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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.

Facilities with an aggregate aboveground petroleum storage capacity of 1,320** gallons or more, counting only the capacity of containers and/or tanks that have a storage capacity for 55 gallons or more, must comply with APSA law. 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.

**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.


A facility in the APSA Program must prepare and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan, submit a Hazardous Materials Business Plan in CERS (California Environmental Reporting System), and pay a fee to the CUPA. The SPCC Plan requirement was originally published under the authority of the Clean Water Act in 1973. 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 aboveground petroleum storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less, no discharges to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines (a single discharge of petroleum greater than 1,000 gallons, or two discharges of petroleum each greater than 42 gallons within any 12-month period).

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 to Title 40 of the 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 aboveground petroleum 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 of an aboveground tank, contact the local fire agency.