New Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission Certification Requirements

10/18/2000

Owners and operators of registered underground storage tanks (“USTs) should be aware of and comply with a new certification requirement of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (“TNRCC”).  TNRCC has implemented its new “UST Registration and Self-Certification Form” to comply with the Texas legislature’s statutory requirement that each owner and operator of USTs certify annually that the registered UST system is in compliance with TNRCC regulations.  The new requirement is already in effect and requires annual certification.
 
Even if you previously registered your tank, you will be required to fill out the form and certify that your UST system is in compliance with all regulations.  The form requires specific information on each tank at your facility.  After you file the form, you will receive a Delivery Certificate from TNRCC.  It is illegal for any common carrier to deliver fuel to your UST system unless you have such a Delivery Certificate.
 
By signing the form, you certify that you are familiar with the information on the form and that the information is true, accurate, and complete.  The new law carries criminal as well as civil penalties, so it is crucial to assure that the form is properly completed and filed, that no fuel is received until you have a Delivery Certificate, and that statements in the certification are accurate.
 
TNRCC expects to begin enforcing the law in early 2001.  In addition, TNRCC expects by that time to have the capacity to cross-check certifications against tank registrations.
 
This is a significant development, particularly since many environmental criminal prosecutions are based on allegations of false statements to governmental agents.
 
We recommend that you immediately examine your records to determine whether you own any registered USTs, and, if so, that you immediately obtain the form and instructions, and file the required certification, after carefully assuring that you are indeed familiar with the information you are certifying and that it is accurate and correct.

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