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Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA)

The aboveground storage of petroleum statute was originally adopted in California in 1989 and administered by the State Water Resources Control Board and Regional Water Quality Control Boards. On January 1, 2008, Assembly Bill 1130 transferred the responsibility for the implementation, enforcement, and administration of aboveground storage of petroleum to Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA). The CAL Fire-Office of the State Fire Marshal has oversight responsibility of APSA.

APSA regulates facilities with aggregate aboveground petroleum storage capacities of 1,320** gallons or more, which include aboveground storage containers or tanks with petroleum storage capacities of 55 gallons or greater. In APSA, the term "petroleum" means crude oil, or any fraction thereof, that is a liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure. Although APSA does not regulate non-petroleum products, all regulated facilities must meet the federal Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule requirements.

**On October 2, 2015, Senate Bill 612 amended the definition of a "tank in an underground area." Under APSA, aboveground storage tanks include tanks in underground areas if certain conditions are met. Therefore, a facility with less than 1,320 gallons of petroleum storage capacity with a "tank in an underground area" may also be regulated under APSA.

Not withstanding exemptions and/or exclusions, petroleum stored in containers, tanks, oil-filled equipment, oil-filled operational equipment, and manufacturing equipment at a non-transportation related facility is included in APSA.


Unless exempted, a facility in the APSA Program must prepare and implement a SPCC Plan, submit facility information in CERS (California Environmental Reporting System), and pay a fee to the CUPA. The intent of the SPCC Plan is prevention of, preparedness for, and response to petroleum discharges by describing procedures, methods, and equipment at the facility to prevent such discharges.

The owner or operator of a Qualified Facility can prepare and self-certify an SPCC Plan rather than have a Professional Engineer (P.E.) review and certify the SPCC Plan. There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and II.

A Qualified Facility has a total oil storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less and no single discharge exceeding 1,000 gallons or no two discharges each exceeding 42 gallons to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines within any twelve month period in the three years prior to the SPCC Plan self-certification date, or since becoming subject to SPCC Plan requirements if the facility has been in operation for less than three years (discharge is not the result of natural disasters, acts of war, or terrorism).

Tier I - If the Qualified Facility does not have an individual aboveground petroleum tank with capacity greater than 5,000 gallons, the facility can complete and self-certify the SPCC Plan (Appendix G Title 40 of Code of Federal Regulations – 40 CFR - part 112).

Tier II - If the Qualified Facility has an individual aboveground petroleum tank with capacity greater than 5,000 gallons, the facility can prepare a self-certified SPCC Plan in accordance with all applicable requirements of 40 CFR Section 112.7 and subparts B or C.

Facilities with greater than 10,000 gallons of oil in qualifying aboveground tank capacity must have a registered P.E. review and certify the SPCC Plan.



Fact Sheet


CERS Submittal

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For questions regarding permits for the installation or modification of an aboveground tank, contact the local fire agency.