Fuel Storage Tanks (FSTs)


GSA Federal facilities operate hundreds of fuel storage tanks (FSTs), including aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) and underground storage tanks (USTs), used to support facility operations. The primary substance stored in FSTs is heating oil and the greatest risk associated with the FSTs storage is the potential for a release. Releases can contaminate groundwater and soil; pose other risks to the environment, human health and safety; as well as the potential for fire and explosions, property damage, and major financial obligations.

GSA's policy mandates that FSTs located on GSA-controlled Federal property be installed, operated, and maintained in accordance with Federal, state and local regulations and in a manner that reduces the potential for release of their contents into the environment. Other Federal agencies that own or operate FSTs on GSA-managed properties have the responsibility to manage their FSTs in compliance with the same applicable laws and regulations.

Personnel responsible for day-to-day FST management and operations must be trained and/or successfully complete an examination that demonstrates their proficiency in the topics required for the Operator Class for which they are designated.


GSA policy requires that written spill prevention and response plans are developed for each facility that operates an FST. These plans document the site-specific facility procedures for preventing releases and steps to follow in response to a release. The specific plan required for a facility is determined by the amount and type of fuel stored onsite.

A Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan is a written site-specific plan focused primarily on preventing spills as opposed to post-spill actions. Facilities that meet the criteria in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations concerning oil spills prevention and preparedness, 40 CFR 112, are required to prepare and maintain an SPCC Plan.

For facilities not subject to 40 CFR 112, GSA requires that a written site-specific plan be developed that outlines procedures for preventing releases, including oil/fuel filling procedures and steps to follow in response to and following a release.

Personnel responsible for day-to-day FST management and operations must be familiar with the site-specific spill prevention and response plans before a release occurs.

Last Reviewed: 2019-02-26