Environmental Permits Handbook
Underground Storage Tank Notification
Persons who have stored petroleum in an Underground Storage Tank after January 1, 1974, or who bring a new underground storage tank system into use must notify the Tennessee Division of Underground Storage Tanks (UST). The notification also is required for:
Tanks removed from the ground are not subject to notification. Examples of other notification exemptions include:
Applicants must submit a completed Notification for Underground Storage Tanks
The form requires information concerning the tank owner, the contact person, the landowner, name and location of facility, description of each tank, certification of compliance for installation, release detection, spill and overfill protection, and evidence of financial responsibility for corrective action.
Upon receipt of a Notification form and the proper fees, the Division reviews the form for completeness, and the applicant is notified of any deficiencies. The Notification is normally reviewed within one (1) week. The Notification does not expire, but any changes to the UST system require submittal of a new form.
Annual tank fees of $125 per tank are required. The fees are deposited into the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Fund. The fund is like an environmental insurance policy which is used for expenditures for investigation, identification, and reasonable and safe cleanup, including monitoring and maintenance, of petroleum release sites within the state.
Owners and operators of USTs are responsible for complying with all general operating requirements, release detection procedures, release reporting and investigation, and applicable Tennessee UST rules and regulations. Requirements may include monitoring and recordkeeping, spill and overfill control, operation and maintenance of corrosion protection, sampling and release response.
When the Division is notified of a leak, the owner is sent a letter that explains how the site should be investigated, the due date for the investigation report and the name of the UST staff person in charge of the site. Once the investigation is complete, the owner must propose how the contamination will be cleaned up through a corrective action plan. This plan must be approved by the Division.
The UST owner must file a closure application whenever a UST is removed from service by removing it from the ground, filling it with an inert solid material or changing the material stored from a regulated product to an unregulated product (e.g., from gasoline storage to water storage).
The closure application must be submitted to the Division and approved before closure can take place. Once the closure is completed, an amended UST Notification Form denoting the change in the UST's status must be submitted.
If a tank owner/operator disagrees with a decision by the Division, it may be appealed to the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Board.
The Division of Underground Storage Tanks is responsible for preventing the degradation of the environment, conserving natural resources and protecting the public health. It does so by providing a coordinated statewide underground storage tank program.
The Division has the right to inspect a facility with USTs as deemed necessary. Penalties for violations can reach to a maximum of $10,000 per day per violation.
UST owners who have properly registered, paid their annual fees and maintained their USTs in substantial compliance may be eligible for assistance with the costs of investigation and cleanup of their leaking USTs. The owner/operator must submit a UST Reimbursement Eligibility Form (enclosed with the initial release letter). The owner will be notified by letter of the status of Fund eligibility. If the site is eligible, a set of Reimbursement Request Forms and instructions will be sent with the letter. The owner or his or her representative must send the completed forms along with proof of payment to the Division to receive reimbursement. Only costs associated with the investigation and cleanup of environmental problems are eligible for reimbursement.
Applications and assistance is obtained from the appropriate Tennessee Environmental Assistance Center. New applicants who need more than one permit can contact their regional Environmental Coordinator for further assistance.
Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information:
UST Rule 1200-1-15: Underground Storage Tank Program
TCA § 68-215-101 et. seq.: Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Act