Storage Tanks

1. Why are storage tank regulations important?

When petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, leak into the ground, they can cause a variety of problems. If petroleum gets into groundwater, that water can become unusable for drinking or stock watering. Just one gallon of a petroleum product can pollute one million gallons of water. Even groundwater not used to supply drinking water needs is of concern because petroleum products can be carried by the groundwater and may impact subsurface utilities or basements.

To help prevent future contamination and effectively deal with already contaminated sites, Congress established standards for underground storage tanks in 1987. In South Dakota, this federal program is administered by the department. The department has included aboveground storage tanks in its regulations due to the fact they have a potential to leak as well.

2. What statutes and regulations apply if I have a facility with a regulated storage tank?

The storage tank statutes are found in South Dakota Codified Laws Chapter 34A-2-98, Chapter 34A-2-99, Chapter 34A-2-100, and Chapter 34A-2-101. These statutes authorize the department to develop and implement a regulatory program for storage tanks to ensure protection of human health and the environment. The statutes also define the scope of the program. The regulations outlining the requirements for storage tanks are contained in the Administrative Rules of South Dakota ARSD 74:56:01 and ARSD 74:56:03.

3. Do I need to notify you that I have a storage tank?

If you own or operate a facility that has a storage tank which contains a regulated substance, such as petroleum, you must register the tank with the department. Certain types of tanks, such as heating oil tanks, are exempt from regulation. If you own a storage tank and are not sure if it is regulated, please contact the department.

4. How does the registration process work?

The department has standardized registration forms for all regulated ASTs and USTs. The form asks for information on the tank size, age, type of construction, type of product stored and other pertinent facts. The department uses this information to evaluate the level of protection to the environment.

If you have any questions concerning the storage tank program, please contact Kayla Fawcett, Justin Allen, or Marshall Brown in Pierre at (605) 773-3296 or E-mail,

in Sioux Falls contact Scott Bickler at (605) 362-3500, in Rapid City contact Zachary Burggraff at (605) 394-2229.

Risk to Public and Private Wells

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources has developed a comprehensive guidance document on how to evaluate risk to public and private wells from a petroleum release site. The guidance document also clarifies the Tier 2 risk based assessment and Tier 3 requirements at the aquifer sites including the wellhead protection areas.

The Tier 3 modeling can be done at release sites where Tier 2 risk based assessment has been done and identified the presence of public or private wells. For details check out the guidance document.


The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources HANDBOOK FOR INVESTIGATION AND CORRECTIVE ACTION REQUIREMENTS FOR DISCHARGES FROM STORAGE TANKS, PIPING SYSTEMS AND OTHER RELEASES. The Petroleum Assessment and Cleanup Handbook should be used when performing site assessments, remediation activities, etc. at petroleum release sites.