Health Services

Registration of Toxic and Hazardous Materials Storage Facilities

Article 12 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code requires that toxic and hazardous material storage facilities be registered with the department of health services. Registration is a process of informing the county of the existence of storage tanks, both above and underground, drum storage areas or other storage vessels that contain chemical substances that can contaminate groundwater.

Registration is a process of informing the County of the existence of storage tanks , both above and underground, drum storage areas or other storage vessels that contain chemicals substances that can contaminate groundwater.

The purpose of registration is to have an inventory of hazardous materials storage sites throughout Suffolk County and to allow for the effective enforcement of the codes which regulate this storage.

The registration process consists of completing a form provided by the department and remitting a fee to cover the costs of administering the registration program.

Permits For Storage Tanks

The Bureau of Environmental Engineering issues both a permit to construct and a permit to operate.

The first permit, the permit to construct (Form HMM - 001), is like a building permit. A tank owner must obtain this permit to install an above or below ground tank or a drum storage area.

In order to obtain the permit, an individual submits an application packet. The packet consists of a completed application for a permit to construct form, a full set of drawings depicting the proposed construction or installation, a completed registration form and a check in the amount of the appropriate fee.

The application and registration form must be signed by the prospective tank owner or his agent, usually a consulting engineer or architect. The drawings must be prepared by, sealed and signed by a registered professional engineer or architect licensed in the state of New York.

The application packet is forwarded to the bureau of environmental engineering and reviewed for compliance with Article 7 and Article 12 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code and all pertinent construction standards and guidelines.

After the review process is complete, a letter of approval or rejection will be sent to the owner or the consulting engineer. If the project is approved, then the permit to construct is issued and is valid for a period of one year. It can be renewed each year.

If the application is rejected, the letter from the reviewing engineer will state what the deficiencies were in the drawings or application packet. Usually, the drawings are revised and resubmitted. If the application was rejected pursuant to Article 7 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code, then the prospective tank owner must revise the plan to comply with Article 7 or seek a board of review hearing. Once the tank owner obtains the permit to construct, he can then build, construct or install his toxic and hazardous storage tanks or drum storage area.

Periodic construction inspections are performed by the Department of Health Services inspectors as the work proceeds. After a satisfactory final inspection, a permit to operate is issued.

A permit to operate, the second type of permit issued by the Bureau of Environmental Engineering, is necessary to maintain a storage facility for toxic and hazardous materials.

The permit must be renewed annually and a permit renewal fee must be paid in order to renew the permit. The annual fee is calculated on the total volume of storage at a site.

CALL (631) 854-2540 IF YOU NEED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON PERMITS

Instructions For Toxic/Hazardous Materials Storage Registration

Registration is required for -
  • Chemical Tanks - For each process tank, mixing vat, or holding tank with an individual nominal volume in excess of 80 gallons or a combination of smaller tanks with a combined nominal volume in excess of 250 gallons that contain toxic or hazardous materials. This includes both raw and waste materials.
  • Petroleum Storage Tanks - All petroleum storage including fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, diesel, waste oil, and lubricating oil tanks. The only exception is for fuel oil, kerosene, and diesel tanks with an individual or combined volume of less than 1100 gallons used for on-site heating or intermittent power production which are not located within geographic areas regulated by Article 7 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.
  • Compartmented Tanks - Each compartment of a compartmented tank must be registered as an individual tank.
  • Abandoned Tanks - All abandoned and out of service tanks.
  • Temporarily Out-Of-Service - All tanks which meet the temporarily out-of-service criteria set forth in Article 12 must be registered as "in use".
  • Portable Container/Drum Storage Areas - Each indoor storage area designed to hold five or more 55 gallon drums or the equivalent. Each outdoor storage area of any size. Drums and portable containers must be stored indoors unless prevented by pertinent fire or insurance regulations.
  • Exceptions - Tanks containing pressurized gasses such as chlorine, propane, hydrogen, nitrogen need not be registered.

Steps to Follow for Registration

Draw a plot plan similar to the attached Sample Plot Plan indicating ail tanks and drum storage areas (show only those indoor storage areas of 5 or more 55 gallon drums) and identify each with consecutive numbers starting with 1. Number all tanks before assigning numbers to drum storage areas.

Fill out the registration form completely by writing in the required information or checking the appropriate boxes. Include your principal property tax code in the appropriate boxes. This tax code number can be found on your tax statement. List all tanks and drum storage areas using the corresponding numbers from your plot plan in the column labeled "Tank Number". Indicate the total capacity for each tank over 80 gallons and for each drum storage area in the column labeled "Capacity". For each drum storage area write the words "Drum Storage" in the column labeled "Other Materials".

Indoor, above ground tanks less than 80 gallons need not be registered if the total tank volume is less than 250 gallons. if the total tank volume is greater than 250 gallons, then the total number of tanks with an individual volume of less than 80 gallons should be written in the column labeled "Capacity" and the words "less than 80 gallons" should be written in the column labeled "Other Materials".

Prepare a check to cover the registration fee as per the enclosed fee schedule. A fee is not required for properly abandoned tanks (as defined in Article 12) Make checks payable to: Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

Keep a copy of the registration form and mail the remaining copies, plot plan, and fee to:

Suffolk County Department of Health Services
15 Horseblock Place
Farmingville, N.Y. 11738

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I have to register my tank?
All storage facilities containing Toxic or Hazardous Materials must be registered by submitting a Toxic Liquid Storage Registration Form to the Department of Health Services. There are exceptions for sites that only contain heating oil with a total volume of less than 1100 gallons, for sites with less than 250 gallons in portable container, and for sites with less than 2000 pounds of bulk solid material. See Article 12 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code for a more details.

When do I need to apply for an application to install a tank?
All storage facilities containing Toxic or Hazardous materials must file an Application for Permit to Construct (Form HMM - 001) before installing a tank. The application package must include the permit form, Toxic or Hazardous Material registration form, and plans prepared by an engineer or architect licensed in New York State. The following storage facilities are exempt from obtaining Permits to Construct -
  • Indoor heating oil tanks not located within Groundwater Management Zones and Water Supply Sensitive Areas as defined by Article 7 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.
  • Outdoor heating oil tanks less than 1100 gallons which are not located in within Groundwater Management Zones and Water Supply Sensitive Areas as defined by Article 7 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.
  • Residential heating oil tanks which are indoors, aboveground outdoor and less than 1100 gallons, or underground and less than 1100 gallons.
  • Liquid storage in portable containers where the total storage on-site is less than 250 gallons.
  • Bulk storage of solids where the total storage on-site is less than 2000 pounds.
  • For a more detailed explanations of exemptions see Article 12 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.

What is a Storage Facility?
Storage Facility means tanks, pipes, vaults, buildings, yards, pavements or fixed containers used or designed to be used, either singly or in any combination thereof, for the storage and/or transmission of toxic or hazardous materials or for the storage of portable containers containing toxic or hazardous materials. This shall include skid or wheel mounted tanks if they are used for storing toxic or hazardous materials in a manner that could be accomplished by use of fixed or permanently installed tanks, but shall not include the temporary use of wheeled or skid mounted tanks for the purpose of dispensing petroleum products into "off- road" vehicles and other equipment used for construction-related purposes at construction sites, or for temporary use at spill cleanup or groundwater remediation sites

What type of tanks may be used?
All underground tanks must be non-corrodible, generally either fiberglass or cathodically protected steel. Underground tanks must be double walled, except residential tanks which may be single walled. The type of tank required for aboveground use varies by application.

Does my underground tank ever have to be removed?
Most tanks should have been removed in 1990. These include all steel or unpermitted tanks carrying toxic or hazardous materials other than fuel oil. Fuel oil tanks do not have to be removed unless they are leaking. Fuel oil tanks greater than 1100 gallons must be tightness tested every five years.

Are any materials prohibited from being stored in Suffolk County?
There are limitations on the storage of Restricted Toxic or Hazardous Materials that may be stored in Groundwater Management Zones and Water Supply Sensitive Areas. See Article 7 of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code for more detailed information.

Do I have to test my tanks?
Most underground tanks have been replaced with single or double-walled non-corrodible tanks, and therefore, do not require testing. However, if your underground tanks were not replaced, such as tanks for on-site heating oil, emergency generator and diesel fueled irrigation pumps, then these underground tanks must be tested.

The Suffolk County Sanitary Code requires that the initial test for these tanks should have been on the tenth anniversary of their installation, and then once every five years thereafter. For example - a tank installed in 1977 should have been tested in 1987, 1992, and 1997. This applies to underground tanks with a capacity equal to or greater than 1100 gallons. Smaller tanks do not require testing.

Aboveground storage tanks need not be tightness. However, a professional engineer licensed in New York State must inspect aboveground tanks exceeding 10,000 gallons capacity, every seven years. Inspection requirements can be obtained from SCDHS. Test results must be submitted to SCDHS upon completion and within thirty (30) days of actual inspection.

Who can test my tanks?
Only tank testing companies licensed by Suffolk County can test tanks required to be tested by the Sanitary Code. In order to obtain a list of licensed tank testers call (631) 854-2517.

How do I become a licensed tank tightness tester?
Both the tank tightness testing company, and the individual testers must be licensed by Suffolk County as described below.

Company Licensing

In order to obtain a company license to perform testing of underground tanks and product lines within Suffolk County, a company must possess the following:
  • A complete tank and line testing system; from an approved equipment manufacture, in good working order;
  • Safety, plumbing, electrical and other support equipment as required by the Department.
Procedure for obtaining the license includes, but is not limited to:
  • An inspection of all the basic testing equipment,
  • An inspection of all the support equipment, and
  • A demonstration of the use of the equipment.

Individual Tank and Line Testing Licenses

In order to obtain an individual license to perform testing of underground tanks and product lines within Suffolk County, the individual must meet the following requirements:
  • Applicant must present documentation that he has received satisfactory training from the equipment manufacturer or his duly authorized representative regarding use of the testing equipment
  • Applicant must pass a written examination given by the Department.
  • Applicant must demonstrate the proper use of the equipment in an field examination.

Where can I get more information on Toxic or Hazardous Material storage in Suffolk County?
Call the Bureau of Environmental Engineering at (631) 854-2528.