What to Do If You Have #4 or #6 Heating Oil in NYC?
Updated: Feb 7
In April 2011, New York City (NYC) adopted a new heating oil regulation requiring owners of nearly 10,000 buildings to phase out the use of #6 and #4 heating oils. By July 2015, existing boilers must have been switched from burning #6 oil to a cleaner fuel before their current certificate to operate will be renewed. By 2030, boilers that have not yet been modified must meet the equivalent emissions of burning cleaner fuels (e.g., #2 oil or natural gas). Newly installed boilers must burn only clean #2 oil, natural gas, or its emissions equivalent. The text of the NYC rule can be found on New York City's web site at the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" on the right of this page.
New York State Requirements and Recommendations for Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Tanks
Owners of properties that store more than 1,100 gallons of heating oil must register their facility with New York State (exceptions and more detailed guidance can be found in the regulatory definition of "facility" in 6 NYCRR section 613-1.3(v). For help in determining if your property is regulated, use the PBS Registration Worksheet (PDF) (12 KB). The requirements for regulated tank systems including: registration, construction, operation, and maintenance can be found in New York State's Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 613 (PDF) (106 pages, 498 KB).
Converting Existing Tanks
If you own a regulated facility and will be converting existing tanks from #6 oil to another grade of heating oil, here is what you must do:
The following procedure is followed before the product in the tank changes:
remove the fill port and fill line for any tank that is removed (very important!). You may also fill the unused line with concrete if it is completely filled after the concrete has set.
test the tank after cleaning to ensure that it does not leak.
replace the fill line and associated piping with double-walled piping that has leak detection and corrosion protection.
install and maintain a corrosion protection system for the entire tank system.
install and maintain a fill port catch basin.
Make sure your tank system is in compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 613 (PDF) (106 pages, 498 KB). For general information and help, see DEC's main Chemical and Petroleum Storage Web Site and the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Inspection Handbook (PDF) (103 pages, 1.3 MB). Note - underground storage tanks installed before December 27, 1986, that store No. 2 oil must be tested yearly for tightness with the exception of tanks that use applicable weekly leak detection methods - see 6 NYCRR section 613-3.3(b)(1).
Make sure that your facility registration with DEC is current and accurate. You can check DEC's Bulk Storage Database search engine to see if your facility is registered and that all the information about your tank system and facility is up to date. This includes notifying DEC that you are switching the type of fuel stored and can be done by submitting an information correction on the PBS application form (PDF) (4 page, 162 KB).
Determine if you have had any spills of petroleum into the environment. If you find evidence of a spill from your system, you are required to report the spill to DEC within two hours (800-457-7362). You will need to take appropriate steps to investigate the extent of any contamination and complete a cleanup. To check if you have any spills already reported to DEC, search DEC's Spill Incidents Database.
Closing a Regulated Tank
If you will be closing a regulated tank (perhaps due to converting to natural gas), you must:
Notify DEC at least 30 days prior to closing the tank by submitting the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) Notification for Tank Installation, Closing, Repair or Reconditioning form (PDF) (15 KB).
Close the tank in accordance with the requirements of the regulations - see 6 NYCRR section 613-3.5 (PDF) (106 pages, 498 KB).
Once the closure has been completed, submit a PBS application form (PDF) (4 page, 162 KB) to DEC with the complete tank information including the date the action was completed. You may also request a pre-filled application by contacting the DEC regional office for your county.
If you need help in determining what specific regulations apply to your heating-oil tank, please call the PBS unit at (718) 482-6454 or e-mail the unit .