Removing/Closing Underground Storage Tanks and Piping

These are the procedures owners/operators must follow to remove or close underground storage tanks and piping in Montana.

old tank coming out of the hole
  1. Be sure that the tanks are registered with the Department. The owner/operator must be current for payment of registration fees before the permit will be issued.
  2. Obtain the services of a licensed underground storage tank remover unless the owner/operator plans to close/remove the underground storage tank/piping himself.
  3. A permit application form must be completed by either the owner/operator or the licensed remover, and be returned along with the appropriate permit review fee and inspection fee (if required) to DEQ at least 30 days before the closure/removal is scheduled. If all of the information requested on the permit application is not provided or the proper fees have not been enclosed with the application, DEQ will return the application or place it in an on-hold status. A returned or on-hold application may result in delay in the permitting process.
  4. The permit fee can be calculated from the following fee schedule. Please enclose the appropriate fee with the application.

    All tanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $100/permit + $.02 x total gallons closed
    (Includes all commercial tanks, even if under 1,100 gallons, including used oil tanks)

    Piping only . . . . . . . . . . . . . $50 under 50 feet, $100 greater than 50 feet

    Maximum permit fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750

    Please make checks and money orders payable to the Department of Environmental Quality.
  5. Owners/operators who are closing/removing their own tanks must arrange for the local licensed inspector or a Department inspector to inspect their work. An inspection fee deposit of $90 must accompany the application and the inspection dates must be tentatively scheduled on the application. The fee deposit is for a two-hour inspection. The actual inspection fee will be the fee deposit plus $45 per-hour for all hours over two hours, including travel time and inspection time
  6. After the DEQ reviews and approves the application, the owner/operator will be issued a permit. The permit authorizes the tank/piping removal as described in the application; however, the permit will have special conditions written on it that must be followed. A permit must be issued before removal/closure work starts.

    Part of the tank or piping removal/closure process includes conducting a site assessment to determine whether a release has occurred. This requires collecting soil or water samples that must be sent to a laboratory.  Specific requirements will be included on the permit.
  7. In addition to meeting the EPA and Montana requirements for removals/closures, the procedures must also meet all requirements set forth in the Uniform Fire Code and be approved by the state and local fire officials. Tanks must be removed unless fire officials permit filling them in-place. If removal of the tank system is physically impossible or threatens adjoining structures, fire officials may permit filling the tanks and pipes in-place. Fire official approval is necessary prior to DEQ issuing a permit. A permit and site assessment are required regardless of closure method.
  8. A permit expires six months from its date of issuance.  If the work cannot be completed within that time frame, the department may issue a written extension upon request from the installer/remover.

If you would like more information concerning permanent closure of underground storage tanks and piping, or have questions regarding the permit application procedure, email the UST Program, or call the Montana UST Program at (406) 444-5300.