Fuel Spill Cleanup

Water Protection Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Leanne Tippett Mosby

This fact sheet explains water pollution permits, including land farming of contaminated soil, required for discharge of hydrocarbon-contaminated waters. These are most often associated with fuel spill cleanups. These permits are issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Water Pollution Control Branch.

These permits require the permittee to collect contaminated water and test for pollutants. Discharges are allowed only when test results indicate that the discharge will meet permit limits.

Permits Required

Listed below are the general types of activities and corresponding permits required:

There are two general types of land farms. Off-site land farms and on-site land farms. Because of a decision between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Water Protection Program and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Hazardous Waste Program, the General Permit for land farms (MO-R401) will no longer be issued..

Land farms that are operated off-site of the property on which a petroleum spill occurs will be required to obtain a site specific permit from the Water Protection Program. A Land Disturbance Permit may be required for the construction of land farms. Contact the Water Protection Program at (573) 751-1300 for guidance or questions regarding a site specific land farm permit or a Land Disturbance Permit.

Note that the general permit only covers injection into unsaturated soils and certain perched groundwater. A geological report, signed by a professional geologist or geological engineer and notarized must be submitted with the application to establish that injection is not into an aquifer. A construction permit is not needed with this general permit.

A UIC permit must be obtained for any injection into an aquifer. An aquifer is a subsurface, water-bearing bed or stratum of sand, gravel or bedrock that stores or transmits water. This includes placement underground of nutrients or biological agents for remediation of soil or groundwater. Materials or fluids that are injected must have a recovery system to comply with the prohibition on disposal wells per 577.155 RSMo.

A construction permit is required to install injection wells and recovery systems. Well installations must comply with requirements of the department’s Missouri Geological Survey and the Hazardous Waste Program’s Underground Storage Tank unit.

Permit Exemptions
A water discharge permit is not required for the following:

  1. Less than 500 gallons of uncontaminated storm water from Underground Storage Tank (UST) pit dewatering is land applied without direct discharge or runoff. Small volumes of water may be left in a UST pit during backfilling only if soil can adequately absorb the water.
  2. All wastewater is hauled to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works. The department recommends this option whenever feasible. The facility is required to notify the department that it is accepting the water.
  3. All stockpiles of contaminated soils at a UST or leaking UST site are covered with waterproof material or otherwise protected from contact with precipitation and storm water runoff, and there are no other wastewater discharges. This exemption does not apply to the pumping and disposal of excess water in the excavation.
  4. Contaminated soil is hauled to a permitted landfill. In this case land farming permit (R401) for remediating contaminated soil is not required.
  5. UST release-detection monitoring devices that do not involve on-site treatment or discharge of groundwater, wastewater or storm water.
  6. A construction permit is not required for activities covered under a general permit for land farming (R401), fuel spill cleanups (G94) or in-place soil washing (R409).
  7. Well injection that consists of only ambient or heated air. In this case, a UIC permit is not required.

Permit Applications and Fees
To apply under a general permit for the first time, complete application Form E (MO 780-0795) and submit appropriate fees. After the issuance of the general permit, operating fees will be assessed annually. To request a renewal of the general permit, an application form E must be submitted prior to the expiration of the general permit. No fees will be required with the renewal application form if all the operating annual fees are paid up including any late fee penalties. To apply for a site-specific permit, or if you have any questions concerning fees, contact the water pollution section at your appropriate regional office. A regional office map is available online at www.dnr.mo.gov/regions/regions.htm. If applying for a construction permit to build a treatment device, first contact the department’s Water Protection Program to determine if an antidegradation review is needed, then complete and submit forms E and C with the appropriate fees. Forms UIC I and II are needed for soil washing and site specific UIC permits.

Applications and fees for stormwater permits should be mailed to the permits unit chief at the address below. Applications are available at www.dnr.mo.gov/forms/index.html.

Important Dates in Your General Permit:
Each general permit will be issued on a five-year cycle and will list three important dates on the first page of the permit.

Issuance Date: This is the start date of the permit cycle.
Effective Date: This is the date when your permit becomes effective.
Expiration Date: This is the end date of the permit cycle.

Termination of Permit
The permit may be terminated when activities covered by the permit have ceased. When permit termination is sought, submit Form H for general permits and a letter for site-specific permits. These must be sent to the department’s Water Pollution Control Branch. Land farms must receive closure from the Hazardous Waste Program’s LUST unit before termination of permit will be granted.

For More Information

Water Pollution Permits and General Information
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Water Protection Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300 office
573-526-1146 fax

Underground Storage Tank or Leaking Underground Storage Tank Activities
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Hazardous Waste Program
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102 573-751-3176

Well Construction Standards
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of Environmental Quality
Wellhead Protection Section
P.O. Box 250
111 Fairgrounds Road
Rolla, MO 65401
573-368-2317 fax