Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs)

All aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) greater than 10,000 gallons that store any fluid other than water require permits and inspections.
inspection of an aboveground tank

You need a permit from the Office of the State Fire Marshal to construct or install new aboveground storage tanks. Aboveground storage tanks must also have a Use Permit, which is issued by the State Fire Marshal upon construction and every five years thereafter. Tanks must be inspected annually.

List of all categories and content that are stored in regulated aboveground    storage tanks




Aboveground storage tank permits

You need a permit to construct or install new aboveground storage tanks. You also need a Use Permit, which is issued upon construction. The Use Permit is renewed every 5-years upon successful completion of the renewal process.

New aboveground storage tank permits

Existing aboveground storage tank permits

Beginning in November 2020, the State Fire Marshal’s Office will start sending out AST Use Permit renewal reminder notices to AST owners/operators approximately 45 days prior to the Use Permit’s expiration date. In order to renew the Use Permit, an AST Inspection and Renewal Form will need to be submitted with the associated fee.

AST Declaration of the Approved Standard Letter

History of AST Regulation in Massachusetts

Boston Public Library photo of 1919 Molasses Flood

On January 15, 1919, the Great Molasses Flood killed 21 people and injured 150 more in Boston's North End. Many claim you can still smell molasses in the North End on hot summer days. The state began regulating aboveground storage tanks (AST’s) greater than 10,000 gallons storing any fluid other than water after this disaster.


Boston Public Library photo. 

More Information

Everything that is stored in regulated aboveground storage tanks 

For questions, contact the Code Compliance Office at (978) 567-3375 and in western Massachusetts (978) 567-3813.

Contact   for Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs)


Open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.


DFS Code Compliance
1 State Road, Stow, MA 01775

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