Ownership and Operation


Owning and operating a fuel storage facility is a big responsibility. Operational compliance helps prevent fuel releases, promote market equality and provide a safe fueling environment for customers. If you are considering becoming an owner of a petroleum storage system, have you done your Due Diligence.

It is important to get to know the  Colorado Petroleum Storage Tank Regulations. These rules have been developed with local stakeholder input. Other rules, including federal regulations, Colorado air quality regulations, national fire protection codes and national weights and measures standards may also apply to your site.

Staying in compliance minimizes the likelihood of having a costly release and helps ensure reimbursement from the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund if a release occurs.

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions to get you started.

Know the rules

Most UST's with a capacity greater than 110 gallons that contain petroleum products are regulated.

A few notable UST exemptions include:       

  • On-site heating oil tanks.  
  • Farm tanks with a capacity of 1,100 gallons or less.
  • Stormwater or wastewater collection systems.
  • Oil-water separator tanks. 
  • Process flow-through tanks.     

AST's with a capacity between 660 and 39,999 gallons that contain fuel or lubricants are regulated.

A few notable AST exemptions include:         

  • Tanks located on farms or residential properties.
  • Tanks associated with oil or gas production.
  • On-site heating oil tanks.
  • Tanks at construction or earth-moving sites.

A full list of exemptions can be found in the Colorado Petroleum Storage Tank Regulations.

OPS currently requests compliance records as part of an inspection. Compliance records are also required as part of applying for reimbursement from the Petroleum Storage Tank Fund.

Would you like a visit from an OPS representative in order to learn more about your tank system? If so, you may request a visit from an OPS Representative.

A storage tank is considered by law to be "in use" if it is not permanently closed or in approved temporary closure. A storage tank can be temporarily closed for up to 12 months by being emptied to less than one inch of product and notifying OPS. A storage tank can be permanently closed by notifying OPS, emptying and inerting the tank, and either closing the tank in place or removing it.

Underground Storage Tank Aboveground Storage Tank
$150 installation or upgrade permit application review fee No installation or upgrade permit application review fee
$35 per tank per year registration fee $35 per tank per year registration fee

Call our Consumer Complaint line at (303) 866-4967 or our Technical Assistance line at (303) 318-8547 if you have questions about the accuracy, quality, safety or environmental protection of fuel storage or dispensing equipment in Colorado. 

OPS maintains a database of Recognized Environmental Professionals that you can view to choose a consultant to assist you with an environmental assessment.

US EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks - visit the Federal UST program webpage to learn about the 2015 revisions to UST regulations and read useful guidance, such as EPA's Musts for USTs.