Underground Storage Tanks
Permitting & Compliance
Effective May 26, 2017, a release must be reported within 24 hours
DHEC's 24-hour Emergency Response Line for Accidental Spills:
How a Compliance Inspection Works
Inspections are normally conducted on a 12 month basis. The inspector will call the tank owner 7 to 10 days prior to schedule the inspection.
One part of the inspection process will be a records review. Note: UST systems that store fuel solely for use by emergency power generators installed on or before May 23, 2008 must conduct release detection by May 26, 2020. The following is a list of the minimum records that will be needed for the review (dependent upon equipment in place, methods in use, and manufacturer specifications):
- Current Registration Certificate posted in a visible location
- Most recent twelve months of passing tank release detection records:
- Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG)
- Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR)
- Interstitial Monitoring (IM)
- Groundwater Monitoring (GM)
- Vapor Monitoring (VM)
- Manual Tank Gauging (MTG)
- Most recent twelve months of passing line release detection records:
- Electronic Line Leak Detector (ELD)
- Interstitial Monitoring/Sump Sensors (IM,SS)
- Statistical Inventory Reconciliation (SIR)
- Most recent testing records:
- Line tightness test
- Annual Line Leak Detector function check (electronic leak detectors with position statements are no longer exempt)
- Sump sensor function check
- Spill prevention equipment and containment sumps used for interstitial monitoring must be tested once every three years (or use a double-walled containment sump/spill bucket with monthly interstitial monitoring). The initial test must be conducted before May 26, 2020
- Release detection equipment must be tested for proper operation at least annually.
- Overfill prevention equipment must be inspected at least once every three years. The initial test must be conducted before May 26, 2020.
Note: All testing and equipment checks are required to be documented on a DHEC form, a DHEC-approved form or in a format approved by DHEC.
If you wish to use your own form please submit it to DHEC for prior approval. Underground Storage Tank (UST) forms can be found at www.scdhec.gov/Environment/PermitCentral/ApplicationForms/.
- The second part of the inspection process is a complete walkthrough of the associated tank system equipment. Underground storage tank (UST) systems are inspected by the Department annually under authority of SC UST Control Regulation 61-92, Part 280. Section 280.34 of this regulation requires owners and operators of UST systems to cooperate fully with inspections, monitoring and testing conducted by the Department. Granting access and making the UST system equipment accessible for the inspector is an important part of this process. The Department inspector may assist tank owners in certain non-routine circumstances with physically accessing their UST equipment. In these cases, the owner/operator is required to make this request in advance of the inspection and subsequently oversee the Department inspector while accessing subsurface and locked areas.
The following items will be inspected:
- Spill buckets & Fill ports
- Vapor recovery ports (if present)
- Submersible turbine pumps and corresponding equipment (if present)
- ATG ports (if present)
- Equipment underneath dispenser skirts
- Vent lines
- Rectifier box (if present)
- Cathodic protection wiring throughout parking lot (if present)
Even though the Division does not directly regulate them, inspectors will gather information about the following items:
- Aboveground storage tanks (if present)
- Closest water supply well (both public and private)
Once the information gathering is complete, the inspector will issue one of the following:
- An In Compliance Letter, or
- A Notice of Alleged Violation
If an In-Compliance Letter is issued, it means that everything is in compliance with the regulations and no follow-up is needed.
If a Notice of Alleged Violation (NOAV) is issued, it means that follow-up in some form may be required. The NOAV will instruct the tank owner on what must be done to return to compliance again. It will also give a 30 day due date. Once the due date has passed, if the facility still remains out of compliance, the Division will begin the delivery prohibition process.
Another requirement to gain compliance after a NOAV is issued, is for the A/B operator to complete retraining. This is required per the Operator Training requirements (Part 280.240). If the Class A/B operator is present at the time of the inspection, the inspector may perform retraining at that time. Otherwise, the NOAV will instruct the tank owner to have the A/B operator contact the Division prior to the due date to complete retraining.