(A) The owner or operator of an underground storage tank which stores or is intended to store a regulated substance shall register the tank with the department. The owner or operator of the tank shall display a registration certificate listing all registered tanks at a facility and in plain view in the office or the kiosk of the facility where the tanks are registered. Upon application for a registration certificate, the owner or operator shall pay to the department an initial registration fee of one hundred dollars a tank; however, the department may prorate the initial registration fees on a daily basis for underground storage tanks installed on or after July 1, 1997. The owner or operator shall pay to the department an annual renewal fee of one hundred dollars a tank a year. Beginning January 1, 2012, the annual renewal fee for each tank will be as follows:

(1) 2012-two hundred dollars;

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 44-2-60

  • Department: means the Department of Health and Environmental Control. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • Fund: means the funds provided for under this chapter and deposited in the Superb Account or the Superb Financial Responsibility Fund hereinafter created. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • Operator: means any person in control of, or having responsibility for the daily operation of an underground storage tank. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • Owner: means :

    (a) in the case of an underground storage tank system in use on November 8, 1984, or brought into use after that date, a person who owns an underground storage tank system used for storage, use, or dispensing of regulated substances;

    (b) in the case of any underground storage tank system in use before November 8, 1984, but no longer in use on that date, a person who owned such an underground storage tank immediately before the discontinuation of its use; or

    (c) a person who has assumed legal ownership of the underground storage tank through the provisions of a contract of sale or other legally binding transfer of ownership. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • Person: means any individual, partner, corporation organized or united for a business purpose, or a governmental agency. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • petroleum product: means crude oil or any fraction thereof which is liquid at standard conditions of temperature and pressure (60 degrees Fahrenheit and 14. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • regulated substance: includes , but is not limited to, petroleum and petroleum-based substances comprised of a complex blend of hydrocarbons derived from crude oil through processes of separation, conversion, upgrading, and finishing, such as motor fuels, jet fuels, distillate fuel oils, residual fuel oils, lubricants, petroleum solvents, and used oils. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • Release: means any spilling, leaking, emitting, discharging, escaping, leaching or disposing from an underground storage tank into subsurface soils, groundwater, or surface water. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20
  • Underground storage tank: means any one or combination of tanks, including underground pipes connected to it, which is used to contain an accumulation of regulated substance, and the volume of which is ten percent or more beneath the surface of the ground. See South Carolina Code 44-2-20

(2) 2013-three hundred dollars;

(3) 2014-four hundred dollars; and

(4) 2015-five hundred dollars.

The additional revenue generated from the tank fee increases listed above must be deposited into the Superb Account. No portion of the increases may be used by the department for administration of the program or for orphan sites as defined in Section 44-2-20(11).

When the Superb Account is credited with an additional thirty-six million dollars from the increase in tank fees, general appropriations, settlements, or other sources of funds including federal funds designated for cleanup, or declared insolvent, the tank registration fee shall revert to one hundred dollars annually for each tank beginning January first of the next year.

(B) No person may place a regulated substance and no owner or operator may cause a regulated substance to be placed into an underground storage tank for which the owner or operator does not hold a currently valid registration. The department may not issue a registration certificate until all past and present fees and penalties owed on a tank are paid. The department may not issue a registration certificate to any owner or operator who has not complied with all terms of a consent or final administrative order issued under Section 44-2-140.

(1) All fees are due to the department within thirty days of billing. The department shall issue a late notice, with no penalty due, to an underground storage tank owner or operator who has unpaid fees thirty days after billing. An owner or operator who fails to pay the fees within sixty days of the initial billing must pay a ten percent penalty in addition to the ten percent penalty for any fees remaining unpaid ninety days after the initial billing. An owner or operator with unpaid fees ninety days after the initial billing is subject to additional enforcement action as provided for in Section 44-2-140.

(2) The department may not disburse Superb Account or Superb Financial Fund monies to any person or persons for the rehabilitation of a petroleum or petroleum product release from any underground storage tank or underground storage tank system where all past and present fees and penalties owed on the applicable tank have not been paid.

(3) The funds generated by the registration and late penalty fees may be used by the department for administration of the provisions of this chapter and for administration of the underground storage tank regulatory program established by this chapter. The amount used for administration may not exceed the amount collected from funds received from federal grants specifically designated for administrative use, interest, the first one hundred dollars for tank registration and late penalty fees.

(C) In addition to the inspection fee of one-fourth cent a gallon imposed pursuant to Section 39-41-120, an environmental impact fee of one-half cent a gallon is imposed which must be used by the department for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this chapter. This one-half cent a gallon environmental impact fee must be paid and collected in the same manner that the one-fourth cent a gallon inspection fee is paid and collected except that the monies generated from these environmental impact fees must be transmitted by the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Environmental Control which shall deposit the fees as provided for in Section 44-2-40.