Visit for additional information, including the full text of the regulations.


For guidance on how the updated regulations may affect your facility, Lindsay can be reached at (315) 457-5200 or by email at  

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Lindsay Reichlein, P.E., CPESC
Lindsay Reichlein, P.E., CPESC>

Lindsay Reichlein, P.E., CPESC

Lindsay provides services for due diligence, stormwater management, petroleum and chemical bulk storage, remediation, and EPCRA compliance. Other posts by Lindsay Reichlein, P.E., CPESC
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