Overview of the storage tank regulations

The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999 (CEPA), establish requirements for storage tank systems under federal jurisdiction. Some of these requirements are found in the Environmental Code of Practice for Aboveground and Underground Storage Tank Systems Containing Petroleum and Allied Petroleum Products (PDF), parts of which are incorporated by reference in the regulations.

The regulations came into force in 2008 to help reduce the risk of releases of petroleum products, such as leaks and spills. At the time, about 15% of systems under federal jurisdiction were more than 20 years old and had no leak detection, corrosion protection, or structures to contain releases.

This section will help you become more familiar with the requirements set out in the regulations and help determine when they apply and how to comply with them. Other reliable and useful tools include a video that explains the application of the regulations and a user's guide for the online Federal Identification Registry for Storage Tank Systems (FIRSTS).

  • Scope of the regulations

    The regulations apply to storage tank systems that (section 2):

    • are comprised of tanks that have a capacity of more than 230 litres and are designed to be installed in a fixed location
    • contain petroleum products such as used oil, home heating oil, jet fuel, diesel and gasoline, or allied petroleum products such as biodiesel, general-purpose thinners for lacquers, isopropanol, uninhibited ethylene glycol and E85 fuel (see Schedule 1 of the Regulations for a complete list of allied petroleum products)
    • are either:
      • located on aboriginal land, including systems owned or operated by band councils or private businesses such as gas stations
      • located on federal land, including systems in federal parks owned or operated by private companies
      • operated by a federal department, board or agency, or owned by the Crown regardless of where the systems are located
      • operated to provide a service to, or belongs to, a federal work or undertaking, including a railway, a port authority, or an airport

    The following storage tank systems do not fall under the Regulations:

    • storage containers with a capacity of 230 litres or less
    • indoor storage tank systems where the building provides the required level of secondary containment
    • pressurized tanks (e.g., for propane)
    • aboveground tanks that have a total combined capacity of 2,500 litres or less and are connected to a heating appliance or an emergency generator
    • storage tank systems regulated by the National Energy Board or the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act
  • New storage tank system installations

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations establish requirements for new storage tank systems, such as:

    • a professional engineer must stamp the design documents for the system (section 34)
    • a person approved to do so by the province or territory in which the system will be installed must perform the installation OR a professional engineer must supervise the installation IF there is no person approved to do so (section 33
    • the product transfer area must be designed to prevent releases in liquid form from reaching the environment during the transfer process
    • an emergency plan must be in place before the first transfer of product to the storage tank system
    • records of the design and installation of the system must be kept for the duration of its lifetime, including one showing that the system was installed by an approved person and “as-built” drawings that have the stamp and signature of a professional engineer (section 46

    Tanks and components

    Inadequate or badly installed tanks and components constitute a common source of leaks and can cause significant contamination of soil and groundwater. All components of a storage tank system must carry a certification mark showing that they meet the standards set out in section 14 of the regulations.

    Underground and aboveground storage tank systems must have:

    • corrosion protection or cathodic protection
    • spill containment
    • containment sumps (as applicable)
    • liquid- and vapour-tight connections
    • overfill protection
    • secondary containment (aboveground tanks only)
    • double-walled (underground tanks only)

    Aboveground tanks include field-erected and shop-fabricated tanks: field-erected storage tanks are usually constructed on-site (e.g., API-653), whereas shop-fabricated storage tanks are manufactured off-site and brought on-site (e.g., ULC-S601).

    New piping must:

    Underground piping up to and including 75 mm in diameter must have secondary containment. Underground piping larger than 75 mm in diameter must have secondary containment or cathodic protection.

  • Identifying your system 

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations require that storage tank system owners identify their system and display the identification number issued for it before the first transfer of product into the system.

    It is important to note that:

    • product delivery may be refused to a storage tank system that does not have a valid identification number displayed in a readily visible location on or near it
    • only an identification number issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada meets section 28 of the Regulations

    The Federal Identification Registry for Storage Tank Systems (FIRSTS) an online application, is the easiest and fastest way to register your system and obtain an identification number.

    To open a FIRSTS account, send an email request to ec.registrereservoir-tankregistry.ec@canada.ca including the following information:

    • confirmation that the company, organization or individual owns a storage tank system which is subject to the regulations
    • legal name of the company, organization or individual that owns the system (this will be the account name), their mailing address and phone number
    • name of the person who will coordinate the identification of storage tank systems for the company, organization or individual (this will be the account administrator), their mailing address, e-mail address and phone number. Note that the administrator must confirm the validity of the request if it comes from a different individual

    The steps to identify a storage tank system are:

    • log into FIRSTS
    • click “New Identification”
    • enter the required information, as listed in Schedule 2 of the Regulations
    • click “Submit Identification”
    • certify the submitted information
    • take note of the identification number generated by FIRSTS

    Identifying a system through FIRSTS takes about half an hour per system. If you do not have internet access, call 1-844-672-8038 to request an identification form by fax or mail. In this case, obtaining an identification number may take up to 3 weeks. You are required to ensure the information submitted in FIRSTS to obtain an identification number for your storage tank system is up-to-date. You have 60 days following any change of information to:

    • log into FIRSTS
    • find the applicable storage tank system using its identification number and click “Select”
    • update the changed information
    • click “Submit Identification”
    • certify the submitted information

    Enforcement actions may be taken against:

    • you, if you do not identify your storage tank system (in violation of section 28)
    • suppliers who supply product to a regulated storage tank system that has not been identified. See the "If you deliver products" section for more information
  • Leak detection and monitoring 

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations, require that owners and operators of storage tank systems be able to detect leaks from their systems. Leak detection and monitoring can alert owners and operators of leaks and, with a well-implemented emergency plan, give them a chance to prevent or limit environmental damage, minimize the danger to people, and reduce the clean-up costs and liability of a leak. If a system has tanks, piping or sumps listed below, leak detection and/or monitoring requirements apply.

    Single-walled underground tanks

    All single-walled underground tanks should now be removed, with the exception of steel tanks that have cathodic protection and tanks made of a material other than steel. Both of which must also have one of the following:

    • leak detection
    • groundwater monitoring wells
    • vapour monitoring

    For exempted systems, you should by now have completed an initial tank precision leak test, and you must have in place an ongoing leak detection program using one of the following methods:

    • an annual precision leak detection test
    • automatic tank gauging
    • continuous in-tank leak detection

    If your single-walled underground tank leaks, you must withdraw it from service immediately and permanently. You have two years from the date the leak is detected to remove it.

    Single-walled underground piping

    Single-walled underground piping should now be removed, with the exception of steel piping that has cathodic protection and non-metallic or copper piping. All of which must also have one of the following:

    • leak detection
    • groundwater monitoring wells
    • vapour monitoring wells
    • single vertical check valves
    • mechanical line-leak detection devices

    For exempted piping, you should by now have completed an initial piping precision leak test, and you must have in place an ongoing leak detection program using one of the following methods:

    • an annual precision leak detection test
    • continuous external leak monitoring
    • automatic tank gauging
    • continuous in-tank leak detection

    If your single-walled underground piping leaks, you must immediately withdraw it from service. You must either replace the piping with approved piping, or permanently withdraw the system from service. In the latter case, you have two years from the date the leak is detected to remove it.

    Horizontal aboveground tanks without secondary containment

    By now, you should have completed an initial visual inspection of your tanks’ walls for leaks and you must have in place an ongoing leak detection program using one of the following methods:

    • an annual precision leak detection test
    • a monthly visual inspection of the walls of the tanks along with inventory reconciliation
    • continuous in-tank leak detection
    • continuous external leak monitoring

    Aboveground piping without secondary containment

    By now, you should have done an initial visual inspection of the piping for leaks and have in place an ongoing leak monitoring program using one of the following methods:

    • an annual precision leak detection test
    • a monthly visual inspection
    • continuous external leak monitoring
    • a corrosion analysis program that is developed and conducted by a corrosion expert and includes at least an annual inspection

    Vertical aboveground tanks without secondary containment

    By now, you should have completed an initial visual inspection of the tanks or of the tank floors and have in place an ongoing leak detection program using one of the following methods:

    • an inspection of the tanks or the tank floors every 10 years from the date of the initial inspection
    • continuous in-tank leak monitoring
    • continuous external leak monitoring

    Sumps

    By now, you should have completed an initial visual inspection of your system if it has turbine, transition, dispenser, or pump sumps, and have in place an ongoing leak monitoring program using one of the following methods:

    • annual visual inspection of the sumps
    • continuous leak monitoring of the sumps
  • Handling leaks 

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations require that owners and operators of storage tank systems take immediate action if they discover or suspect a leak.

    Temporary withdrawal

    You may have reasonable grounds to believe your storage tank system is leaking. For example, if your fuel inventory does not reconcile or you can smell fuel around your site, there might be a leak. In all such cases, you must immediately take the system or the affected component out of service (subsection 3(1)) as well as:

    • keep a record of the date the system or component was withdrawn
    • maintain the cathodic protection if applicable (subsection 43(a))
    • affix a label to the system’s fill pipe stating that the system is temporarily out of service (subsection 43(d)); this will help avoid mistakenly filling a leaking system

    If the leaking component can be isolated and kept isolated until it is repaired or replaced, you may continue to operate your system.

    If circumstances make it impossible to temporarily withdraw the component or system from service, you must without delay (subsection 3(4)): 

    • Minimize any immediate or long-term harm to the environment and human life or health, until it becomes possible to comply fully. This means doing all you can to reduce the amount of product that reaches the environment. For example, if your leak is partway up a tank, you could reduce the volume of product so that the level sits below the leak
    • Notify Environment and Climate Change Canada in writing, explaining the circumstances and the measures taken at ec.registrereservoir-tankregistry.ec@canada.ca or by fax at 819-938-4454

    You must notify your provincial authority responsible for environmental emergency notifications of any release or the likelihood of a release of product to the environment. See the "Reporting a release" section for more information.

    Testing and inspection

    The component, which is leaking or suspected to be leaking, must undergo the proper leak test or inspection before resuming service:

    Underground tanks and piping

    Someone trained in the procedure must do a precision leak test, using a documented and validated method.

    Aboveground vertical tanks

    Someone trained in the procedure must immediately inspect the tank or floor of the tank.

    Aboveground horizontal tanks

    You must do a thorough visual inspection of the tank walls, looking closely for signs of leakage.

    Aboveground piping

    You must do a careful visual inspection of the walls of the piping, looking for signs of leakage

    Turbine, transition, dispenser or pump sumps

    Someone trained in the procedure must immediately test the sump, using a static liquid media leak detection test and validated method.

    Oil-water separator

    You must measure the thickness of the oil and solids layers.

    See section 26 and subsection 35(2) of the regulations for more details. Records of these tests and inspections must be kept. See the "Record keeping for your storage tank system" section for more information.

    Return to service

    The component or system can be returned to service if you make the necessary repairs to ensure it no longer leaks within the two years allowed for a temporary withdrawal.

    However, if a single-walled underground tank leaks, the system must be:

    • permanently withdrawn from service immediately and
    • removed within two years from the date the leak was detected

    If single-walled underground piping leaks, you must immediately permanently withdraw it from service and either:

    • replace it with approved piping
    • permanently withdraw the system and remove it within two years from the date the leak was detected
  • Preparing your emergency plan 

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations require that you have an emergency plan for each of your storage tank systems. This plan must be ready to be implemented before the first transfer of product into the system.

    Releases, leaks, fires and other accidents can happen, and you must have an emergency plan to prevent and limit environmental damage, and minimize the danger to people. Developing a plan will also help reduce your clean-up costs and liability by allowing you to respond to emergencies safely, quickly, and effectively.

    You must adapt your plan to the characteristics of your system and its surroundings:

    • assess different emergency scenarios or possible situations that could be dangerous to people or the environment
    • identify ways to prevent, warn about, prepare for, respond to, and recover from different scenarios, which could include fires, catastrophic tank failures, overfilled tanks, ruptured pipes or hoses, etc.

    It is strongly recommended that you get appropriate help when preparing your emergency plan, which may include hiring an emergency planning professional. If you have an existing plan that meets all of the regulations’ requirements, you may use it as your emergency plan.

    Implementation

    You must always be ready to implement your plan, and ensure that it is easily accessible, at all times, to the people who are required to carry it out. You must keep a copy at the location of your system, if it is a place of work. You must also keep it up to date, including contact information for emergency team members.

    You must provide the civic address of each location where a copy of the plan is kept through the Federal Identification Registry for Storage Tank Systems (FIRSTS).

    Content of the plan

    Product information

    Properties and characteristics of the products stored in your system’s tanks. You can find this information on the safety data sheet provided by your product supplier.

    Tank system capacity

    Maximum amount of product you expect to store in each of the system’s tanks at any time during any calendar year. In most cases, this will be the manufacturer’s suggested fill limit (usually a certain percentage of a tank’s nominal capacity).

    Site characteristics

    Pay special attention to factors that increase the risk of harm to the environment and/or human health. Is your system near a wetland or above an aquifer used for drinking water? Is it located on a hill so that spilled product would flow down the slope? Is there a populated area or underground utility close to the location? Are there any potential hazards nearby? In most cases, you should include a drawing of the site and the surrounding area as well as a description, noting any relevant characteristics. Extra information such as aerial photographs may also be helpful.

    Emergency response measures

    Emergency scenarios that could result in harm to people or the environment, and a step-by-step description of what you intend to do to prevent, warn about, prepare for, respond to, and recover from them.

    Emergency response team and training

    List of people designated to carry out the plan (title/position and/or name), their roles and responsibilities, and any training they need to perform their duties.

    Emergency response equipment

    Type and location of equipment used in your emergency response (for example, shovels, spill kits, fire extinguishers). You can describe in writing where the equipment is kept or show locations on a diagram or map for easier and quicker reference.

    Notification of affected public

    Ways to notify members of the public who may be adversely affected by an emergency, including emergency announcements on local radio and television; door-to-door notification; and use of emergency email, text messages or other social media.

    Please refer to sections 30 to 32 of the Regulations for more details. Enforcement actions may be taken against owners or operators of systems that do not have emergency plans or if your plan does not meet all the requirements.

  • Containment of releases at transfer areas 

    Section 15 of the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations requires that product transfer areas be designed to prevent releases in liquid form from reaching the environment. This applies to your system if the aggregate capacity of its tanks is more than 2 500 litres.

    The regulations define a transfer area as “the area around the connection point between a delivery truck, railcar, aircraft or vessel and a storage tank system [...]”. In other words, it is the area where product is transferred to or from a railcar, aircraft, vessel, or delivery truck. The product can be any petroleum or allied petroleum product subject to the regulations.

    Effective product transfer area

    You must be able to demonstrate that you have ensured the design of the product transfer area is capable of preventing releases that may occur during the transfer process from reaching the environment. For example, you may include a combination of permanent or temporary physical containment, operating procedures and training (fig. 1).

    A product transfer area needs to be designed taking into consideration the particular characteristics of the storage tank system (e.g. location, capacity). Since each tank system is different, each product transfer area will also be different. Taking a step-by-step approach can help you design a product transfer area (fig. 2). Remember that you should keep records of this process. You may have to produce them if your product transfer area is inspected.

    Physical containment

    A spill box alone is not enough to ensure the efficacy of a product transfer area. Similarly, a spill kit is an important part of your emergency plan, but it does not prevent releases. Even though some items of a spill kit can be used to contain certain releases, the kit is more often used for cleaning up after product has been released inside your transfer area.

    According to the characteristics of the storage tank system (frequency of use, etc.) a transfer area may consist of permanent physical containment, such as a concrete pad with sides, or temporary physical containment, such as berms that are inflated during fuel delivery. If temporary physical containment is implemented, keep records of its use.

    Operating procedures

    You may also decide to implement operating procedures to ensure, for example, that the chosen physical containment is used properly and performs as intended. However, errors in carrying out the operating procedures are the most common cause of spills at transfer areas. A design to contain releases at a product transfer area involving a combination of procedures, training and physical containment may help reduce the risk of errors leading to releases to the environment.

    Training

    Training for employees responsible for operating storage tank systems can turn out to be important in the prevention of releases and the reduction of risks to human health and safety. You could plan for different levels and types of training according to the users to ensure that they are well aware of the operating procedures and the measures to take to prevent releases.

  • Reporting a release 

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations require that owners and operators notify their provincial authority responsible for environmental emergency notifications of all releases in liquid form to the environment.

    Releases that must be reported

    The regulations prohibit any release to the environment of a petroleum product or allied petroleum product in liquid form from a storage tank system. The following releases are not considered to have gone into the environment and do not have to be reported:

    • a release that occurs within the secondary containment of a system
    • a release contained within the transfer area of a system

    However, you must enact your emergency plan for these situations. You must in particular:

    • empty the secondary containment of product if applicable (section 13)
    • withdraw the leaking component if the release is the result of a leak (see the "Handling Leaks" section for more information)

    For the purposes of reporting, releases to the environment include everything from slow leaks in piping, to catastrophic tank failures, to overflow or discharges beyond your system’s secondary containment or transfer area. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999) defines a release as including "discharge, spray, inject, inoculate, abandon, deposit, spill, leak, seep, pour, emit, empty, throw, dump, place and exhaust."

    Verbal notification 

    You must notify as soon as possible your provincial authority responsible for environmental emergency notifications, listed below, of any release or the likelihood of a release of product to the environment. The offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    You must also take all reasonable measures compatible with the protection of the environment and public safety to prevent or eliminate any dangerous conditions, or minimize any danger to the environment or to human life or health. This means enacting your emergency plan.

    Written notification

    If 100 litres or more of product has been released in the environment, you must follow up the initial verbal notification with a written report to the designated person listed below. See subsection 41(1) of the regulations for the required content of this report.

    Pacific and Yukon Region

    British Columbia
    Emergency Management BC
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 1-800-663-3456

    Yukon
    Yukon Department of Environment
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 867-667-7244

    Written report designated person

    Regional Director
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    201-401 Burrard Street
    Vancouver BC V6C 3S5
    Fax: 604-666-9059

    Prairie and Northern Region

    Alberta
    Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 780-422-4505 or 1-800-222-6514*

    Saskatchewan
    Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 1-800-667-7525

    Manitoba
    Manitoba Ministry of Sustainable Development
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 204-944-4888 (collect calls accepted within the province)

    Northwest Territories
    Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resource
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 867-920-8130

    Nunavut
    Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resource
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 867-920-8130

    Written report designated person

    Regional Director
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Twin Atria Building
    4999-98th Avenue NW Room 200
    Edmonton AB T6B 2X3
    Fax: 780-495-2451

    Ontario Region

    Ontario
    Spills Action Centre
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 416-325-3000 or 1-800-268-6060*

    Written report designated person

    Regional Director
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    WTC Building
    867 Lakeshore Road
    Burlington ON L7S 1A1
    Fax: 289-313-6709

    Quebec Region

    Quebec
    National Environmental Emergencies Centre
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 514-283-2333 or 1-866-283-2333*

    Written report designated person

    Regional Director
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    105 McGill Street (3rd floor)
    Montreal QC H2Y 2E7
    Fax: 514-496-2087

    Atlantic Region

    Newfoundland and Labrador
    Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 709-772-2083 or 1-800-563-9089*

    New Brunswick
    Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633*

    Nova Scotia
    Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633*

    Prince Edward Island
    Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard
    24-hour verbal notification telephone number: 902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633*

    Written report designated person

    Regional Director
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Queen Square
    45 Alderney Drive
    Dartmouth NS B2Y 2N6
    Fax: 902-426-7924

    *accessible only within province

     

  • Withdrawal and removal of storage tank systems 

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations set out requirements for the withdrawal from service and removal of a storage tank system or component.

    Whether active or inactive, a storage tank system is always a potential hazard. Removing a system or withdrawing it from service must be done properly to ensure there is no danger to people or the environment. Some provinces and territories license or certify persons to remove storage tank systems. In these provinces and territories, only such persons can permanently withdraw a system from service, or remove it. In other provinces or territories, this work must be supervised by a professional engineer. A list of provinces and territories that license or certify persons is available here. Some provincial and territorial authorities provide online directories to help you find a certified person.

    Temporary withdrawal from service

    Section 43 of the regulations requires that you:

    • maintain and operate the cathodic protection (if present) during the entire period the system is withdrawn 
    • attach a label to the system’s fill pipe saying that the system is temporarily out of service (to prevent from mistakenly filling a system that has been withdrawn from service for repairs)
    • keep a record of the date you withdrew the tank or component from service

    If your system or component has been withdrawn from service for more than a year, you must inspect it or test it for leaks before returning it to service. The test you do will depend on the tank type:

    • underground tanks (except vertically oriented underground tanks) or shop-fabricated aboveground tanks require a tank precision leak detection test
    • field-erected aboveground tanks or vertically oriented underground tanks require an inspection of the floor

    A temporary withdrawal must last less than two years. A system that is withdrawn for two or more years must be permanently withdrawn.

    Permanent withdrawal from service

    Per section 44 of the regulations, you must keep a record of the date on which the permanent withdrawal of the storage tank system took place and a record (for example, an invoice) showing that the withdrawal was carried out by an approved person or supervised by a professional engineer, as applicable.

    In addition, you must ensure that:

    • all the liquids and sludge are properly removed and disposed of
    • the tank is purged (emptied) of vapour to less than 10% of the lower flammability limit, and the presence of vapour is checked with a combustible gas meter
    • the withdrawal is done in such a way that it poses no short- or long-term threat to the environment or to human health or safety
    • a label is attached to the fill pipe saying that the tank system is permanently out of service
    • Environment and Climate Change Canada is notified of the system withdrawal from service within 60 days, by updating your tank system identification file through the online Federal Identification Registry for Storage Tank Systems (FIRSTS)

    Removal

    The regulations require that you remove storage tank systems and their components if you permanently withdraw them from service. The requirements for removal depend on the tank type:

    • for underground and shop-fabricated aboveground tanks, remove all tanks, piping and components
    • for field-erected aboveground tanks, remove all piping and components outside the tanks. The tanks themselves may remain in place

    As for the permanent withdrawal, you must keep a record of the date on which the removal of the storage tank system took place and a record (for example, an invoice) showing that the removal was carried out by an approved person or supervised by a professional engineer, as applicable.

    Compulsory withdrawal and removal

    The following pose a risk to the environment and any such existing installations should have been permanently withdrawn from service and removed by now:

    • single-walled underground tanks or piping without leak detection and cathodic protection (that is, protection against corrosion)
    • aboveground tanks installed underground and underground tanks installed aboveground
    • partially buried tanks
  • If you deliver products

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations set out requirements for the delivery of petroleum or allied petroleum products to regulated storage tank systems.

    If you deliver such products to storage tank systems subject to these regulations (see the "Scope of the regulations" section to determine to which systems the Regulations apply), you must:

    • immediately report to the system operator:
      • any release that reaches the environment during the transfer
      • any evidence observed of a leak or of any release
    • keep a record of the identification number issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada of the system (the letters EC followed by a dash and 8 digits, e.g. EC-00001234)

    You are prohibited from filling storage tank systems subject to the regulations that do not have a visible identification number issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada. If you fill such systems, you may be in violation of section 29 of the Regulations and may be subject to enforcement measures as outlined in the Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

    Help your customers comply 

    Share the following information with your customers! Owners of unidentified storage tank systems can easily identify them through the Federal Identificaton Registry for Storage Tank Systems (FIRSTS). FIRSTS generates an identification number as soon as the required information is submitted. Owners that do not have Internet access can request that an identification form be sent to them by fax or mail by calling 1-844-672-8038. The "Identifying your system" section has more information for your customers.

  • Record keeping for your storage tank system

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations require that you maintain specific records for your system and keep them at your place of work nearest to the system.

    Records that you must keep until the system is removed (subsection 46[2])

    All systems

    Vertical aboveground tanks without secondary containment

    Aboveground piping without secondary containment

    New systems (installed after June 12, 2008)

    The emergency plan

    All inspection, detection, monitoring and test records

    All inspection records relating to a corrosion analysis program

    Records relating to as-built drawings and installation

    Records that you must keep for five years (subsection 46[1])

    • inspections and tests carried out (except for those of vertical aboveground tanks without secondary containment) including leak tests on tanks, piping or other components
    • operation and maintenance of oil-water separators
    • disposal of water from tank bottoms
    • inspections relating to a corrosion analysis program (except for those of aboveground piping without secondary containment)
    • temporary or permanent withdrawal from service of a system or component
    • removal of a system or component

    Records relating to drawings and the installation of new systems (section 34)

    The as-built drawings must carry the stamp and signature of a professional engineer and show:

    • outline of all tanks
    • centreline of all piping
    • centreline of all underground electrical power and monitor sensor conduits
    • building foundation outlines
    • property lines
    • secondary containment systems

    These as-built or record drawings must be kept up to date. If you change your system in any way that affects the required information, the drawings must be updated and they must be once more stamped and signed by a professional engineer.

    You must also keep a record of who installed your storage tank system and proof that this person is approved to do so by the province or territory in which the system is installed. See the "New storage tank system installations" section for more information.

    Records for leak testing and inspection (section 27)

    • test or inspection date
    • storage tank system identification number
    • type of petroleum or allied petroleum product stored in the system
    • test or inspection results
    • testing method used
    • name and address of the person and, if applicable, the company that performed the test or inspection
    • components of the corrosion analysis program, if applicable (subparagraph 23[1][a][ii]

    Records for oil-water separators (sections 35 to 37)

    • quantity of disposed free oil and solids layers, the disposal method and the place where it was disposed
    • in the case of a leak or a release, measurements of the free oil and separated solids layers
    • monthly measurements of the free oil and separated solids layer, if there is no electronic monitoring

    Record for disposal of water from the tank bottom (section 40)

    You must dispose of water from the tank bottom in such a way that there is no risk to the environment or human health and keep a record of its disposal, as follows:

    • quantity of tank-bottom water removed
    • date of its removal
    • disposal method
    • place where it was disposed
    • name and address of the person (and company, if applicable) who removed it

    Records for withdrawal and removal of systems or components from service

    Temporary withdrawal
    (less than two years)

    Permanent withdrawal

    Removal

    Date of withdrawal

    Date of withdrawal

    and

    record showing that the system or component was withdrawn by an approved person or supervised by a professional engineer

    Record showing that the system or component was removed by an approved person or supervised by a professional engineer

  • Storage tank regulations checklists 
  • Technical requirements for collapsible fabric storage tanks

    The Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations set forth requirements for the design and construction of storage tank systems installed on or after the day the regulations came into force. One requirement is that storage tanks must be designed and built to one of the recognized standards identified in the regulations. (See Tank tip 4- New storage tank system installations)

    The regulations outline requirements for storage tank systems designed to be installed in a fixed location. At the time the regulations were published, there was no recognized standard for the design and construction of collapsible fabric storage tanks. In 2014, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) published the standard: CAN/CSA-B837-14 - Collapsible Fabric Storage Tanks (bladders). Environment and Climate Change Canada recognizes storage tanks that meet the CSA standard as a legitimate option for storing petroleum products and allied petroleum products.  The standard is available on the Canadian Standards Association website.

    The standard covers minimum requirements for design and construction of a collapsible fabric storage tank that is used for the aboveground storage of petroleum products and allied petroleum products up to and including a capacity of 125,000 L. Installations that have storage tank systems with collapsible fabric storage tanks will be required to meet all applicable sections of the regulations.

If the information you need is not available on our website, contact your regional office or the Storage Tank Program.

Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for convenience of reference and accessibility and does not have an official character. It is of a general nature only. For all purposes of interpreting and applying the Regulations, users must consult the official version of the Storage Tank Systems for Petroleum Products and Allied Petroleum Products Regulations and seek their own legal advice as appropriate.

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