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Above Ground Storage TanksAbove ground storage tanks are used by many industry sectors to store all kinds of materials. These tanks are often used to store toxic and flammable materials. Heartland Tank Services notes that API 653 regulations mandate above ground tanks to cut down on environmental contamination and reduce injury to workers. Federal regulations define the requirements and specify which tanks can be used to store a specific material. States have their own regulations and requirements with regard to storage tanks.

About Storage Tanks and Their Use

  • Design: Storage tanks cannot be used for a purpose other than what is permitted under federal and state regulations. Materials used to make tanks have to meet conditions pertaining to pressure, temperature and reactivity with stored materials. Above ground storage tanks also have a number of safety requirements like dikes, retention systems, bypass valves etc.
  • Testing and monitoring: Each container has to be checked for problems and repaired when necessary, as per prescribed regulation. The frequency of tests and type depends on the container’s purpose, design and size.
  • Portable tanks: Mobile and portable tanks have to be transported and stored carefully to prevent discharge and accidents. Regulations require secondary containment methods with a capacity of the largest available container and enough room to contain rainwater.

Regulations pertaining to the use and management of above ground storage tanks are applicable to:

  • Petroleum and related products
  • Fats, grease and oil
  • Fish oils
  • Vegetable oils
  • Diesel fuel
  • Chemicals
  • Gasoline
  • And other hazardous items

Most often than not, regulating the use of ASTs is the responsibility of individual states. These requirements are usually listed out in a state’s environmental laws and also include fire codes. States have to ensure that tanks are painted in specific colors to indicate what materials are stored, along with the pipes and also have alarms installed to prevent serious problems.


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