Town of Groton, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Groton 11-28-1983, as amended through 12-3-2007. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 286.
Subsurface sewage disposal — See Ch. 315.
Water supply — See Ch. 325.
Wells — See Ch. 330.
280a Appendix I Board of Fire Prev Reg

§ 280-1 Purpose.

A. 
The purpose of these regulations is to:
(1) 
Protect public safety and protect against groundwater contamination, water supply and wetlands contamination and pollution due to leakage from underground storage tanks containing fuel, fuel oil, diesel fuel, gasoline and liquid chemicals or toxic solutions.
(2) 
Provide guidelines which coincide with state regulations for storage of flammable substances.
B. 
All soil testing must be performed by a Massachusetts Professional Soil Evaluator at the owner's expense. The data must be submitted to the Board of Health and Fire Chief.

§ 280-2 Applicability.

These regulations shall apply to the storage of fuel, fuel oil, diesel fuel, gasoline and liquid and/or solids/gas chemicals or solutions in any underground and/or aboveground storage tank and to the installation of any new or replacement underground and/or aboveground storage tank.

§ 280-3 Installation of underground storage tanks.

The following is the sequence to be followed by individuals wishing to install and use underground storage tanks:
A. 
Apply for an installation and storage permit from the Fire Department.
B. 
Demonstrate to the Chief of the Fire Department that the tank has been properly installed.
C. 
Maintain accurate inventory records of tank maintenance according to Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (527 CMR 9.00).

§ 280-4 Permits.

If the amount of product exceeds acceptable legal limits of the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, 527 CMR 14.03, a license must be obtained from the Board of Selectmen prior to a permit being obtained. The following section provides a detailed description of the installation and storage permits.
A. 
Installation permit. After January 1, 1984, no underground storage tank for the purpose of storing fuel, fuel oil, diesel fuel, gasoline and/or other hazardous materials shall be installed by any individual, corporation or other legal entity within the boundaries of the Town of Groton, without an installation permit issued jointly by the Board of Health and the Chief of the Fire Department. Such installation is permitted only upon satisfactory completion of the following requirements:
(1) 
All new tanks must be designed, built in compliance with and installed according to the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations (527 CMR 9.00). Piping, pumping systems and testing must also comply with these regulations.
(2) 
A sketch map, showing the proposed location and depth and how the 527 CMR 9.00 regulations will be met, must be submitted to the Board of Health and the Fire Chief for approval.
(3) 
A minimum distance of four feet from the bottom of the underground tank to bedrock must be maintained. Propane and natural gas are exempt.
(4) 
A minimum distance of four feet between the bottom of the underground storage tank and the minimum groundwater elevation is required. Propane and natural gas are exempt.
(5) 
A minimum setback of 10 feet from all property boundaries is required.
(6) 
The storage of petroleum products or hazardous materials underground or above ground within 100 feet of wetland resource areas or within 200 feet of rivers or perennial streams is prohibited, to be consistent with the Conservation Commission.
(7) 
A minimum distance of 100 feet from any well and a minimum distance of 2,000 feet from a public water supply is required. Propane and/or natural gas tanks shall be exempt from the offset requirement.
(8) 
The underground storage tank shall rest on compacted coarse sand with a minimum depth of six inches above the natural subsoil. All backfill material shall also be coarse sand.
(9) 
The Board of Health and the Fire Chief may require vaulting in the event that these regulations would not provide adequate protection, in the opinion of the Board of Health and the Chief, against contamination or pollution of the groundwater or water supply.
(10) 
Upon completion of the installation of the underground storage tank, submission of a certified as-built sketch location plan, indicating the location of the tank with reference to property boundaries and structures and containing all elevations with these regulations, must be filed with the Board of Health and the Fire Chief.
(a) 
As-built certificate: a written statement by the installer that certifies that the tank was installed in accordance with these regulations, including depth and lot lines.
(11) 
Upon verification of satisfactory completion of the application process, an installation permit shall be valid for a period of two years from the date of issue.
B. 
Storage permit.
(1) 
No fuel, fuel oil, diesel fuel or gasoline shall be placed in any underground storage tank by an individual, corporation or other legal entity without a storage permit issued jointly by the Board of Health and the Fire Chief. The initial storage permit is valid until the tank is 10 years old. Owners must then reapply for a new storage permit, which will be valid for additional five-year renewal periods. Application for the issuance of a storage permit or its renewal shall be in writing. At 15 years, a tightness test must be done by a certified professional. Propane and/or natural gas tanks shall be exempt from Subsection B(1).
(2) 
A storage permit shall be issued for a newly installed underground storage tank upon completion of the requirements listed above for the installation permit. A storage permit is nontransferable. In the event that an underground storage tank is sold or transfers ownership of property, it would need to be inspected.
(3) 
A storage permit shall be issued for an existing underground storage tank at such time as the owner submits the following information: size, type, age and location of tank, fuel or chemical stored therein, evidence of date of purchase and installation and a sketch map showing the location of each tank. Such information shall be submitted with an application for a storage permit. In the event that information as to the date of purchase or installation is not available, the Board of Health and the Fire Chief may order the tank to be tested as described below prior to the issuance of a storage permit.
C. 
If a license is required, a certification of registration may be applied for at the Board of Selectmen, which has licensing authority according to the state. Certificates must be renewed annually for as long as the underground storage tank is in use.

§ 280-5 Liquid chemicals or solutions.

No underground storage tank for the purpose of storing liquid chemicals or solutions shall be installed nor shall any liquid chemicals or solutions be placed in an underground storage tank by an individual, corporation or other legal entity except by installation and storage permits authorized by the Board of Health and the Fire Chief. Liquid, and/or solid/gas chemicals and solutions are defined as any petroleum product or distillate which is not fuel, fuel oil, diesel fuel, gasoline or other hazardous materials. Such installation or storage must comply with all requirements listed above and with any other conditions deemed necessary by the Board of Health and Fire Chief to protect the groundwater and water supply.

§ 280-6 Existing storage tanks.

While it would cause undue hardship to require that owners of existing underground tanks comply with all the above regulations for installation of new tanks, it is nevertheless imperative to verify that existing tanks are safe and pose no hazard to subsurface and surface water supply. Therefore, the following regulations apply to all existing underground storage tanks in Groton:
A. 
Any tank discovered must be permitted with the Groton Fire Department and the Groton Board of Health, and the owner shall file the size, type, age and a sketch map showing the location of each tank and the type of fuel or chemical stored within one month after September 1, 1983. Evidence of date of purchase and installation, including the original Fire Department permit, shall be filed.
B. 
Owners, or their agents, of existing tanks for which evidence of installation date is not available shall, at the order of the Groton Fire Department and Board of Health, have such tanks tested or uncovered for inspection. If, in the opinion of the Chief of the Fire Department and the Board of Health, the tank is not product-safe, it shall be removed at the owner's expense.
C. 
If the existing tanks are deemed product-tight and present no potential leakage hazard to the groundwater supply, the Chief of the Fire Department and the Board of Health will jointly issue a storage permit to the tank owner.
D. 
As with new tank installations, owners of existing tanks, except residential, who receive a storage permit must submit yearly statements to the Chief of the Fire Department and Board of Health, showing that inventory records have been maintained and reconciled, as required by the Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations.

§ 280-7 Additional regulations.

The following regulations apply to new as well as existing underground storage tanks:
A. 
Any spill or loss of fuel or chemicals shall be reported by the owner to the Fire Chief and Board of Health immediately.
B. 
All leaking tanks shall be emptied by the owner at his/her expense within 12 hours of leak detection and shall be removed within a period of no more than 30 days as determined by the Fire Chief and the Board of Health.
C. 
The owner of the underground storage tank shall be responsible for any cleanup, removal or repair.
D. 
An abandoned tank must be removed within a period of time, no more than 30 days or as required by the state.
E. 
Underground testing and replacement:
(1) 
All tanks 15 years of age or older, up to the 20th year, shall be Kent-Moore tested within two months of enactment of these regulations and every five years thereafter. Any tank which fails the above test must be removed immediately. Certification of testing shall be submitted to the Groton Fire Department and Board of Health. Other testing systems may be used in place of the Kent-Moore test only if they provide equivalent safety and effectiveness in the opinion of the Fire Chief and the Board of Health. Testing is at the owner's expense. Propane and/or natural gas tanks shall be exempt from Subsection E(1).
(2) 
If flammable fluids or their vapors have been detected in neighboring structures, sewers or wells on or off property locations, the Fire Chief and the Board of Health may require that any nearby tank, including underground residential tanks, be tested at the expense of the owner.
(3) 
A tank, with the exception of propane and/or natural gas, on reaching 20 years old, shall be tested every five years. Tanks can only be relined by Massachusetts certified process if tests prove that there are no leaks.

§ 280-8 Permit fees.

A. 
Fees for installation and storage permits shall be established by a consensus of the Fire Chief, Board of Health and Board of Selectmen.
B. 
Permit fees shall be paid to the Fire Department according to the approved Fire Department fee schedule.

§ 280-9 Variances.

The Board of Health and Fire Chief may vary the application of any provision of this regulation, unless otherwise required by law, in any case when, in their opinion, the applicant has demonstrated that an equivalent degree of environmental protection as required under this regulation will still be achieved. The applicant, at his own expense, must notify all abutters by certified mail at least 10 days before the Board of Health meeting at which the variance request will be considered. The notification shall state the variance sought and the reasons therefor. Any variance granted by the Board of Health shall be in writing. Any denial of a variance shall also be in writing and shall contain a brief statement of the reasons for the denial.

§ 280-10 Administration.

The provisions of these regulations shall be administered by the Fire Department and the Groton Board of Health.