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When storage tanks leak, their contents can harm the environment and pose a threat to public health.
Storage Tank Regulations were passed in 1997 to ensure that new tanks do not create more problems. The regulations set requirements for storing hazardous substances including petroleum products, and for keeping records of certain products.
Yukon's Storage Tank Regulations apply to tanks on private property and Yukon Government land. Storage tanks on federal land are not subject to these regulations, but are regulated under federal law.
The Regulations apply to new or altered tanks located both above and below the ground. They also specify that tanks must be removed when they are of no further use or have been out of service for a year.
The need for a permit depends upon the exact size of the tank, what substance it will hold, and whether it will be installed above or below ground. If you are installing or building a storage tank in the Yukon, find out whether a permit is required. The following information outlines the requirements.
Underground Storage Tanks
- Permits are required for all volumes of underground tanks for petroleum products (except for tanks with a capacity of 4,000 litres or less which supply fuel to heat buildings).
- Underground storage of hazardous substances other than petroleum products is not allowed.
- Note that all underground storage tanks must be double-walled.
Aboveground Storage Tanks
Permits are required if the tank, or a system of connected tanks:
- holds more than 4,000 litres of petroleum products; or
- holds 2,000 litres or more of hazardous substances (ie. substances other than petroleum products).
Out-of-Use Storage Tanks
- Permits are required when:
- a tank is no longer used, or has been out of service for a year or more; or
- a storage facility, such as a gas station, is being closed down.
- The permits provide direction when removing, decommissioning or abandoning storage tank systems and storage facilities.
Permits are not needed for:
- tanks or tank systems for petroleum products with a capacity of 4,000 litres or less, that are used to supply fuel to heat buildings;
- tanks that are used to store crude oil;
- above-ground storage tanks or tank systems with a capacity of less than 2,000 litres that are used for hazardous substances (other than petroleum products); or
- tanks used to store non-hazardous substances, such as water.
Certain other national standards apply, regardless of whether or not a permit is required. These include:
- the Environmental Codes of Practice for Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) and Underground Storage Tanks (UST);
- CSA B-139, which applies to oil-fired appliances; and
- the National Fire Code (NFC), which requires testing of tanks that have been temporarily out of service, and checking of product volume in tanks that are out of service seasonally (i.e. during the winter months).
The best way to detect a leaking tank quickly is by keeping track of what goes into and out of the tank. Inventory records must be kept for:
- all underground storage tanks for motive fuel;
- all aboveground storage tanks which hold more than 4,000 litres of motive fuel;
- any storage tanks which hold more than 4,000 litres of heating fuel. A meter must be installed on these tanks to measure the fuel going to the heating system.
If shortages are discovered through inventory record keeping, tests will be required to determine the exact cause of the shortages (e.g. a leaking tank).
The Environment Act (s.121) lays out requirements for contingency plans (what to do in case of a spill) or for further site investigations or clean-up.
Important note: The permitting system under the Environment Act was updated in 2014. For more information review the Permitting System web page.
- Storage Tank Regulations 34 KB
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