Frequent Questions

Leasing out empty oil storage containers

A facility leases out empty stationary tanks to other facilities that use the tanks to store oil (e.g., gasoline). The stationary tanks are empty while at the initial facility and eventually leased to other customers to be reused for oil storage. Is the facility that leases out the empty tanks subject to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule if the aggregate aboveground storage capacity of their available tanks for lease exceeds threshold amounts?

There are no exemptions for just empty containers. Under 40 CFR §112.1(d)(2)(ii), the rule is applicable to eligible facilities that have more than an aggregate aboveground storage capacity of 1,320 U.S. gallons of oil. The applicability is based on a facility’s oil storage capacity, not the quantity of oil stored onsite. Unless the empty container has been “permanently closed” as defined in §112.2, the capacity of the container is included in threshold calculations. If a facility exceeds the oil storage capacity threshold amount and meets all the other applicability criteria, the facility is subject to the SPCC rule requirements. Finally, note that any new container, at an otherwise SPCC regulated facility, that has never stored oil, does not count toward the facility threshold until oil is transferred into the container.

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