EHS Management, Special Topics in Environmental Management

Ask the Expert: What Regulations Apply to a 500 Gallon Propane Tank?

An EHS Hero® subscriber recently asked our experts at BLR® what regulations, if any, applied to a 500 gallon propane tank used for an emergency generator. Do aboveground storage tank (AST) rules apply? What about Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans or programs? The answer is brief, but helpful—not only to this individual, but to others who may have similar tanks at their organizations.

Propane tank

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Q: Is a 500 gallon propane tank used for an emergency generator covered under AST or other regulations? Are propane tanks required to be double walled? Do they have to be registered? Are they included in the SPCC plan?

A: According to Title 158 – Chapter 1 – 006 “Storage Tank” shall mean any tank having a storage capacity in excess of one thousand gallons used for the containment of hazardous substances for any period of time. Therefore, they do not have to be registered. Propane tanks should be designed and installed according to NFPA 58 – Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code. There is no specific requirements for tanks to be double walled, however it is recommended that the tanks are barricaded or blocked to prevent contact with moving vehicles. A 500 gallon tank must be installed at least 10 ft from any building. The SPCC rules apply to oil or oil products in excess of 1320 gallons only.

Ask the Expert is a service provided to subscribers of BLR’s EHS Hero product, where experts are ready with answers to your organization’s unique questions surrounding EHS compliance. To learn more and request a trial of EHS Hero, click here.