oil drums

The EPA Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations Webpage 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 (TIUGA) would be subject to APSA.  Please refer to the OSFM Information on Tanks In Underground Areas (TIUGAs) webpage for more information.

*Some facilities may be Conditionally Exempt from APSA requirements if they are located on and operated by a farm, nursery, logging site, or construction site and if they meet the conditions listed in HSC §25270.4.5(b).


 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) and as of January 1, 2019, facilities with TIUGAs became subject to regulation under APSA [HSC §25270.3].  Facilities with less than 1,320 gallons of total petroleum storage capacity that have one or more TIUGAs must prepare and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan.  Please refer to the following guidance documents for more information on TIUGAs:

Laws and Regulations: Tanks in Underground Areas

OSFM Information on Tanks In Underground Areas (TIUGAs)

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

Monthly Checklist for TIUGA Facility with Less than 1,320 Gallons of Petroleum (OSFM Version)


Additional APSA Information:


Code of Federal Regulations Part 112 – Oil Pollution Prevention (SPCC Rule)

Federal SPCC Requirements and Guidance


California Health and Safety Code Chapter 6.67 Aboveground Storage of Petroleum (APSA)

Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) and the APSA Program


For fire code requirements on aboveground petroleum storage tank installation, alteration, abandonment or removal, contact the appropriate District 1 Fire Authority or for state owned/operated facilities contact CAL FIRE-OSFM Fire & Life Safety Division.


APSA Requirements for Farms per Senate Bill 612

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

COVID-19 Implications for EPAs Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program (no longer in effect after Aug 31, 2020)