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(1) After March 31, 2003, except as provided in (9), a person may not place a regulated substance in, dispense a regulated substance from, or otherwise operate an underground storage tank system unless the owner or operator has a valid operating permit for the system.

(2) When the ownership of an UST changes, the operating permit in the name of the previous owner will remain valid for the new owner for 45 days after the transfer is completed.

(3) The department shall issue an operating permit when:

(a) the owner or operator has filed with the department an inspection report signed by a licensed compliance inspector and the department determines, on the basis of the inspection report and other relevant information, that the operation and maintenance of the underground storage tank systems at that facility are not in significant noncompliance with Title 75, chapter 11, part 5, MCA, or rules adopted thereunder, on the date of the inspection. The department may issue and renew permits for tanks that are in significant noncompliance with applicable requirements. The department may take enforcement actions, including actions for penalties, and may pursue any other remedy available to the department to address noncompliance with statutes, rules, permits, or orders issued pursuant to this chapter; and

(b) the department has received all required UST-related permit, inspection, and registration fees.

(4) If a filed inspection report contains substantive errors or inconsistencies, the department may, before determining whether to issue an operating permit, correct the report based on available information, require the inspector to provide additional information or require the owner or operator to obtain a follow-up inspection.

(5) An operating permit must be issued for three years.

(6) The department may suspend, revoke, or determine not to renew an operating permit issued under this rule upon its finding that there is substantial evidence that:

(a) the underground storage tank system for which the permit was issued is in significant noncompliance with Title 75, chapter 11, part 5, MCA, or with rules, permits or orders issued pursuant to Title 75, chapter 11, part 5, MCA;

(b) the permittee committed fraud or deceit in applying for the operating permit; or

(c) the operating permit was issued in error.

(7) Except as provided in (8), the department shall suspend or revoke an operating permit issued under this rule according to the provisions of 75-11-512, MCA.

(8) If the department determines that noncompliance with Title 75, chapter 11, part 5, MCA, or this chapter, poses an immediate or substantial threat to the public health, safety, or environment, it may immediately revoke the operating permit. A permittee whose operating permit has been revoked in accordance with this rule may request a hearing before the department. The department shall schedule a hearing within ten days of the request for hearing.

(9) For the first 45 days after an operating permit expires, an UST is considered not operating if no regulated substance is deposited into or dispensed from the system.


History: 75-11-505, MCA; IMP, 75-11-509, MCA; NEW, 2000 MAR p. 969, Eff. 4/14/00; AMD, 2001 MAR p. 2459, Eff. 12/21/01; AMD, 2002 MAR p. 1091, Eff. 4/12/02; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 1079, Eff. 5/23/03; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 2759, Eff. 12/12/03; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 913, Eff. 4/7/06; AMD, 2007 MAR p. 1667, Eff. 8/24/07; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 2139, Eff. 10/14/11.

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