Why were the regulations revised?
South Carolina is required by the Federal Regulation to submit an application for state program approval. As part of the state program approval process, the state is required to revise the SC UST Control Regulations to be at least as stringent as the Federal. If SC failed to update the UST regulations as necessary and failed to obtain state program approval, EPA would have direct oversight over compliance and enforcement activities. Owners and operators would not only be subject to compliance with S.C. regulations, but also federal UST regulatory requirements.
Does this impact how much I pay in fees?
No, there is no impact on registration fees.
Will I have to apply for a new permit?
No, the regulation revisions do not impact your permit status.
If I sell my gas station, is there paperwork that has to be turned in? Who is responsible?
The regulation requires the new owner to notify the Department within 30 days after purchase; however until we receive the appropriate paperwork and can confirm the change in ownership, all correspondence will continue to be provided to the tank owner that is listed in our database.
If I want to install tanks for a new gas station, are there any changes to what equipment can be installed?
Yes, the regulation will no longer allow the installation of one type of overfill prevention, the ball float vent valve (flow restrictor). Please refer to Section 280.20(c) of the regulation.
If I am a B operator, is there new training that I have to take?
The regulation requires that all B operators that became certified operators in SC prior to May 26, 2017, complete supplemental training no later than May 26, 2020. The supplemental training is free of charge. A link to the training is located on the SC DHEC website at www.scdhec.gov. If you are unable to take the online training, please call 803-898-0589 for assistance.
New B operators must still complete operator training. The operator training program has been revised to include the new regulatory requirements that went into effect on May 26, 2017. It is free of charge. New B operators can register to take the training at the following webpage https://www.scdhec.gov/Apps/Environment/USTOperatorTraining/. If you do not have access to a computer to take the online training, please call 803-898-0589 for assistance.
SC's operator training plan combines the training for A and B operators. If an operator has completed our online training program, they are considered to be A/B operators.
How does the regulation revision impact inspections? Are there new things I have to provide to the inspector?
Please visit our Compliance Inspection page at http://www.scdhec.gov/Environment/LW/UST/PC/ComplianceInspections/ for more detailed information. There are new requirements for periodic testing/functionality checks for various equipment, as well as periodic walkthrough inspections. The regulation now requires all testing and equipment functionality checks, as well as walkthrough inspections to be documented using a Department form or a Department approved form. If you wish to use your own form, or if your contractor wishes to use their own form, it must be approved by Department personnel. Please call 803-898-0589 for additional information. Please keep in mind that if there are any equipment repairs, the owner must keep records of all repairs on file until the UST system is permanently closed, or undergoes a change-in-service (switching to a non-regulated product, etc. In addition, if any areas of secondary containment are repaired, a tightness test must be conducted. Please visit our System Closures page at http://www.scdhec.gov/Environment/LW/UST/PC/USTSystemClosures/ for more detailed information.
Please understand that Underground storage tank (UST) systems are inspected by the Department annually under the 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 by 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.
Does the regulation require anything different with financial responsibility?
The Certificate of Financial Responsibility is no longer required to be provided to the inspector; however, it is still required to be submitted with financial responsibility documentation to the Department. If you are using a Letter of Credit as your financial responsibility mechanism, the bank is now required to notify the Department if the Letter of Credit will not be renewed.
I've heard that I'm going to be required to have someone do "walkthrough" inspections? What is this? And, who can do them?
Walkthrough inspections are required by Section 280.36 of the UST Control Regulations. The owner can select someone to complete the walkthrough inspections. The individual that completes the walkthrough inspections must be qualified, familiar with operation and maintenance of the equipment. The person completing the walkthrough inspections does not have to be a designated A/B operator; however, the designated A/B operator should make sure their required activities are being completed. Please visit our Walkthrough Inspections page for additional information regarding walkthrough inspections. Forms for walkthrough inspections can be found also at the link listed above.
Spill bucket testing is required every three years; can I do this test myself? Or, do I have to hire someone to do it?
The regulation does not require 3rd party testing companies to conduct this testing. You may do the hydrostatic testing yourself. Forms are available on our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Environment/PermitCentral/ApplicationForms/ or call 803-898-0589 to request a form.
Where can I find out what is required?
The following link (link to SC UST Regulation Revision Effective May 26, 2017 page) will take you to a general information website where you can find a brochure which outlines the general requirements and provides specific deadlines for different requirements. Another good source of information is the B operator supplemental training which can be found at the following link https://www.scdhec.gov/Apps/Environment/USTOperatorTraining/.
Where do I find forms?
Forms are located on our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Environment/PermitCentral/ApplicationForms/ or, you may call 803-898-0589 to request forms, or if you need any additional guidance. Remember, if you or your 3rd party testing company wishes to use their own form(s) to document walkthrough inspection activities, periodic equipment checks or testing, they must get pre-approval from the program to do so.
How do I get a copy of the regulation? Is there one on the DHEC website that I can print out?
The regulation can be found here. If you would like to request a paper copy, please feel free to call 803-898-0589 for assistance.
With the requirements for documenting testing results and other compliance activities, are there forms available on the website? Or, can I use my own form to document the activities.
The Department has all forms available on our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Environment/PermitCentral/ApplicationForms/; however, if you wish to use your own form, please feel free to submit the form(s) for approval. At a minimum, the forms should include all of the information that is listed on the related Department form.