Permits - New Installation

DHEC only requires permits for new installations.


In order to build a new gas station or install a new tank at an existing facility, tank owners must start the permitting process. The first step in this process is to accurately fill out and submit the Application for a Permit to Install (pdf). More information is available if you are installing or providing notification for the existence of an Airport Hydrant Fuel Distrtibution System or UST System with Field-Constructed tanks.

Effective May 26, 2017, No vent line flow restrictors (Ball Float Vent Valves) may be installed at new facilities or installed at any existing facility. Ball Float Vent Valves that cannot be repaired according to the manufacturer's specifications must be replaced with another method.

Points to consider

The review process for this application usually takes less than a week. Facilities located in one of the eight coastal counties will also have to gain approval from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), which could add some time to the application process. Once the review is complete and all required information is submitted, a Permit to Install will be issued to the tank owner. Once this permit is received, installation may begin.

Refer to the regulations, Regulation 61-92, Part 280 for further information

Once installation has begun, DHEC will perform Phase inspections to monitor progress. Inspections must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance to allow time for a DHEC representative to be present. The Phase 1 inspection includes the inspection of  the tank(s). The Phase 2 inspection will include the inspection  of the piping runs prior to backfill. A Phase 3 will now occur after the permit to operate application is submitted. Once you submit the permit application, a staff member will conduct you to schedule the Phase 3 inspection. After the Phase 3 has been completed and any missing documents have been submitted, the permit to operate will be issued. Learn more about Phase inspections here.

If ballasting is required to anchor the tanks and fuel is used, written notification must be submitted to DHEC prior to the first fuel drop. Once the notification is received, an invoice will be issued for the current registration fees. Also, once fuel ballasting occurs, release detection must be conducted. Records of release detection must be made available for review during the Phase 2 piping inspection as well as submitted with the Permit to Operate application. 

An "As-Built" map is required to be submitted with the Application for a Permit to Operate. The map (which is not to exceed 8 ½" by 11") should show buildings, dispenser islands, canopy, USTs, product piping, and vent piping. The map must be accurate to within one foot.

Once all installation and required testing per equipment manufacturer specifications has occurred, the tank owner may submit an Application for a Permit to Operate (pdf) for review.

A Permit to Operate will NOT be issued until the financial responsibility requirement is met.

Once all required information is received and the final inspection (Phase 3) has been completed, the permit to operate will be issued. A Permit to Operate and a operator training letter temporary registration certificate will be issued. If the tanks were not previously ballasted with fuel, an invoice for registration fees will also be issued. At this point, the tank owner is free to add fuel to the tanks and begin operating the tank system. The temporary certificate is only valid for 60 days. Once the registration fees are paid, a permanent registration certificate will be issued.

You cannot operate a UST system without a valid Permit to Operate.


Eric Cathcart, Manager, 803-898-0633


Environment Land & Waste Permitting