1. Why are storage tank regulations important?
When petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, leak into the ground, they can cause a variety of problems. If petroleum gets into groundwater, that water can become unusable for drinking or stock watering. Just one gallon of a petroleum product can pollute one million gallons of water. Even groundwater not used to supply drinking water needs is of concern because petroleum products can be carried by the groundwater and may impact subsurface utilities or basements.
To help prevent future contamination and effectively deal with already contaminated sites, Congress established standards for underground storage tanks in 1987. In South Dakota, this federal program is administered by the department. The department has included aboveground storage tanks in its regulations due to the fact they have a potential to leak as well.
The storage tank statutes are found in South Dakota Codified Laws Chapter 34A-2-98, Chapter 34A-2-99, Chapter 34A-2-100, and Chapter 34A-2-101. These statutes authorize the department to develop and implement a regulatory program for storage tanks to ensure protection of human health and the environment. The statutes also define the scope of the program. The regulations outlining the requirements for storage tanks were contained in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota 74:03:28, 29 and 30, but have been recodified by the Legislative Research Council to ARSD 74:56:01 and ARSD 74:56:03.
If you own or operate a facility that has a storage tank which contains a regulated substance, such as petroleum, you must register the tank with the department. Certain types of tanks, such as heating oil tanks, are exempt from regulation. If you own a storage tank and are not sure if it is regulated, please contact the department.
The department has a standardized registration form for all regulated tanks. The form asks for information on the tank size, age, type of construction, type of product stored and other pertinent facts. The department uses this information to evaluate the level of protection to the environment.
If you have any questions concerning the storage tank program, please contact Doug Miller, Terry Florentz, or Justin Allen in Pierre at (605) 773-3296 or E-mail, in Sioux Falls contact Scott Bickler at (605) 362-3500, in Rapid City contact Zachary Burggraff at (605) 394-2229.