|ABOVEGROUND PETROLEUM STORAGE TANKS|
CALIFORNIA ABOVEGROUND PETROLEUM STORAGE ACT (APSA)
PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION & COMPLIANCE
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document provides guidance to UPA staff and inspectors, as well as to owners and operators of facilities that may be subject to the requirements of the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA). The statutory provisions described in this document contain legally binding requirements. This document does not substitute for those provisions or regulations, nor is it a regulation itself. In the event of a conflict between the discussion in this document and any statute or regulation, this document would not be controlling. Thus, it does not impose legally binding requirements on the State, UPAs or the regulated community, and might not apply to a particular situation based upon certain circumstances. The word “should” as used in this document is intended solely to recommend or suggest, in contrast to “must” or “shall” which are used when restating regulatory requirements. While this guidance document indicates the State’s strongly preferred approach to assure effective implementation of legal requirements, the State retains the discretion to adopt approaches on a case-by-case basis that differ from this guidance where appropriate. Any decisions regarding a particular facility will be made based on the statute. This is a living document and may be revised periodically without public notice. This document will be revised, as necessary, to reflect any relevant future statutory amendments.
This document does not intend to give guidance on the U.S. EPA Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) requirements. Any questions or clarifications on the SPCC program should be directed to the U. S. EPA. website.
The Unified Program Agencies are required to implement and enforce the California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act, adopted in chapter 6.67 of the California Health and Safety Code. The Unified Program Agencies for the APSA program are not authorized to implement and enforce the federal Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, adopted in section 112 of title 40 of the federal code of regulations. However, APSA requires owners and operators of tank facilities to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan in accordance with part 112 of title 40 of the federal code of regulations. Therefore, all the standards adopted in part 112 of title 40 of the federal code of regulations pertaining to the preparation and implementation of an SPCC Plan are applicable to all California tank facilities subject to APSA and thus enforceable by the UPAs. These facilities may be conditionally exempt from SPCC requirements under state law, but may be captured by the federal SPCC rule. However, the UPA may only evaluate and enforce compliance with the state Act.
The Unified Program Agencies are responsible for implementing the requirements of the Act and therefore should follow the state law. The state APSA sets forth standards and requirements that reference the federal standards. Specifically, the Act mandates that the SPCC Plans be prepared and implemented in accordance with the provisions in 40CFR112. In some jurisdictions a Participating Agency (PA) may be authorized. The CUPA, in consultation with the PA, will be responsible for determining whether or not the PA will be authorized and responsible for implementation of the APSA Program within their jurisdiction. If it is determined that the PA will implement the program, the applicable agreements (MOU) and other related Unified Program documents will need to be revised and updated. The PAs and CUPAs are provided with specific authority to implement the APSA program, pursuant to Section 25270.4 of Chapter 6.67 of the Health and Safety Code, which states "This chapter shall be implemented by the Unified Program Agency."
With regard to spill, release or discharge reporting, under California and federal laws/regulations, there are five distinct and different reporting requirements and thresholds as summarized below. All five are applicable to a tank facility:
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is responsible for the oversight of the cleanup and abatement. Coordination should occur between the Unified Program Agencies and the SWRCB. The UPAs should use the following link to access the list of regional water board contacts: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/CUPA/Aboveground/RWQCBContacts.pdf
Beginning in January 2009, the CUPA evaluations will include an assessment of the CUPA’s implementation status of the APSA program. The state will evaluate the CUPAs based on their implementation of the APSA as stated in the CUPA’s work plan contained in their APSA Grant Agreement. Deficiencies may be identified under certain circumstances. During the grant period and initial implementation of the APSA program, the state will assess the CUPA’s overall performance of the APSA program according to their tasks, activities, timeline and (semi-annual) implementation status reports. However, if a CUPA does not implement the APSA program, the CUPA will be given a deficiency. During the evaluations of CUPAs, Cal/EPA does not intend to conduct oversight inspections for the APSA program at this time