TSSA Introduces the New Fuel Oil Regulation and Code

Environmental Due Diligence & Remediation
PEN #8

Tank and CraneOn June 28, 2001, the Ontario Legislature enacted the new Technical Standard and Safety Authority (TSSA) Act, 2000. The new Act replaces seven former statutes including the Energy Act. Prior to passing of the new legislation, the management and disposal of fuel oil tanks and equipment were included under the provisions of the Energy Act and Fuel Oil Code.

To replace the Energy Act, the new TSSA Act, 2000 includes the introduction of new documentation used to regulate the use of fuel oil handling and storage in Ontario. Under the Act, the fuel oil sector is regulated by the new Ontario Regulation 213/01 Fuel Oil document that sets out the administrative requirements for the fuel oil sector. This regulation, in turn, adopts the new CSA B-139-00 document, ‘Installation Code for the Oil-Burning Equipment’ or ‘Fuel Oil Code’ that sets out the specific requirements for the storage, handling and utilization of fuel oil. The CSA B-139-00 document has been modified by TSSA to reflect application of the code in Ontario. These modifications are set out in the ‘Fuel Oil Code Adoption Document’, dated June 1, 2001.

Significant changes from the perspective of the owner/operator of fuel oil tanks and equipment are discussed below:

New requirements for addressing spills and leaks.

Reporting requirement to the TSSA are now required in the event of a fuel oil spill or ‘escape of product’. The requirement to notify the MOE Spills Action Centre is now explicitly included in the Code in addition to the required actions to mitigate the spill or leak.

Two Storage TanksFor Operating Sites, where fuel handling equipment remains installed on the property even if not in use, the TSSA has introduced a new Standard, ‘Environmental Management Protocol For Operating Fuel Handling Facilities in Ontario’, Draft March 2001. The new standard provides owners and operators with methods to address the escape of product and site restoration. For example, in the event of a ‘loss of product’ as defined by the Code, an environmental assessment and appropriate restoration actions would be required.

The Protocol also allows for development of a Contaminant Management Plan which, in part, will allow for contaminants to remain on Site while a facility continues to be operational.

Notification of Tank Removal

Where above ground or underground storage tanks are to be permanently removed, notification of the removal must be made with the TSSA.

Registration for underground fuel oil tanks

In the Spring of 2002, the TSSA will begin to assemble an inventory of all operational fuel oil equipment in the province. As part of their licensing requirements, suppliers of fuel oil will be required to submit information regarding the fuel oil equipment that they currently service. Owner/operators will not be required to register their equipment as this will be undertaken by the fuel suppliers. It is Pinchin’s understanding that this information may be used by TSSA for later tank upgrade notifications.

Upgrade requirements for underground fuel oil tanks

Upgrading of underground storage tanks will be phased in beginning in Year 5 from the date of fuel oil code adoption (October 1, 2001), as per Table 1 below.

Owners or operators of underground fuel tanks, particularly those with large inventory should consider the merits of addressing upgrade requirements prior to the mandatory implementation schedule.

Table 1: Schedule for Upgrading Existing Underground Tank Systems*

At the dates in Table 1, one must remove or upgrade underground tanks and piping and add:

  • approved leak detection
  • corrosion protection
  • spill containment
  • overflow protection device

Age of tank system in years from date of installation Years from the date of adoption of the document
25 and more, or unknown 5 Years (October 1, 2006)
20-24 6 Years (October 1, 2007)
10-19 7 Years (October 1, 2008)
0-9 8 Years (October 1, 2009)

* taken from Table A1 of CSA B-139-00, Fuel Oil Code

Additional information regarding the Fuel Oil Regulation and Code can be obtained from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) website at http://www.tssa.org.