Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs)
Registration of ASTs
Aboveground storage tanks are only required to be registered with NCDENR – UST Section if they meet the definition of an Oil Terminal Facility.
AST Construction Standards
Aboveground storage tank construction standards are addressed in the North Carolina Building Code, Chapter 22 of the North Carolina Fire Code and the National Fire Protection Association Standard 30 and 30A (NFPA 30 and NFPA 30A). Currently, no DENR environmental regulations exist for installation, construction, permitting or monitoring of ASTs.
Questions regarding AST construction standards should be directed to the local and/or county fire prevention departments where the AST is being installed. A list of these fire prevention departments can be found here:
The North Carolina Department of Insurance – Office of State Fire Marshal may also be contacted for questions at (919) 661-5880.
AST Stage I / II Vapor Recovery Requirements
Stage I vapor recovery is required on all service stations/gasoline dispensing facilities that have annual throughputs greater than 50,000 gallons per year. Stage II vapor recovery is only required in certain areas.
Questions regarding Stage I and Stage II controls for ASTs should be directed to the Division of Air Quality at (919) 715-6274.
If an AST has a release, then the release must be reported to the appropriate NCDENR UST Section regional office and must be cleaned up as required by the State. For guidance, please see the Non-UST Program.
Federal Requirements for Prevention of Oil Pollution
EPA's Oil Pollution Prevention regulation (40 CFR Part 112) establishes requirements for facilities to prevent oil spills from reaching the navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines. The rule applies to owners or operators of certain facilities that drill, produce, gather, store, process, refine, transfer, distribute, use, or consume oil.
The regulation applies to non-transportation-related facilities with a total aboveground (i.e., not completely buried) oil storage capacity of greater than 1,320 gallons, or total completely buried oil storage capacity greater than 42,000 gallons. The regulations apply specifically to a facility's storage capacity, regardless of whether the tank(s) is completely filled. In addition to the storage capacity criteria, a facility is regulated if a discharge or release of oil from the facility could enter navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines.
The regulation requires that all regulated facilities have a fully prepared and implemented Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure, or SPCC Plan. More information on EPA’s Oil Pollution Prevention regulations and SPCC plans can be found here: or through EPA Region IV in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 562-8752.
UST Section • 1646 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1646 • (919) 707-8171 • FAX (919) 715-1117