Overview of the Breakout Tank Submission Process

The NPMS Operator Standards is an online document that contains detailed information about the NPMS data submission requirements. The NPMS Operator Submission Supplemental Instructions is an online document that contains tips for preparing a complete and accurate NPMS submission. The NPMS Operator Standards and the NPMS Operator Submission Supplemental Instructions may be viewed via a web browser or saved as a PDF file to your local computer.

Determine Applicable Breakout Tank Submission Timeline

Breakout tank operators are required to make an NPMS submission for their breakout tanks each year. Effective as of the 2023 reporting year, the NPMS Information Collection (OMB Control No. 2137-0596) and the Pipeline Safety: Miscellaneous Changes to Pipeline Safety Regulations rule require breakout tank operators to make their submission by June 15 of each year. The breakout tank submission reflects operations as of December 31 of the previous year (e.g., a submission received June 15, 2024 reflects data as of December 31, 2023).

Determine if Changes Have Occurred

Operators can view their existing breakout tank data in the NPMS via OSAVE, which is accessible to operators using their NPMS account. If it is determined that no changes are necessary to the breakout tank data since the previous submission, the operator still must notify NPMS staff. A notification of no changes, in place of a data submission, fulfills the annual NPMS submission requirement. The operator should send NPMS staff their breakout tank no change notification via email. The email must include the OPID and state that there are no changes necessary to the existing breakout tank data to reflect operations as of December 31 of the previous year (e.g., the submission due March 15, 2024 reflects operations as of December 31, 2023).

If the change is that all breakout tank data for the OPID should be removed from the NPMS (e.g., due to divestiture or permanent abandonment of all breakout tanks), the operator should alert NPMS staff via email. The email sent to NPMS staff must include the OPID and the completed cover/transmittal letter (refer to the Summary of Required Components for Breakout Tanks for a template cover/transmittal letter).

Please note that if at any time throughout the year the breakout tank primary and/or technical contact has changed, please notify NPMS staff via email. The primary and technical contact is used internally by NPMS staff for questions about your breakout tank submission/Operator ID (OPID) and to notify you of changes concerning the NPMS process. The NPMS does not currently collect public contact information specifically for breakout tanks.

Determine if Breakout Tanks Have Been Abandoned

If a breakout tank was permanently abandoned during the reporting year, a submission is necessary to convert the breakout tank data to an abandoned status. If the operator opts not to include the abandoned breakout tank in the geospatial and attribute portions of the submission, the operator must include a note in the cover letter indicating that the breakout tank was not included in the submission because it was permanently abandoned in place. In this scenario, NPMS staff will convert the status of the previously submitted breakout tank data to abandoned, on the operator’s behalf. Once a breakout tank is officially abandoned in the NPMS, it should not be included in future NPMS submissions. Since abandoned breakout tanks are disassociated from your OPID, your company’s abandoned breakout tanks will not appear in OSAVE under your NPMS Account. However, abandoned breakout tank data is viewable via the NPMS Public Viewer (as the generic OPID 99999 ABANDONED operator). If needed, NPMS staff can also send your abandoned breakout tanks, in shapefile format, for use in your own GIS to assist you with confirming your submission excludes any breakout tanks previously reported as permanently abandoned. Please contact NPMS staff if you are unsure of which breakout tanks are currently abandoned in the NPMS for your OPID.

Develop Breakout Tank Submission Components

Section 2 General Requirements (Key Terms and Definitions) of the NPMS Operator Standards outlines the main components of the NPMS submission. This section also defines the types of breakout tanks that must be included in an NPMS data submission; if you are unsure if your breakout tanks meet PHMSA’s definition, please refer to this section. The Summary of Required Components for Breakout Tanks provides of a brief overview of the submission components.

Submit Breakout Tank Components via OSAVE

Once all the components of the NPMS breakout tank data submission are prepared, the operator should send the submission to NPMS staff.

The breakout tank data submission should be transmitted digitally via the OSAVE submission workflow tool. This tool prompts you to attach your data files. Please attach one zip file containing all required components. The zip file should contain your Operator ID as part of the file name. This tool also prompts you to add any desired notes, and to submit to NPMS staff. The files from your local computer will be automatically sent to our NPMS server where NPMS staff will retrieve it. Please note that a NPMS account is required to access this tool.

Review Processed Breakout Tank Data

Once NPMS staff receives your NPMS breakout tank submission, staff will verify that the submission contains the required components. You will be sent an email confirming receipt of your complete breakout tank data submission or requesting additional information. Once all the components are received and validated, NPMS staff will process your submission. Please note that submissions are processed in the order they arrive.

Once the submission has been processed, the NPMS submission is incorporated into the NPMS national layer. This step finalizes the NPMS submission and concludes the NPMS submission process. Once the submission data is available for viewing in the NPMS map viewers, NPMS staff sends an email notification to the primary and technical contacts. If an error is identified in the incorporated data, please contact NPMS staff to determine the best approach for making necessary corrections to your breakout tank data.

Questions regarding the NPMS data or NPMS submissions should be directed to NPMS staff at npms@dot.gov or 703-317-6294.