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Oil, especially used oil, has the potential to cause pollution and other negative effects if handled incorrectly. Used oil is also one of the most common waste fluids you generate at your facility. Because salvage yards so commonly deal with this fluid, the importance of following all applicable regulations can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of everyday business. This section will help you understand some of the most common regulations that apply to storage, use and disposal of used oil.
Good condition is free from rust, dents, holes, bulges and leaks. Inspect all used oil storage containers and/or tanks at your facility. If your containers and/or tanks are not in good condition, you will need to submit an RTC plan form. To be in compliance, you will need to immediately replace/repair the damaged containers and/or tanks. Dispose of deteriorated containers at an approved disposal or recycling facility, as appropriate. Maintain containers and/or tanks in good condition. Submit to IDEM documentation of proper used oil storage (e.g., photos).
All containers and/or tanks that store used oil must be labeled clearly with the words “Used Oil”. No other phrases are acceptable. If your containers and/or tanks are not labeled with the words “Used Oil”, you will need to submit an RTC plan form. In addition to tanks and containers, label any fill ports if the fill ports are not directly associated with the containers and/or tanks.
An example of this is when a container and/or tank is outside the building and the fill port (commonly a sink or pump) is located inside the building. To be in compliance, you will need to label (e.g., via stickers, paint, marker, stenciling) all of your used oil containers and/or tanks with the words “Used Oil”. Submit to IDEM documentation of labeling (e.g., photographs).
If “NO”, skip question 3a.
The use of an oil-fired space heater is permitted provided that the heater has a maximum capacity of no more than half (0.5) million BTUs/hour and that the combustion gases from the heater are vented to the ambient air.
If you burn oil generated by another business facility (except for household do-it-yourselfers), you will need to submit an RTC plan form. To be in compliance, you will need to immediately cease the use/acceptance of used oil generated at other locations. Submit to IDEM documentation that describes the source of used oil burned at your facility.
If you would like to continue to use/accept used oil generated by another location, you must comply with 329 IAC 13-4-1 requirements for used oil marketers.
If “YES”, skip question 4a.
You can find a list of registered used oil transporters on the IDEM Web site.
You may self-transport fifty-five (55) gallons or less of used oil if you take it to an approved collection center or company owned aggregation point. If you do not take your oil to an approved location or have an approved contract, you must submit an RTC plan form. To be in compliance, you will need to immediately contract the services of a registered transporter and maintain records of shipments or you may self-transport to an approved location.
Submit to IDEM proof of the use of a registered transporter (unless you transport fifty-five (55) gallons or less) and approved location.
Capacity equals the amount the containers and tanks can hold, NOT the amount of oil you currently have.
If “NO”, skip question 5a.
Calculate the oil storage capacity you have on site. This will include both product oil and used oil. The only containers that you will need to count are those above ground with a capacity to hold fifty-five (55) gallons or more. If the total capacity is less than one thousand three hundred and twenty (1320) gallons, answer NO and skip question 5a.
If your facility does not have an SPCC Plan, you will need to submit an RTC plan form. To be in compliance, you will need to develop an SPCC Plan. Submit to IDEM documentation of your SPCC Plan. Alternately, you may reduce the total on site oil capacity at your facility.
For more information on developing a SPCC plan, visit:
or call the U.S. EPA at (312) 866-7187
Improperly stored used oil.
Labeled drum of used oil.
Used oil label.
Space heater with labeled used oil storage tank.
If you have any questions about the rule for burning used oil, please contact IDEM’s Office of Land Quality toll free at:
(800) 451-6027 ext. 234-6935.
Registered used oil transporter.
Drum transported in a truck bed.
Oil storage capacity exceeding 1320 gallons.
Oil storage capacity exceeding 1320 gallons.
Sample spill prevention control and countermeasures plan cover page.
Download the complete Auto Salvage Recyclers Workbook and Checklist [PDF]