Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors
Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law
12/1/2020

Article 9. Storage Tanks.

§ 62.1-44.34:8. Definitions.

The following terms as used in this article shall have the meanings ascribed to them:

"Aboveground storage tanks" means any one or combination of tanks, including pipes used to contain an accumulation of oil at atmospheric pressure, and the volume of which, including the volume of the pipes, is more than ninety percent above the surface of the ground. This term does not include (i) line pipe and breakout tanks of an interstate pipeline regulated under the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979 or the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968, as amended, and (ii) flow through process equipment used in processing or treating oil by physical, biological, or chemical means.

"Facility" means any development or installation within the Commonwealth that deals in, stores or handles oil, and includes aboveground storage tanks. This term does not include underground storage tanks or pipelines.

"Oil" means oil of any kind and in any form, including, but not limited to, petroleum and petroleum by-products, fuel oil, lubricating oils, sludge, oil refuse, oil mixed with other wastes, crude oils and all other liquid hydrocarbons regardless of specific gravity.

"Operator of an underground storage tank" means any person in control of, or having responsibility for, the daily operation of the underground storage tank.

"Owner of an underground storage tank" means:

1. In the case of an underground storage tank in use or brought into use on or after November 8, 1984, any person who owns an underground storage tank for the storage, use, or dispensing of regulated substances; and

2. In the case of an underground storage tank in use before November 8, 1984, but no longer in use after that date, any person who owned such tank immediately before the discontinuation of its use.

The term "owner" shall not include any person who, without participating in the management of an underground storage tank or being otherwise engaged in petroleum production, refining, and marketing, holds indicia of ownership primarily to protect the holder's security interest in the tank.

"Person" means an individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, corporation, including a government corporation, partnership, association, any state or agency thereof, municipality, county, town, commission, political subdivision of a state, any interstate body, consortium, joint venture, commercial entity, the government of the United States or any unit or agency thereof.

"Regulated substance" means an element, compound, mixture, solution, or substance that, when released into the environment, may present substantial danger to the public health or welfare, or the environment. The term "regulated substance" includes:

1. Any substance defined in § 101 (14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, but not any substance regulated as a hazardous waste under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976; or

2. Petroleum, including crude oil or any fraction thereof, which is liquid at standard conditions of temperature and pressure (sixty degrees Fahrenheit and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute).

"Release" means any spilling, leaking, emitting, discharging, escaping, leaching, or disposing from an underground storage tank or facility into ground water, surface water, or upon lands, subsurface soils or storm drain systems.

"Responsible person" means any person who is an owner or operator of an underground storage tank or an aboveground storage tank at the time a release is reported to the Board.

"Underground storage tank" means any one or combination of tanks, including connecting pipes, used to contain an accumulation of regulated substances, and the volume of which, including the volume of the underground connecting pipes, is ten percent or more beneath the surface of the ground. Exemptions from this definition and regulations promulgated under this article include:

1. Farm or residential tanks having a capacity of 1,100 gallons or less and used for storing motor fuel for noncommercial purposes;

2. Tanks used for storing heating oil for consumption on the premises where stored;

3. Septic tanks;

4. Pipeline facilities, including gathering lines, regulated under: (i) the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968, (ii) the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979, or (iii) any intrastate pipeline facility regulated under state laws comparable to the provisions of law in (i) or (ii) of this subdivision;

5. Surface impoundments, pits, ponds, or lagoons;

6. Storm water or waste water collection systems;

7. Flow-through process tanks;

8. Liquid traps or associated gathering lines directly related to oil or gas production and gathering operations; and

9. Storage tanks situated in an underground area, such as a basement, cellar, mineworking, drift, shaft, or tunnel, if the storage tank is situated upon or above the surface of the floor.

1987, c. 528; 1989, c. 430; 1992, c. 819; 1996, cc. 737, 979.

§ 62.1-44.34:9. Powers and duties of Board.

The Board is responsible for carrying out the provisions of this article and compatible provisions of federal acts and is authorized to:

1. Enforce the interim prohibition provisions in § 9003 (g) of United States Public Law 98-616. Until state underground storage tank standards promulgated by regulation become effective, the Board shall enforce the federal interim standard which prohibits installation of an underground storage tank for the purpose of storing regulated substances unless such tank:

a. Will prevent releases due to corrosion or structural failure for the operational life of the tank;

b. Is cathodically protected against corrosion, constructed of noncorrosive material, or designed in a manner to prevent the release or threatened release of any stored substance; and

c. The material used in the construction or lining of the tank is compatible with the substance to be stored.

2. Exercise general supervision and control over underground storage tank activities in this Commonwealth.

3. Provide technical assistance and advice concerning all aspects of underground storage tank management.

4. Collect such data and information as may be necessary to conduct the state underground storage tank program.

5. Apply for such federal funds as may become available under federal acts and transmit such funds to appropriate persons.

6. Require notification by owners of underground storage tanks in accordance with the provisions of § 9002 of United States Public Law 98-616.

7. Require notification by owners of property who have actual knowledge of underground storage tanks on such property that were taken out of service before January 1, 1974; however, the civil penalties specified in § 9006 (d) of United States Public Law 98-616 shall not apply to the foregoing notification requirement.

8. Promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out its powers and duties with regard to underground storage tanks in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations.

9. Require the owner or operator of an underground storage tank who is the responsible person for the release to undertake corrective action for any release of petroleum or any other regulated substance when the Board determines that such corrective action will be done properly and promptly by the owner or operator of the underground storage tank from which the release occurs, regardless of when the release occurred; or undertake corrective action for any release of petroleum or any other regulated substance into the environment from an underground storage tank if such action is necessary, in the judgment of the Board, to protect human health and the environment.

10. Seek recovery of costs incurred, excluding moneys expended from the Virginia Petroleum Storage Tank Fund which are governed by § 62.1-44.34:11, for undertaking corrective action or enforcement action with respect to the release of a regulated substance from an underground storage tank or oil from a facility.

1987, c. 528; 1989, c. 430; 1992, c. 819; 1993, c. 231; 1996, c. 737.