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Inventory Control for Petroleum Storage Tanks

Learn about inventory control for petroleum storage tanks, when it's necessary, how to do it, and what to do when it fails.

Inventory control is an ongoing accounting system like balancing a checkbook. It compares what is in your tank to what should be in the tank.

All retail facilities that sell fuel to the public must perform inventory control, regardless of any other release detection methods. Some non-retail facilities use it together with automatic tank gauging or statistical inventory reconciliation as their release detection method, but there are other options. See our Adobe Acrobat PDF Document Release Detection and Inventory Control for USTs module (RG-475g) of the PST Super Guide (RG-475) for more information.

How to Conduct Inventory Control

Each day the tank is used, record the following amounts in your inventory control ledger or worksheet:

  • Total product in the tank at the start and end of the day.
  • Any product delivered.
  • Product dispensed.

For more in-depth guidance, see EPA’s Doing Inventory Control Right publication.

If you do not have your own method, you may use our electronic inventory control worksheets:

You must reconcile your inventory at least every 30 days, which means at least 13 times each year. To reconcile your inventory control, compare your total overage or shortage of product to the “leak check” value calculated in the worksheets. This applies to anyone using inventory control, regardless of other release detection methods, even if you have an automated inventory tracking system.

Failing Inventory Control

If the overage or shortage exceeds the “leak check” value (fails) for two consecutive 30-day periods, follow the procedures for a suspected release. You do not need to report failing one 30-day period but keep the record.

More Information

See the following resources for more on PST rules and requirements:

TCEQ's Small Business and Local Government Assistance section offers free, confidential help to small businesses and local governments working to follow state environmental regulations. Call us at 800-447-2827 or visit our webpage at