Rules and Regulations Governing Petroleum Bulk Storage Facilities in New York

When environmental attorneys talk about PBS, they are generally not referring to Downton Abbey and Sesame Street. In the environmental world, PBS refers to Petroleum Bulk Storage (“PBS”) facilities or, in lay terms, properties with very large oil tanks.

In the State of New York, the legislature has delegated the authority to regulate PBS facilities to the Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”). See Sections1-0101 and 3-0301 of the Environmental Conservation Law. The DEC has promulgated regulations creatively titled “Petroleum Bulk Storage” which are set forth in 6 NYCRR PART 613.

Registering and Renewing PBS Facilities

In order to register an existing facility, the property owner can submit a completed form and fee to the DEC. The latest forms and the registration fee worksheet may be requested by e-mailing the DEC. The fees are based on the total storage capacity of the facility.

PBS registrations expire after five (5) years and must thereafter be renewed. Best practices are to have a system in place to schedule an internal reminder, though the DEC will send a courtesy reminder a few months prior to the expiration of the registration. Renewal applications and the required fees may also be obtained from the DEC. If the facility has been modified by either adding or removing tanks, the DEC will need to be notified and the fee may change.

The Importance of Registration When Title Transfers

It is important to understand that when title to real estate transfers to the purchaser, the PBS registration does not transfer with it. In other words, PBS registrations are not transferable. Therefore, purchasers of PBS facilities are required to register within thirty (30) days after the month in which they purchase the property. Failing to timely register may result in substantial monetary fines. Because the DEC will not have the purchaser’s contact information until the purchaser registers, the DEC’s registrations will not be sent to the purchaser. Ignorance of the law is no defense, and a purchaser can therefore accrue thousands of dollars in fines.

How We Can Help

If you are considering purchasing a property in New York with large oil tanks, we can assist with due diligence and PBS registration. For more information, please contact us at (914) 338-8050 or send an e-mail to keith@betenskylaw.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Betensky Law PLLC
118 N. Bedford Road, Suite 302
Mount Kisco, New York 10549
(914) 338-8050
keith@betenskylaw.com
www.betenskylaw.com

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