Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

AST Registration FAQs

The owner of the AST is responsible for registering it. The owner, through security settings within DEP’s AST Registration System, can designate someone to complete the registration on his/her behalf.

You can take a short survey to determine if you are required to register your AST.

The electronic AST Registration System is used to register aboveground storage tanks. You must acquire a login ID to the system to access the form. If you currently have a login ID to ESS, for other reporting with DEP, you do not have to request a new login ID.

An owner or operator is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per tank per day for each AST that is knowingly not registered.

No; however, the tank may be subject to other regulations, such as the Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations.

It depends on whether the structure meets the definition of an “aboveground storage tank” established in the W.Va. Code §22-30-3(1). Please complete the survey form to determine if you are required to register your heating oil AST.

It depends on whether the structure meets the definition of an “aboveground storage tank” established in the W.Va. Code §22-30-3(1),what the tank is used for, and whether it is within a Zone of Critical Concern. Please complete the survey form to determine if you are required to register your residential/farm AST.

Emulsion, a mixture of two or more liquids that don’t ordinarily combine, e.g., oil and water, typically remain a liquid; therefore, if the structure contains an emulsion and meets the definition of an “aboveground storage tank” established in the W.Va. Code §22-30-3(1), the tank must be registered.

If the unit is utilized for “holding” or “storing” a substance, it is a storage tank subject to registration. A process vessel has a flow of material and its predominant function is to transform substance during a process by chemical reaction or physical transformation. Simply dissolving a substance in another or diluting a substance in a tank is not considered a process. The easiest way to demonstrate the difference between storage tanks and process vessels is with examples. Some common examples of both types of unit follow:

  • A unit which has a steady, variable, recurring or intermittent flow of materials but in which no process occurs is a storage tank.
  • Some units that are primarily used for storage but occasionally may have some additives introduced are storage tanks (e.g. red dye may be added to tanks holding diesel fuel or rust inhibitor added into a water tank).
  • Mixing of a substance in order to keep a material from sticking to the sides of the unit or to keep in a flowable form is not a process. For example, a unit that uses operating mixers to keep lime solids in a lime slurry from settling out is a storage tank.
  • A unit that is located within an area designated as a process area but is used to hold a substance is a storage tank.
  • Day tanks used to store oil or other substances are storage tanks.
  • In the case of emergency generators and stand-by generators that have an attached tank which stores fuel for later use, the tanks are storage tanks.
  • In a continuous-flow mixer, flow rate and mixing gradient are carefully controlled and the contents of the mixer move directly into the next phase of the manufacturing process. This would be considered a process vessel; materials are not stored in the vessel for any appreciable length of time.
  • Wastewater treatment units may be process vessels or storage tanks depending on the usage of the unit. For example, a unit that’s purpose is continuous treatment (e.g., neutralization) of wastewater is a process vessel. On the other hand, a unit used solely for collecting and holding wastewater until it is pumped out and transferred to a treatment facility is a storage tank. 

If the tank holds wastewater that is being actively treated/processed, e.g., clarifier, chlorine contact chamber, batch reactor, etc., it does not have to be registered. However, chemical storage/feed tanks, pre- or post-processing storage tanks, fuel storage tanks, etc. that are located at the same facility will have to be registered.

Yes. Any structure meeting the definition established in W.Va. Code §22-30-3(1) must be registered, regardless of other regulatory requirements.

Yes, there is a registration fee of $40 per tank for all ASTs in service prior to July 1, 2015. Any AST that is placed into service on or after July 1, 2015, shall be charged a $20 per tank fee. An invoice will be sent to the tank owner subsequent to registering the AST.

DEP strongly encourages tank owners to register their tanks electronically. Under very limited circumstances and with good reason, DEP will provide an owner a waiver, and allow a paper submittal of the information. The request for this waiver has to be made by the owner, in writing to DEP Regardless of an owner’s request for a waiver to submit electronically, ASTs that are in service must be registered by July 1, 2015. Please see DEP’s AST Contacts webpage for the appropriate name and address to send a waiver request.

Yes, the owner or operator of an aboveground storage tank placed into service on or after July 1, 2015, shall complete and submit a registration form prior to storing fluids therein.

Yes. All structures that meet the definition of an “aboveground storage tank” established in the W.Va. Code §22-30-3(1) must be registered. Please complete the survey form to determine if you need to register your tank.

You will be required to provide the geographical coordinates (latitude/longitude) of your tank to the DEP when registering your tank. When DEP provides the tank registration number to the owner, the identity of and distance to the nearest West Virginia groundwater or surface water public intake from your tank will be included in the correspondence.

All ASTs located within the state of West Virginia must be registered and all registered ASTs must have signage in accordance with the AST Act; however, not all tanks that are registered will subsequently be regulated under the W.Va. Code §22-30 The Aboveground Storage Tank Act. ASTs that will be regulated must meet the definition of a Level 1 or Level 2 tank, below:

Regulated Level 1 AST is defined as:

  1. An AST located within a zone of critical concern, source water protection area, public surface water influenced groundwater supply source area, or any AST system designated by the secretary as a Level 1 regulated tank; or

  2. An AST that contains substances defined in section 101(14) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) as a “hazardous substance” (42 U. S. C. § 9601(14)); or is on EPA’s “Consolidated List of Chemicals Subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), CERCLA, and §112(r) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)” (known as “the List of Lists”) as provided by 40 C. F. R. §§ 355, 372, 302, and 68) in a concentration of one percent or greater regardless of the AST’s location, except ASTs containing petroleum are not “Level 1 regulated tanks” based solely upon containing constituents recorded on the CERCLA lists; or

  3. An AST with a capacity of 50,000 gallons or more, regardless of its contents or location.

Regulated Level 2 AST is located within a zone of peripheral concern that is not a Level 1 regulated tank.

Permitting, Certification, and Inspection FAQs

§22-30-5(c) of the AST Act allows for permits/plans to be amended, at the request of the permittee, to include conditions pertaining to the management and control of regulated ASTs. The manner in which this is to be accomplished is to be established in Legislative Rules. These rules will be considered by the 2016 Legislature.

If you have a Level 1 or Level 2 tank, your tank will be subject to inspections by DEP AST Inspectors. Non Level 1 or Level 2 tanks and secondary containment may still be regulated under other statutes (e.g. Groundwater Protection Act).

Level 1 and Level 2 tank evaluations can be completed by a qualified registered professional engineer or a qualified person working under the direct supervision of a registered professional engineer, regulated and licensed by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers, or by an individual certified to perform tank inspections by the American Petroleum Institute or the Steel Tank Institute, or by a person holding certification under another program approved by the secretary.


To report a release from an AST, contact the statewide emergency spill line at (800) 642-3074.

Quick Links

Contact Us

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste: Environmental Enforcement: Tanks Unit
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0495
Fax: (304) 926-0463

Report an Emergency

To report a release from an AST, contact the statewide emergency spill line at (800) 642-3074