Fuel Storage Regulations Are No Joke!

Make sure you are storing fuel correctly on the farm.

Published on: Apr 12, 2013

So you haven't yet built a dike or set up a fuel center where fuel is protected from leaking into the ground or running off into the environment? Regulations exist requiring it, and many fuel suppliers are encouraging it.

There are a wide range of systems that will qualify and meet the regulations. Some people enclose tanks in a building. Others build a roof and sump area where any spill would be contained, but don't totally enclose the building.

Still others build a fuel center and utilize double-walled tanks to meet the requirements. The fuel center pictured here on Kevin Cox's farm in Parke County is his way to meet requirements and make it convenient to use at the same time.

Fuel center: Kevin Cox installed this fuel center to handle fuel storage on the farm.
Fuel center: Kevin Cox installed this fuel center to handle fuel storage on the farm.

"We have revamped our farmstead and added a shop and other buildings, and we wanted to bring our fuel storage up to specs at the same time," he says. "That's why we decided to build this fuel center. The location works for us, and it works out in our operation."

Fred Whitford, Purdue University director of pesticide programs, has spent time studying rules related to fuel storage and helping spread the word that farmers need to be in compliance. The fuel storage requirements are actually federal regulations that fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA officials responsible for Indiana have been as helpful as possible in providing information to fuel suppliers and farmers to help compliance on the farm.

You may hear about rules coming into effect this summer. Those rules have actually been in effect for a good while, Whitford says. EPA has been working with people to help them do what's best for their operation instead of concentrating on enforcement up until this point. For more information, consult Whitford by reaching him through your county Extension office.