Registration, Fees, and Financial Assurance
Registration of regulated underground storage tanks is required of tank owners in Arkansas. A tank owner of aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) may choose to register the ASTs for the purpose of allowing potential eligibility for reimbursement under the Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund. Once a tank facility is registered, a registration certification is issued in the owner's name and should be kept in a conspicuous location at the facility. A registration renewal sticker for the certificate is mailed to tank owners each year upon payment of annual tank registration fees.
Underground and aboveground storage tank registration fees help DEQ cover the cost of administering the Regulated Substance Storage Tanks Program. A portion of the aboveground storage tank registration fees goes to the Arkansas State Police to fund the state fire marshal's supervision of aboveground storage tank program operational standards found in the state fire code.
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Underground Storage Tank (UST) Fees
UST owners are responsible for paying registration fees to DEQ. Any tank or combination of tanks (including underground connecting pipes) used to contain regulated substances is considered to be underground when 10 percent or more of the substance in the tank(s) and piping is beneath the surface of the ground.
Regulated substances include petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, motor oil, etc.) and hazardous substances found on the 101(14) list of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980. (This list does not include any substance regulated as a hazardous waste.)
The following USTs are exempt from registration and annual fee payment:
- USTs with a capacity of less than 110 gallons
- Farm or residential USTs of 1,100 gallons or less capacity used for storing motor fuel for noncommercial purposes
- Other USTs as listed in 40 CFR 280.10
Annual fees are billed in May and are due June 30 each year. Fees billed at other times for new or transferred tanks must be paid before a regulated substance can be delivered into the tank(s). A late charge of $5 per tank will be assessed for invoices unpaid by the due date.
Owners of USTs that are no longer being used still must pay annual fees until the USTs have been permanently closed in accordance with regulations.
When a facility is sold, the new owner must register the USTs and pay the required tank fees PRIOR to receiving delivery of a regulated substance into the tanks, but no more than 30 days from the purchase date. Fees are nontransferable.
Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Fees
Aboveground storage tanks that store between 1,320 and 40,000 gallons of a refined petroleum product may be registered at the option of the owner or operator for the purpose of allowing potential eligibility for reimbursement under the Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund. (Act 584 Regular Session, 2017)
If an owner or operator of an aboveground storage tank that contains petroleum chooses to register the aboveground storage tank, a certification of registration must be obtained and the storage tank registration fees must be paid.
The following ASTs are exempt from registration and annual fee payment:
- Mobile ASTs used to transport petroleum
- ASTs used in production of petroleum or natural gas
- Farm ASTs whose contents are used for agricultural purposes only and not held for resale
For additional information about ASTs, contact the state fire marshal's office at 501-618-8624.
Owners or operators of all underground storage tank systems as defined by APC&EC Regulation 12 are required to show that they have the financial resources for taking corrective action and compensating third parties for damages in case a release occurs. The amount of coverage required depends on the type and size of the business. EPA produced a 16-page booklet, “Dollars and Sense,” that presents these requirements.
UST owners and operators have several options for meeting the financial assurance requirements; they can:
- Obtain insurance coverage from an insurer or a risk retention group
- Demonstrate self-insurance using a financial test
- Obtain corporate guarantees, surety bonds, or letters of credit
- Place the required amount into a trust fund administered by a third party
- Rely on coverage provided by a state financial assurance fund
Local governments have four additional compliance mechanisms tailored to their special characteristics:
- A bond rating test
- A financial test
- A guarantee
- A dedicated fund
The Arkansas Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund is the financial assurance method used by most UST owners or operators in Arkansas.