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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 3392 (June 24, 2023).

25 Pa. Code § 78a.56. Temporary storage.

§ 78a.56. Temporary storage.

 (a)  Except as provided in § §  78a.60(b) and 78a.61(b) (relating to discharge requirements; and disposal of drill cuttings), the operator shall contain regulated substances and wastes used at or generated at a well site in a tank, series of tanks or other storage structures approved by the Department. The operator shall install or construct and maintain the tank or series of tanks or other approved storage structures in accordance with the following requirements:

   (1)  The tank, series of tanks or other approved storage structure shall be constructed and maintained with sufficient capacity to contain all regulated substances which are used or produced during drilling, altering, completing, recompleting, servicing and plugging the well.

   (2)  Modular aboveground storage structures that exceed 20,000 gallons capacity may not be utilized to store regulated substances without prior Department approval. The Department will maintain a list of approved modular storage structures on its web site.

   (3)  The operator shall obtain siting approval from the Department for site-specific installation of all modular aboveground storage structures for each individual well site where use of the modular aboveground storage structure is proposed.

   (4)  After obtaining approval to utilize a modular aboveground storage structure at a specific well site, the owner or operator shall notify the Department at least 3 business days before the beginning of construction of these storage structures. The notice shall be submitted electronically to the Department through its web site and include the date the storage structure installation will begin. If the date of installation is extended, the operator shall renotify the Department with the date that the installation will begin, which does not need to be 3 business days in advance.

   (5)  If open tanks or open storage structures are used, the tanks and storage structures shall be maintained so that at least 2 feet of freeboard remain at all times unless the tank or storage structure is provided with an overflow system to a standby tank with sufficient volume to contain all excess fluid or regulated substances. If an open standby tank or standby open storage structure is used, it shall be maintained with 2 feet of freeboard. If this subsection is violated, the operator shall immediately take the necessary measures to ensure the structural stability of the tank or other storage structure, prevent spills and restore the 2 feet of freeboard.

   (6)  Tanks and other approved storage structures shall be designed, constructed and maintained to be structurally sound and reasonably protected from unauthorized acts of third parties.

   (7)  Unless an individual is continuously present at the well site, operators shall equip all tank valves and access lids to regulated substances with reasonable measures to prevent unauthorized access by third parties such as locks, open end plugs, removable handles, retractable ladders or other measures that prevent access by third parties. Tanks storing only freshwater, fire prevention materials and spill response kits are excluded from the requirements of this paragraph.

   (8)  The operator shall display a sign on the tank or other approved storage structure identifying the contents and an appropriate warning of the contents such as flammable, corrosive or a similar warning.

   (9)  A tank or other approved storage structure that contains drill cuttings from below the casing seat, regulated substances or fluids other than tophole water, fresh water and uncontaminated drill cuttings shall be impermeable.

   (10)  Condensate, whether separated or mixed with other fluids at a concentration greater than 1% by volume, may not be stored in any open top structure or pit. Aboveground tanks used for storing or separating condensate during well completion shall be monitored and have controls to prevent vapors from exceeding the L.E.L. of the condensate outside the tank. Tanks used for storing or separating condensate must be grounded.

 (b)  The operator may request to use practices other than those specified in subsection (a) which provide equivalent or superior protection by submitting a request to the Department for approval. The request shall be made electronically to the Department through its web site on forms provided by the Department.

 (c)  Disposal of uncontaminated drill cuttings in a pit or by land application shall comply with §  78a.61.

 (d)  Pits may not be used for temporary storage. An operator using a pit for temporary storage as of October 8, 2016, shall properly close the pit in accordance with appropriate restoration standards no later than April 8, 2017. Any spills or leaks detected shall be reported and remediated in accordance with §  78a.66 (relating to reporting and remediating spills and releases) prior to pit closure.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  78a.54 (relating to general requirements) 25 Pa. Code §  78a.55 (relating to control and disposal planning; emergency response for unconventional wells); and 25 Pa. Code §  78a.63a (relating to alternative waste management).

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