Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

February 11, 1977



Regional Administrator - Region VII
SUBJECT: CFR 1910.106, Manufacturer's Inquiry Regarding the Use of Fiberglass Storage Tanks at Wellheads


Reference is made to your memo dated September 22, 1976, which transmitted a letter of inquiry concerning the above stated subject matter, as well as a copy of your letter of reply.

Your response to the inquiry is correct for the standards as presently written. However, because of the tremendous increase in technology since 1969, the 1973 revision of NFPA 30 conflicts with the requirements of the 1969 edition. Since the enforcement of outdated standards is making things difficult in the field, this office has recently requested the standards section to place a high priority on the revision of 1910.106 and 107.

It is therefore recommended that any equipment or condition that is in compliance with the latest NFPA Code, which has no lessening effect on the safety and health of the employees, would substantially meet the intent of the Act and OSHA's Program as a whole.

Therefore, fiberglass tanks used for the storage of crude oil would be acceptable to OSHA if they are installed in isolated rural areas and meet the requirements of the revised edition of NFPA 30-1973. Any violation of the present standard would be considered de minimis. However, fiberglass tanks used for the storage of Class IIIB liquids in other than isolated rural areas would have to meet other requirements and is best handled through the variance route.

Richard P. Wilson
Deputy Director
Federal Compliance and State Programs