Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality
Oregon DEQ runs a number of programs that are related to gas stations. However, there is no comprehensive program in Oregon for gas station regulation. Therefore, each individual municpality must make their own land use rules to protect their economic, health, and environmental interests from the risks of gas stations.
Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program
The Oregon DEQ UST Program handles a number of different concerns including issuing operating certificates and state rules enforcement for petroleum storage. Their Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) program has two important resources:
- Leak statistics
- Searchable leaking underground storage tank database
- Environmental Cleanup Site Information list
See ORS 466.706-466.882 and 466.994 for information on the Oregon Underground Storage Tank laws. In these Statutes you will find many details on how to install and license a compliant underground petroleum tank but no specific details on where to install a petroleum tank to avoid introducing economic, health, or environmental risks to a community.
Gas stations have significant risks of nonpoint source pollution from the daily leaks and spills of gas dispensers and vehicles visiting stations. Handling this runoff is usually managed under stormwater runoff regulation at a federal, state, and municipal level. See the Oregon DEQ Stormwater resource page for general information.
In Oregon stormwater discharge is regulated via the 1200-Z industrial stormwater permit. However, retail gas stations are not subject to 1200-Z requirements. And, notably, motor vehicle parts and storage are required to get permits because of the risk spills and leaks:
Schedule E – Sector-Specific Requirements for Industrial Activity Sector M – Motor Vehicle Parts, Used
E.M.1 Additional Technology-Based Effluent Limits
E.M.1.1 Spill and Leak Prevention Procedures. Drain vehicles intended to be dismantled of all fluids upon arrival at the site (or as soon thereafter as feasible), or employ some other equivalent means to prevent spills and leaks.
Drinking Water Protection
Oregon implements its drinking water protection program through a partnership between the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Health Authority. Read more about the program on the DEQ website
The rules do have minimal 25-50ft setback requirements for petroleum storage. Notably, hazardous waste storage has a 500ft setback requirement.
Under Oregon Water Resources Department’s rules related to water supply well construction, ORS 537, OAR 690-210, and OAR 690-215, there are also restrictions for setbacks:
- 25’ from residential underground or above ground petroleum storage tank
- 50’ from commercial underground or above ground petroleum storage tank
- 50’ setback for septic tanks
- 100’ for sewage disposal or line
- 50’ from Confined Animal Feeding Operations
- 50’ from a closed sewage or storm drainage system
- 50’ from any animal waste holding area such as a pond or lagoon
- 100’ from sewage sludge disposal area
- 500’ from hazardous waste storage, disposal, or treatment facility