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above-ground-storage-tank-inspectionAbove ground storage tank (AST) inspection is an inevitable part of life if you’re maintaining large supplies of regulated chemicals. Taking some simple steps will ensure you’re fully prepared when it’s time for your next inspection.

Local regulatory agencies require proper registration of tanks and they routinely conduct above ground storage tank inspections to check for compliance with County and State rules. If they discover you’re not in compliance, they can issue you a Notice of Violations that includes fines and other penalties. Fines can be as much as $1000 per day for non-registered tanks, or $10,000 per tank for other infractions.

Clearly it’s worth your while to ensure everything is in order before someone appears to conduct your above ground storage tank inspection.

Just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Register each tank with the appropriate agency. If you’re within New York City, that’s the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC); otherwise it’s your County health department.
  • Properly label every container.
  • Color code every fill port.
  • Conduct your own monthly, quarterly and annual above ground storage tank inspection, and maintain thorough records of your inspections.
  • Post your operating permit in a prominent place.

Note that some automotive fluids distributors will provide ASTs at no charge, including installation, as long as you purchase the products stored inside exclusively from them. Be aware, though, that you are still responsible for obtaining the proper permits and registrations required for those tanks.

Advance preparation ensures you’re doing the right thing. It’s not only smarter, it’s usually cheaper and ensures fewer surprises or problems, so you have one less thing to worry about.

Photo Credit: Al Pavangkanan

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