[HISTORY: Adopted by the North Hempstead Town Board 8-14-1990 as L.L. No. 7, 1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This Board has heretofore declared and found that leakage from underground storage facilities and toxic fumes resulting therefrom pose a potentially serious hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of North Hempstead. It has further been found that such leakage threatens to contaminate the groundwater supply. Chapter 29A of the Town Code of the Town of North Hempstead is enacted to safeguard against the aforementioned dangers.
In drafting this chapter, this Board, cognizant of the fact that consumers would ultimately bear the cost of the precautions required herein, has sought to avoid placing an undue burden on the oil industry while providing substantial measures to protect the public and ensure the quality of our environment.
In an attempt to achieve a uniformity of regulation, several provisions of the Nassau County Health Department and Fire Prevention Ordinances have been adopted. It is the opinion of this Board that through the combined cooperative efforts of and enforcement by appropriate Nassau County and town departments, the most effective safeguards will be afforded to the residents of the Town of North Hempstead.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth in this section unless otherwise expressly stated:
- BUILDING DEPARTMENT
- The Department of the Building and Safety Inspection and Enforcement.
- The Commissioner of the Department of Building and Safety Inspection and Enforcement of the Town of North Hempstead.
- Release or emptying by any means into surface waters, groundwaters, soil or subsoil.
- FLAMMABLE, COMBUSTIBLE AND OTHER HAZARDOUS LIQUIDS
- All liquid hydrocarbon products, including but not limited to gasoline, fuel oil and diesel oil, and any other liquid which, because of its qualities, concentrations or characteristics, may present a potential hazard to the health, safety or well-being of the public or the quality of the environment if discharged.
- STORAGE FACILITY
- Any tank or container of any kind or description which may be used to store or contain a flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquid and any equipment and/or device appurtenant thereto.
- Any container of any kind or description in which a flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquid may be stored.
- Ten percent (10%) or more below the final ground elevation.
This chapter shall apply to all underground facilities used for the storage of flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquids; however, it shall have no application to an underground storage facility having a capacity not exceeding one thousand one hundred (1,100) gallons in which combustible liquid is stored for the purpose of heating premises on which the tank is located.
It is hereby declared unlawful for any person, association, firm or corporation to install or maintain any tank for the storage of a flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquid without first making application for and obtaining a permit from the Town Clerk authorizing the installation and/or maintenance of said tank.
A permit shall be issued by the Town Clerk only after an application for said permit has been presented to the Town Board and approved by said Board following a public hearing on the application.
No permit shall be issued to install or maintain a tank:
For the storage of flammable or other hazardous liquids whose capacity exceeds ten thousand (10,000) gallons.
For the storage of combustible liquids whose capacity exceeds twenty thousand (20,000) gallons.
Whose installation does not meet the minimum requirements of the Nassau County Fire Marshal, Nassau County Board of Health or National Fire Protection Association.
Which is situated within two hundred (200) feet of the nearest wall of a building occupied as a school, hospital, church, public library, theater or other place of public amusement or assembly, except the storage of fuel oil for the purpose of heating the premises on which site the tank is located.
Which, in the opinion of a majority of the Town Board, might endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public or pose a potential hazard to the environment.
For good and valid reasons the Town Board acting on the recommendation of the Building Department may waive any or all of these provisions in a specific case.
A written application by the owner of the fee or a lessee, with written consent of the owner, shall be submitted by said applicant to the Town Clerk on a form prescribed by said Town Clerk. The application shall be circulated to appropriate town departments for their review and recommendations and shall then be presented to the Town Board for its determination.
The applicant shall include the following information in its application:
The number of existing and proposed tanks located on the property.
Specifications of each tank.
Dimensions of each tank.
The capacity of each tank.
Materials to be used for base and as backfill.
The type of liquid to be stored in each tank.
A description of existing and/or proposed fire-extinguishing system.
A description of leak detection or monitoring devices to be installed.
Construction of layout, including valves for feed and discharge lines.
A map, drawn to scale, bearing the seal of a licensed surveyor, showing the size and location of the property, the ownership and use of all adjoining properties, together with the location of any buildings thereon, the size and location of tanks, the layout of pipes and the contour of the land.
Whether the affected premises includes any of the following uses: multiple dwelling, hotel or lodging house or manufacture, sale or storage of paints, varnishes, lacquers, resin, turpentine, hemp or cotton dry goods or other highly flammable materials or explosives.
Whether the proposed site is situate within forty (40) feet of a residence district.
The Town Clerk may require the inclusion of whatever additional information would be useful to the Town Board in making its determination on an application.
The applicant shall submit, with its application to the Town Clerk, satisfactory evidence from either the Nassau County Fire Marshal and/or the Nassau County Board of Health that the proposed installation meets the applicable regulations and requirements of the agency having jurisdiction.
The Town Board shall set a date for a public hearing on an application, and the Town Clerk shall cause notice of such hearing, setting forth the date, time and place thereof and the description of the property covered by the application, to be published in a newspaper designated by the Town Board at least ten (10) days before, but not more than twenty (20) days prior to, the date of the public hearing. In addition to the notice published by the Town Clerk, the applicant shall, on forms provided by the Town Clerk, serve notice of public hearing on said application on all owners of real property, as indicated on the latest completed assessment rolls of the County of Nassau, within two hundred (200) feet, either personally or by registered mail. Said notices shall be served at least ten (10) days before, but not more than twenty (20) days prior to, the date of public hearing as determined by the Town Board, and the applicant shall, at least five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing, file with the Town Board proof of service of said notices.
The Town Board may take testimony, affidavits or other evidence pertaining to matters set forth in the application and, in addition thereto, but not limited to, evidence pertaining to fire hazards, effect on traffic, effect on the value of adjacent properties and proximity of residences, schools, churches or other businesses storing flammable liquids or materials. The Board, in making its determination, may pass on any of the foregoing matters and upon any information known to the members and may impose any reasonable conditions upon the issuance of a permit.
Each application under this chapter shall be accompanied by a filing fee of one hundred dollars ($100.), which is not refundable.
In addition to the filing fee, the applicant shall submit with its application a permit fee which shall be held in escrow by the town pending the determination of the Town Board with respect to said application. If the Town Board denies the application, the permit fee shall be returned to the applicant. The permit fee for the installation and maintenance of a tank:
In connection with the operation of a gasoline service station for the sale of gasoline or similar fuel to the public shall be five hundred dollars ($500.).
For any other commercial use shall be five hundred dollars ($500.).
For any private, residential use shall be fifty dollars ($50.).
Plans and specifications relating to any storage facility which is the subject of an application shall be subject to the approval of the Building Department, the approval of the Board of Zoning and Appeals and any and all regulations promulgated by the Commissioner pursuant to this chapter.
The Building Department shall determine whether any violation of any provision of the Town Code exists on the property on which a tank is sought to be installed and shall advise the applicant of its findings. No application may be processed while a violation exists on the subject property.
Any person, association, firm or corporation maintaining an underground storage facility to which this chapter applies shall register said facility with the Building Department of the Town of North Hempstead on or before October 1, 1980, and shall provide such a detailed and complete description of the storage facility as may be required by the Building Department on forms prescribed by said Department.
Any person, association, firm or corporation to whom a permit has been issued to install and maintain an underground tank shall cause written notice to be serviced on the Building Department of the date and time when said tank is to be installed, and notice being furnished by registered or certified mail at least seven (7) days prior to the date scheduled for installation.
All underground tanks shall be installed as per the requirements of the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance, Article III, Flammable and Combustible Liquids, Ordinance No. 407-86, Nassau County Public Health Ordinance Article XI, National Fire Protection Association Code and Standards Numbers 30, 30A and 31 as amended. The most stringent requirement shall prevail.
The Building Inspector may witness the installation procedure, as well as testing procedures, prior to, during and subsequent to installation.
No tank shall be put into use unless and until the installation has been found satisfactory by and acceptable to the Building Inspector.
Periodic testing of underground storage facilities shall be performed in accordance with the Nassau County Fire Prevention and Board of Health Ordinances, applicable regulations and requirements of the Nassau County Fire Marshal and Health Department, applicable rules and regulations of the Commissioner and any other statutory requirements.
The holder of a permit obtained pursuant to this chapter shall furnish to the Building Department satisfactory written proof, to be supplied by a qualified person performing the testing, of the test performed and the findings and results thereof. If the holder of the permit fails to furnish such proof within one (1) month of the date on which testing was to have been performed as required under Subsection A of this section, the subject storage facility may be declared a public nuisance, and the Town of North Hempstead may retain the services of a qualified individual or firm to perform any required testing. The town shall annex three (3) times the costs incurred by it in retaining the services of a qualified individual or firm to perform any testing as aforementioned to the tax bill of the person, association, firm or corporation on whose property the storage facility is located as a penalty for violation of Subsection A of this section.
In the event that the leak detection and/or overfill alarms are activated, the Building Department shall be notified immediately, and a test to determine the integrity of the storage facility shall be performed immediately. If the findings of said test suggest that the storage facility is not product-tight or that leakage has occurred, the entire contents of the facility shall at once be removed therefrom, and the storage facility shall be rendered vapor-free and safe in all respects.
No repair work shall be performed on tanks installed more than ten (10) years prior to the time when the work is sought to be performed.
Repairs may be made on tanks which were installed less than ten (10) years prior to the time when the repairs are sought to be made only when the Building Inspector has determined that the tank is repairable and capable of being restored to full structural integrity. A request to perform repair work shall be made in writing to the Building Department on a form prescribed by said Department. The request shall be accompanied by a filing fee of one hundred dollars ($100.), which is not refundable. Plans and specifications detailing the proposed repairs shall be submitted with the aforementioned request for the review and approval of the Building Inspector and are subject to whatever modifications he may deem necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and the quality of the environment.
Any repair work authorized under this section shall be performed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and may be witnessed by a Building Inspector.
Any existing storage facility not in compliance with the requirements of this chapter which was installed more than twenty (20) years prior to October 1, 1979, shall be removed within five (5) years of said date and replaced with a storage facility which complies with this chapter.
Any storage facility installed more than ten (10) years but less than twenty (20) years prior to October 1, 1979, which is not in compliance with this chapter shall be removed within ten (10) years of said date and replaced with a storage facility which complies with this chapter.
Any storage facility installed less than ten (10) years prior to October 1, 1979, which is not in compliance with this chapter shall be removed within fifteen (15) years of said date and replaced with a storage facility which complies with this chapter.
Whenever it is found by the Building Inspector that continued use or maintenance of any storage facility would endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public or would threaten the quality of the environment, said Building Inspector shall order the immediate removal of the entire contents of the affected storage facility by the permit holder. In the event that the order of the Building Inspector is not complied with within twenty-four (24) hours of its issuance, the affected storage facility may be declared a public nuisance, and the Town of North Hempstead may retain the services of a qualified individual or firm to perform such removal of the contents of the facility. The town shall annex three (3) times the costs incurred by it in retaining the services of a qualified individual or firm to perform any removal as aforementioned to the tax bill of the person, association, firm or corporation on whose property the storage facility is located as a penalty for violation of this subsection.
The discharge of flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquids onto any roadway, surface or subsurface land, aquifer or waterway within the Town of North Hempstead is hereby declared unlawful.
Any discharge of a flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquid in excess of five (5) gallons, regardless of the cause thereof, shall be reported by the holder of the permit obtained pursuant to this chapter or, where the discharge occurs in connection with the operation of a gasoline service station, by the operator of said gasoline service station to the Building Department within twenty-four (24) hours of the occurrence.
In the event of the unlawful discharge of a flammable, combustible or other hazardous liquid as prohibited in § 29A-16 of this chapter, the permit holder shall immediately reclaim said liquid, repair any damage resulting therefrom and restore the environment.
Daily inventory records shall be maintained in accordance with the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance and applicable regulations and requirements of the Nassau County Fire Marshal. Said records shall be made available to a Building Inspector upon request.
Unusual inventory variations, as defined in the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance, shall be reported immediately to the Building Department.
Any permit holder or operator to whom the Building Inspector has issued a directive or order, based on his sole judgment, requiring the removal of an underground storage facility or denying a request to perform repair work on a storage facility who wishes to appeal from said directive or order shall, within ten (10) days of the receipt of the directive or order, file a written request for a hearing with the Commissioner. Said request shall include a brief statement of the grounds on which the appeal is sought. If the permit holder or operator deems it necessary or beneficial to the presentation of his appeal, he may examine witnesses regarding the matter which is the subject of said appeal. Failure to file a timely request as set forth herein shall operate as a waiver of appeal and as an acquiescence in and agreement with the terms of the directive or order.
The Commissioner is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the intent of this chapter.
In addition to any penalties hereinabove provided, any person, association, firm or corporation which violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.) or imprisonment for a period not to exceed fifteen (15) days, or both, for each violation. Each day's continued violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate violation.
In the event that any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter, which shall remain in full force, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter directly involved in said judgment.
Chapter 29A of this Code, heretofore adopted by this Town Board, entitled "Temporary Moratorium on Issuance of Permit Required for Storage of Inflammable Materials" is repealed in its entirety. Section 29-16 of Chapter 29 entitled "Inflammable Materials" is repealed in its entirety. So much of §§ 29-6 and 29-11 of Chapter 29 entitled "Inflammable Materials" as relates to underground storage tanks is repealed. Any other provisions heretofore adopted which conflict with this Chapter 29A are repealed. This chapter shall supersede any and all existing ordinances regulating the underground storage of flammable liquids.