oil drums
The EPA Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations Webpage (https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations) now includes a link to the OECA webpage and March 26, 2020 memorandum for COVID-19 Implications for EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program.


California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act 

The Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) applies to owners and operators with a total storage capacity of 1,320 gallons* or more of petroleum at a facility. The Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ)Hazardous Materials Division (HMD) is the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) responsible for the regulatory inspections of all Tank Facilities subject to APSA in the County of San Diego.  The main purpose of the APSA inspection program is to verify tank facilities have prepared and are implementing a Federal Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. 

In APSA, the term “petroleum” means crude oil, or a fraction thereof, that is liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure. Please refer to the state law for additional information.

*Some facilities with less than 1,320 gallons of petroleum with a tank in an underground area would be subject to APSA.  Please refer to the Guide to Understanding Tanks in Underground Areas in the APSA Program for more information.


 Aboveground storage capacity of more than 10,000 gallons:


Large Tank Facilities, with a storage capacity of more than 10,000 gallons of oil must use a Professional Engineer to certify the SPCC Plan. The USEPA provides resources and guidance on their website.

 Aboveground storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less:


Tank Facilities with a total storage capacity of  ≥1,320 gallons* and <10,000 gallons of oil, with limited or no oil releases, are considered "Qualified Facilities" under the federal SPCC rule. There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and Tier II. Qualified Facilities may use ready-made templates to develop their SPCC Plan and may self-certify their SPCC Plan. 

Tier I facilities may prepare and self-certify their own SPCC plan. U.S. EPA SPCC Plan Template - Tier I Qualified Facilities

Tier II facilities may also prepare and self-certify their own SPCC plan.  SPCC Plan Template - Tier II Qualified Facilities

Tanks in Underground Areas (TIUGAs):


On October 2, 2015, Senate Bill SB-612 (Jackson) amended the definition of a “tank in an underground area” (TIUGA). Under APSA, aboveground storage tanks include TIUGAs if certain conditions are met. Facilities with less than 1,320 gallons of petroleum are also regulated under APSA if it has one or more TIUGAs; in this case, only the TIUGAs are subject to APSA. Please refer to the following guidance documents for more information on TIUGAs:

Laws and Regulations: Tanks in Underground Areas

Monthly Checklist for TIUGA Facility with Less than 1,320 Gallons of Petroleum (Word | PDF)

OSFM Guide to Tanks in Underground Areas

OSFM Information Bulletin 18-005

State Water Board Letter and Flowcharts on Tanks in Underground Areas


Additional APSA Information:


COVID-19 Implications for EPAs Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program

Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM)

Federal SPCC Requirements and Guidance

Underground Storage Tanks Being Sold As Aboveground Storage Tanks (OSFM Information Bulletin 14-0005 Adenum 01-29-2015)

APSA Facility Statement 

Unified Program Violation Dictionary 

APSA and SB 612 for Farms