In Texas, a new Senate Bill (SB900) is being voted on by the commissioner’s court in the near future, (already passed by the house) to add a new law for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Waste division to enact a new permitting requirement for all aboveground tanks that are greater than 21,000 gallons (500 bbl.) or more that store chemicals on the CERCLA list to be permitted annually and pay a fee. This will now include currently exempt petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries, and bulk storage terminals.
Some vessels (i.e., tanks) will be exempt from the new law if they are:
- Used for or associated with producing or gathering crude oil or natural gas.
- Part of a stormwater or wastewater collection system.
- Flow-through process tanks, including pressure or process vessels and oil and water separators.
- Operated above 0.5 PSI.
- Heated tanks.
- Intermediate bulk containers that may be moved within a facility.
- Regulated under the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
- Used to store products regulated under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
- Used for managing leachate, methane gas, or methane gas condensate, unless used for storing a regulated substance.
- Used to store liquefied petroleum.
- Regulated under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
This permitting fee is up to $2,000 per year per tank. This new law will affect all aboveground tank owners in the state of Texas regardless of other permits and payments being made to the state currently. The waste division of TCEQ expects compliance with the new law to be in effect immediately and provisions of the law (increased engineering, maintenance items, and ancillary equipment) to be introduced over the next 5-10 years. This would mean that basic aboveground tanks will need a substantial overhaul, and many will need leak detection, automated liquid level gauges, and many more items installed on each of their tanks to be compliant with the new permit law. A calendar of events for operator and owner participation is listed below.
- February 2023: Present the proposed rulemaking package at the commissioners’ agenda meeting.
- Early March 2023: Begin accepting public comments on the proposal.
- March 23, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: Public hearing in Dallas-Fort Worth at the TCEQ Regional Office.
- March 28, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: Public hearing in Beaumont at the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.
- March 29, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: Public hearing in Houston at the Magnolia Multi-Service Center.
- April 3, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: Public hearing in Corpus Christi at the TCEQ Regional Office.
- April 6, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.: Public hearing in Midland at the TCEQ Regional Office.
- April 10, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.: Public hearing in Austin at TCEQ headquarters, also offered virtually.
- August 2023: Present the rule package at the commissioners’ agenda meeting for final adoption.
- September 1, 2027: Registration deadline. TCEQ will provide details about the registration requirements after the rule adoption.
- September 1, 2037: Self-certification deadline for existing vessels. New vessels constructed after Sept. 1, 2027, must certify compliance within 30 days of the start date.
Link to TCEQ Overview.
For more information, please reach out to James Dodd, EHS Support’s Certified Steel Tank Institute (STI) Tank Inspector, and Sr. Health and Safety Specialist.