The Oil Control Program

The Oil Control Program (OCP) within the Land and Materials Administration of the Maryland Department of the Environment regulates oil-related activities in the State, such as aboveground and underground oil storage facilities, oil-contaminated soil treatment facilities, and oil transportation.  Through a combination of OCP staff and certified individuals, the OCP oversees the installation, maintenance, operation, and removal of oil storage tanks.  The Program maintains a strong field presence to accomplish these tasks.  OCP inspectors investigate complaints of illegal dumping and the improper handling of oil as well as non-compliance with state and federal regulations.


OCP COVID-19 Guidance Memoranda 

OCP remains committed to the protection of public health, public safety, and the environment during the COVID-19 emergency and continues to expect the regulated underground storage tank (UST) system community to comply with applicable state law and regulations and any corrective action or remediation projects, including where periodic site monitoring is required.  MDE recognizes that impacts of the COVID-19 emergency may present challenges for the regulated UST system community or interfere withe UST system operation and maintenance and other UST system activities.  These impacts may also disrupt or delay certain UST system operation and maintenance activities, including but not limited to UST system removals, site monitoring, and corrective action and remediation work.

In the event that an owner or operator of a UST system or other regulated entity will be delayed or unable to timely perform a required UST system operation or maintenance, or other UST system related activity due to COVID-19 emergency, the UST owner or operator or other regulated entity must immediately notify OCP and provide detailed information regarding the delay or inability to timely perform the specific required UST system activity; and provide OCP with an assessment of the potential for risks to the public health, public safety, or the environment if the requirement is not timely performed or is delayed; and steps that can be taken to mitigate any such risk.  OCP will consider any need for flexibility or request for OCP to exercise enforcement discretion on a limited, case-by-case basis.

OCP has developed the following guidance memoranda to assist the regulated UST system community in carrying out ongoing UST system compliance and supporting activities; and to inform other UST system stakeholders regarding these efforts.

Links to memoranda:

These memoranda do not create any exceptions to the Executive Orders issued by Governor Hogan or excuse the failure of a UST system owner or operator or other responsible person to comply with any applicable state law or regulation, or generally relieve UST owners or operators from other regulatory requirements, including local or federal law.  It is the responsibility of a business, organization or facility to determine whether it is considered essential and can be conducting work during the state of emergency.  For further information, please find the Governor's Executive Orders at this web page:

Underground Storage Tanks

The OCP has highly trained staff to help companies and individuals ensure that their underground storage tanks (USTs) are in compliance with State and federal regulations.  All regulated USTs within Maryland are required to be registered through the UST Notification Program.  All USTs storing motor fuels (e.g., gasoline, diesel) must meet specific technical standards (corrosion protection, spill/overfill prevention, leak detection, and financial responsibility) or be removed from the ground.  For additional information, please visit our Underground Storage Tanks page.  For additional information on UST Certifications, please visit our UST Certification Programs page.    

Aboveground Storage Tanks

The OCP issues oil operations permits to facilities that store virgin oil in aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) with 10,000 gallons or more capacity or that store used oil in ASTs with 1,000 gallons or more capacity.  Our staff is available to assist in reviewing plans and is available to interpret State and federal regulations regarding ASTs.  For additional information on ASTs, please visit our Aboveground Storage Tanks page.

Residential Heating Oil

The OCP does not regulate residential heating oil tanks if they are less than 1,100 gallons while they are in normal use.  However, once a residential heating oil tank is no longer in use, the owner is required to have the tank and all connected pipes and fill lines removed by a Maryland certified UST remover or technician.  Please visit our Residential Heating Oil page for more information on this and the Residential Heating Oil Tank Site Cleanup Reimbursement Program.

Remediation Sites

When there is a release of oil into the environment, the OCP oversees the cleanup to assure the protection of Maryland citizens and our environment.  For additional information, please visit our Remediation Sites page.  Additionally, the Fact Sheets, Publications, and Reports page provides links to many oil remediation related activities.

Oil Transportation

In an effort to ensure the safe transportation of oil within Maryland, the OCP issues specific permits to transportation and transfer companies.  The OCP also oversees the Oil Transfer Licensing and associated fee collections to help fund Maryland's oil pollution programs.  Please visit the Oil Transportation Licenses and Permits page for more information.

UST Loan Program

A program managed through the Water Quality Financing Administration (WQFA), known as Linked Deposit may provide owners of underground oil storage tanks a way to replace those tanks. Click here for more information or contact Michael Roberts at (410) 925-4793 or by email at

Upcoming Oil Control Program Public Meetings and Hearings

None at this time 

For Further Information

Oil Control Program

(410) 537-3442; (800) 633-6101 x3442

Residential Heating Oil Tank Site Cleanup Reimbursement Program

(410) 537-3676; (800) 633-6101 x3676

To Report Oil Spills Call (Available 24 hours a day)

1-866-633-4686  ​​