Pollutant Storage Tank FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Pollutant Storage Tank program for tank owners.

  • 1. What is the County storage tank law?

    Manatee County does not have its own storage tank rule. NRD is under contract with the Florida Department of Environmental protection for the inspection and regulation of regulated storage tank systems in the County. The applicable rules are Chapter 62-761 and 62-762, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), https://www.flrules.org/.  These are the statewide petroleum storage tank codes for Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs), respectively.

  • 2. Why are pollutant storage tanks regulated?

    During the mid 1980’s, it was acknowledged that Florida had a serious threat to its ground water resources from leaking petroleum storage tanks.  Florida relies on groundwater for approximately 92% of its drinking water needs.  Since one gallon of gasoline can potentially contaminate one million gallons of groundwater, it is not difficult to understand the immense threat to the environment and public health.  Currently there are 972 regulated tanks at 387 facilities in Manatee County. Over 500 discharges have been reported in Manatee County since the late 1980’s.

  • 3. Does NRD have any special permit or plan review requirements for installation, repair, and/or removal of storage tanks and associated systems?

    NRD reviews installations and closures as part of the normal building department review.  Smaller tanks not regulated under FAC are required to meet the installation requirements for regulated systems. Remember to contact NRD 30 days, 48-hours, and 24-hours prior to any installation, repair, or removal activities as required under Chapters 62-761 and 62-762, FAC.

    Contractors must have a special license issued by the State in order to install, remove or perform repairs to an underground tank system. A Closure Assessment must also be performed whenever a tank is removed from a site with no previous contamination history.

  • 4. What kinds of tanks are regulated?

    Underground tanks greater than 110 gallons and aboveground tanks greater than 550 gallons, which contain regulated substances, are subject to the storage tank rules. These substances include gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, new and used oil, pesticides to be applied off-site and many industrial solvents. Unregulated tanks include those at private residences which are not used commercially, septic tanks, heating oil tanks and temporary use aboveground tanks.

  • 5. What are some general requirements for new and existing storage tank systems?

    All new and replacement storage tank systems must have secondary containment, and all remaining single-wall systems must replace their systems with secondary containment by 12/31/2009. Both underground and aboveground tank systems must also be constructed with these features:

    • Overfill and spill containment protection to prevent discharges when the tank is filled.
    • A leak detection system for both tanks and piping which is monitored at least every thirty days.


  • 6. How do I get rid of a heating oil tank at my residence?

    These tanks are unregulated, meaning a licensed contractor is not required for removal. However, tank removal is a hazardous undertaking and spills or leaks must be cleaned up in accordance with the State petroleum cleanup rule (Chapter 62-770, FAC). Therefore, care must be taken during removal to ensure the safety of the contractor and homeowner and to prevent spills. We recommend that experienced tank contractors be used for the job.

  • 7. What kinds of spills require cleanup?

    You must report sheen or free product in the water or soils on or near a regulated facility (one with regulated storage tanks), the results of analytical data from soil or groundwater showing concentrations of regulated substances above State guidelines, or the release of 25 gallons of petroleum or petroleum products to soil or other pervious surface, regardless of the source. If, after a spill or release is reported, DEP determines a contamination problem exists, as defined in Chapter 62-770, FAC, cleanup will be required.

  • 8. How do I report a discharge?

    • Petroleum discharges greater than 25 gallons to land from a regulated storage system within Manatee County should be reported to NRD.  The responsible party (RP) or its agent must then file a Discharge Report Form (DRF , link http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/quick_topics/forms/documents/62-761/761_1.pdf), DEP Form # 62-761.900(1), within 24 hours of discovery of the confirmed discharge.
    • Discharges of petroleum not associated with a regulated storage system, non-petroleum discharges (e.g. hazardous waste), or discharges to water must be reported to State Warning Point at 1-800-320-0519.  Environmental crimes (e.g. illegal dumping) can also be reported by dialing *DEP on your Sprint or Nextel phone.
    • All emergencies (e.g. truck overturned, leaking drums, etc.) should be reported immediately to State Warning Point at 1-800-320-0519 and/or the local fire department (9-1-1). 


  • 9. Who is responsible for cleanup?

    The property owner is ultimately responsible. All owners or operators of regulated systems are required to provide $1,000,000 in cleanup and third party liability coverage for releases. In addition, the State has offered a variety of “amnesty” and assistance programs over the years. Under the conditions of these programs, the State agrees to perform assessment and cleanup at participating sites, after the owner pays a variable deductible fee, dependent on when participation in the program began and for which specific program the owner is eligible. The eligibility dates for all but one of these programs has expired. If you are not now participating, you are not eligible. The Indigent Owner program still exists. Under it, the Department will make arrangements to assist owners in performing cleanup activities and arrange equitable repayment schedules if they are unable to pay for the cleanup themselves.

  • 10. Where can I find a good source for additional information on petroleum storage tanks and petroleum cleanup regulations?

    Download the documents entitled “Your Petroleum Storage Tank Facility Inspection Guide” and “Guide to Florida’s Petroleum Cleanup Program” from the following link: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/pcp/pages/bp.htm