Summary of Required Components – Breakout Tank Submissions

The three main components of a NPMS breakout tank submission are:

1. Cover/Transmittal Letter

The cover/transmittal letter collects basic information about the submission from the operator such as the Operator ID (OPID), type of submission, and type of change that occurred. The cover letter must be included with the submission. PHMSA has developed a template cover/transmittal letter for breakout tank data submissions to assist you in fulfilling this requirement.

Refer to Section 7 Voluntary Breakout Tank Submissions of the NPMS Operator Standards for additional information.

2. Geospatial Data

NPMS geospatial data captures the physical location of your breakout tanks on the earth’s surface. The geospatial data may be submitted in several different formats; the operator should select the format that best fits their capabilities and resources.

In some cases, like the GIS Esri shapefile and CAD formats, the breakout tank is represented as a point feature. For operators who do not have a mapping/GIS environment, the location of the breakout tank may be submitted as a coordinate pair (in Geographic Latitude Longitude Decimal Degrees format). There is only one coordinate pair per tank. NPMS staff will convert the coordinate pair(s) to a GIS point feature on your behalf. There should be one point/coordinate pair per tank and the point/coordinate pair should fall on the location of the tank (versus multiple points falling in the centroid of the tank farm).

Refer to Section 4 Geospatial Data in the NPMS Operator Standards and Section 4 Submitting Your Geospatial and Attribute Data and Section 9 Tips for CAD Drawing Submissions of the Operator Submission Guide for additional details.

3. Attribute Data

Attribute data captures descriptive information about your breakout tank, such as operator name, tank identification number, and stored commodity. Attributes also collect the contact for the breakout tank and the projection of the geospatial data. The specific attributes that are required for the NPMS breakout tank submission are described in detail in Section 7 Voluntary Breakout Tank Submissions of the NPMS Operator Standards. The attributes may be incorporated with the geospatial data, like in the case of the Esri shapefile. However, not all geospatial formats, like the coordinate format, integrate these two types of data. In this case, the operator must submit the attribute data as a separate component, such as a tab or comma delimited text format or Microsoft Excel format (preferred). When the geospatial and attribute data are submitted as separate items, the OPER_LINK value allows NPMS staff to correctly connect the breakout tank feature to its corresponding attributes.

The specific attributes that are required for the NPMS Breakout tank submission are described in detail in Section 3 Attributes of the NPMS Operator Standards. Specifically, Figure 7.1 in Section 7 of the NPMS Operator Standards lists required field names, field types and acceptable values. For users working with a GIS software system, templates of the required attributes in Esri shapefile and personal geodatabase file formats have been developed for your convenience. These templates contain the NPMS Breakout tank attributes with the proper field names, field types, and field length definition. The templates have a defined projection of Geographic Latitude Longitude NAD 83 Decimal Degrees; if your data is not in this projection, you MUST re-project the downloaded template before adding data. For operators who will submit the attributes in Microsoft Excel format, a template of the breakout tank attribute fields was developed to ease the process. Various sections of the Operator Submission Guide provide detailed information about the submission component combinations, how to populate the attributes and example scenarios; refer to the Table of Contents to identify the sections applicable to your situation.

The projection of the geospatial data must be included in the attributes. If the geospatial data is submitted in a mapping/GIS format with the projection undefined or if coordinate points are submitted, NPMS staff will use the projection information provided in the attributes to define the projection so that the breakout tank data will fall at the correct location on the earth. If the geospatial data is submitted in a mapping/GIS format that does have the projection defined, NPMS staff will use the projection information in the attributes as part of the quality control review workflow.