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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a building permit for a tank to store hazardous materials

Service overview

You need this building permit to install or remove hazardous material tanks.

Storage tanks must follow PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) regulations.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this permit.


Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply for this permit. Authorized agents may include:

  • Design professionals.
  • Attorneys.
  • Contractors.
  • Licensed expediters.


Permit application

Application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information


A licensed contractor must perform all work. The contractor must:

  • Have an active license.
  • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
  • Have current insurance on file with L&I.

If the tank is regulated by the PA DEP, the contractor must have a DEP Company Certification in the applicable category.


If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.

  • Plans must be drawn to scale on a sheet that is at least 18 in. by 24 in.
  • Plans submitted electronically must follow the ePlan Standards.
  • If the application is submitted in person, include three copies of plans.
  • If the work costs more than $25,000, plans must be sealed by a PA-licensed engineer.
  • The plan must include:
    • Project address
    • Site dimensions and location of tank
    • Tank installation details
    • Tank venting, fill points, and overflow protection
    • Vehicle impact protection (if applicable)
    • Surface restoration details for underground tanks
    • Storage capacity of tank
    • Material being stored

Forms and other documents

You may need:

  • Accelerated Plan Review Request form (optional)
  • Structural Design Criteria form: For construction of any incidental structural support system
  • Special Inspections documentation (if applicable)
    • Duties & Responsibilities Agreement signed by all parties
    • Statement of Special Inspections Schedule with categories and frequency selected
    • Name of licensed Special Inspection Agency qualified for all inspection categories
  • Engineer’s Report signed and sealed by a PA licensed engineer
    • Required if the proposed work includes the installation or removal of an underground tank that is within five feet of an existing building on an adjacent lot.
    • The report must include existing conditions and identify any required precautions or protections
  • Tanks in the floodplain

Related permits

A separate Zoning Permit required for:

  • Tanks located in the 100-year floodplain
  • Above-ground tanks that are larger than 6 ft. by 6 ft. by 6 ft.
  • Above-ground tanks located within a front setback required by the Zoning Code

Required pre-approvals

For historic properties 

More +

For encroachments on the right-of-way

More +

For earth disturbance of 5,000 sq. ft. or more 

More +

Where and when


You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.

In person

You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center in person.

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.


Fee types that may apply

Filing fee

  • Sites containing one-and-two-family dwellings: $25
  • All other sites: $100

This fee is nonrefundable and is applied towards the final permit fee.

Permit fee

  • Per tank: $145

Surcharge fees

  • City surcharge: $3 per permit
  • State surcharge: $4.50 per permit

Record retention fee

  • Per page larger than 8.5 in. x 14 in.: $4

Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)

Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.

  • Fee: $2000
    • $350 is due when you apply. You must pay the remainder once approved.

To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review request form and submit with your permit application. Accelerated review fees will not be credited toward your final permit fee.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.


You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center or online using eCLIPSE.

In person

Get any required pre-approvals before submitting your application to L&I.
Bring your completed application, application materials, and payment to the Permit and License Center.
  • Application must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the contractor’s letterhead verifying involvement with the project.
  • Applications for tank removal will be reviewed while you wait.
  • Applications with plans are processed within 20 business days.
  • The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
L&I will issue your permit or request more information.
Once approved, schedule your inspection.

Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. The contact information and required inspections will be noted on your permit.

A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.


Log in to your eCLIPSE account and apply for a permit. Upload all required documents and pay the filing fee.

If applying as a licensed professional or contractor, you must first associate your license or registration with your online account.

The application will go to L&I and other City departments for review and approval.
  • Before a permit can be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.
  • Applications for tanks for one-or-two-family uses are reviewed within 15 business days. Applications for tanks for all other uses are reviewed within 20 business days.
    • Allow an additional business day for pre-processing.
    • The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5 business days.
If approved, the applicant will receive notice to pay the balance.

If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.


Once you are approved, schedule an inspection.

When the contractor is ready to start work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.

Approval documents will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.