|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.
A tank facility is subject to APSA if:
Important Note: The California APSA only regulates tank facilities that store petroleum and not other oils, as does the federal SPCC Rule (subject to 40CFR112). The Act’s definition of petroleum and tank facility must first be applied before considering the first applicability criteria above.
For the purposes of APSA, a “tank facility” is defined as any one, or combination of, 55-gallon or greater aboveground storage containers or tanks, including any piping that is integral to the tank, that contains petroleum and that is used by a single business entity at a single location or site.
The Act defines “petroleum” to mean crude oil, or a fraction thereof, that is liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure (normal atmospheric pressure at sea level). Some examples of petroleum products that would be subject to APSA if stored in aboveground storage tanks are as follows:
• Petroleum-based liquid fuels, including:
• Gasoline and other fuel blending stocks
Yes. However, 100 percent biodiesel is not considered petroleum and, therefore, is not regulated under APSA.
No. Propane or natural gas, including LNG and LPG, is not a liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure (normal atmospheric pressure at sea level) and is therefore not regulated under APSA.
A tank facility located on a farm, nursery, logging site, or construction site, while still regulated under APSA, is conditionally exempt from the APSA requirement to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan if:
• no storage tank at the location exceeds 20,000 gallons; and,
The owner or operator of an exempted tank facility located on a farm, nursery, logging site, or construction site, is required to take the following actions:
• Conduct a daily visual inspection of any aboveground tank storing petroleum.
These APSA-regulated tank facilities, while conditionally exempt from the APSA requirement to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan, are still subject to APSA program fees, Tank Facility Statement/Business Plan submission, and UPA inspection.
If the farm, nursery, logging or construction site does not meet the conditions of the exemption (and has a facility aggregate petroleum storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or greater in tanks or containers 55 gallons or greater capacity), an SPCC Plan must be prepared and implemented.
Please note that while farms, nurseries, logging sites, or construction sites are conditionally exempt from the requirement to prepare an SPCC Plan under APSA, these facilities are not exempt from federal SPCC requirements enforced by US EPA.
No. APSA provides no exemptions for wastewater treatment systems or facilities similar to the exemption contained in the federal SPCC regulations. Aboveground wastewater treatment systems (such as oil/water separators and other oil filled equipment) with a petroleum storage capacity of 55 gallons or greater are APSA regulated aboveground storage tanks.
For your information, the federal SPCC rule contains two types of exemptions for wastewater treatment:
There are several tanks and structures excluded from the definition of "aboveground storage tank." These include:
Yes, all mixtures that contain any amount of petroleum are considered to be petroleum and therefore must be included when determining the tank facility’s total storage capacity.
It depends on whether the aboveground tank or container containing waste petroleum is specifically listed or included on the permit or authorization. As previously stated in FAQ Section II #8, APSA excludes tanks containing hazardous waste as defined in H&SC 25316(g), if DTSC has issued the owner/operator a hazardous waste facilities permit. Waste tanks are excluded from APSA only if they are specifically included in the DTSC/UPA grant of authorization (hazardous waste facility permit or the “Permit by Rule” tier of the Tiered Permit program). Other aboveground tanks containing petroleum at DTSC permitted facilities or lower tiered facilities (Conditional Authorization or Conditional Exempt), such as fuel tanks or tanks not listed on the permit/authorization, are regulated under APSA.
No. The California APSA program only regulates petroleum and only applies to tank facilities that have ASTs that contain petroleum products. For empty containers/tanks refer to FAQ Section III #11. Facilities should be aware, however, that EPA’s SPCC rule regulates facilities with ASTs that contain other non-petroleum based oils, and that although the non-petroleum oils are not captured under APSA, they may be subject to federal regulation and US EPA oversight. For tank facilities with both petroleum and non-petroleum oils subject to both APSA and the federal SPCC rule, a single integrated SPCC Plan can be prepared; a separate SPCC Plan is not required for ASPA.
Not all tanks at oil production facilities are excluded. APSA specifically excludes an aboveground oil production tank subject to section 3106 of the California Public Resources Code. Therefore, only those tanks or that portion of a tank facility directly associated with the production of oil are exempt if those tanks are under the supervision of the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) within the Department of Conservation. These include the tanks holding or transferring the crude oil or crude products or used in the treatment or separation of the crude oil; such tanks are not subject to the APSA requirements.
No, quarries and construction “yards” are not considered to be included in the meaning of a “construction site.” Although not specifically defined in APSA, with the aid of reference to the Code of Federal Regulations, the phrase “construction site” should be construed as “any site involving the erection of buildings, roads, and other discrete structures and the installation of support facilities necessary for construction and utilization of such structures.” A yard is a place where construction equipment is stored and maintained and is subject to the requirements of APSA.
No, only the portion of the facility actually undergoing construction would be considered a “construction site.”
Yes. Per APSA, all (petroleum) tank facilities subject to 40 CFR part 112 are subject to the requirements of APSA. 40 CFR part 112.1 (c) states “as provided in section 313 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Federal government are subject to this part to the same extent as any person.”
We believe that it is the intent of the legislature that petroleum tanks be regulated as either a UST or an AST. If the tank is permitted or otherwise regulated as a UST, it is considered a UST and is not covered under APSA. If the tank is not permitted or regulated as a UST, then it is covered under APSA.
Under APSA, farms are conditionally excluded from the APSA requirement for tank facilities to prepare an SPCC Plan. However, APSA-excluded farms are not exempt or excluded from regulation under federal SPCC rules. In both the December 2006 and December 2008 amendments to the Federal SPCC rule, EPA has provided specific instructions to farms in complying with the SPCC Plan requirements, which are:
Specific information on the federal SPCC rule, including fact sheets for farms, can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm
Yes. Although not specifically defined in APSA, the term “farm” may be construed, with the aid of reference to the Food and Agricultural Code, as including dairies. According to the California Seed Law, section 52262 of the Food and Agricultural Code defines a “farm” as a place of agricultural production that has annual sales of agricultural products of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more. The Food and Agricultural Code does not contain a specific definition of the terms “agricultural production” or “agricultural products” that are used in the definition of the word “farm.” Section 54004 of the Food and Agricultural Code, however, has a section dealing with the marketing of agricultural products, and the definition of “product” includes any horticultural, viticulture, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, bee, or farm product. Therefore, a dairy would be included in the definition of farm and would be regulated as a farm under APSA.
19. If a tank facility has multiple ASTs that are owned and operated by different persons, and if the total capacity of the tank(s) for each business is less than 1,320 gallons, but the total for all tanks at this single location exceeds 1,320 gallons, is each business subject to APSA?
No. HSC section 25270.3 states that a “tank facility” that has a storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more of petroleum is subject to regulation under APSA. However, section 25270.2 of the HSC defines “tank facility” as a single business entity at a single location or site. Therefore, the storage capacity would not be the cumulative amount of petroleum on site, but rather the cumulative amount of petroleum that is owned or operated by the same business entity.
20. If a single location houses multiple ASTs that are owned by different businesses but operated by the same business, and if the total capacity of the tank(s) owned by each business is less than 1,320 gallons, but the aggregate total for all tanks operated by the same operator at this single location exceeds 1,320 gallons, is each business subject to APSA?
No. Because each individual business owner does not exceed the 1,320 gallon threshold, no single business owner meets the threshold and therefore is not subject to APSA. However, the business that operates the site would be subject to APSA since the total storage capacity of the tanks operated by that business exceeds the 1,320 gallon threshold. Please see the following examples.
21. The revised definition of “facility” in the December 2008 EPA amendments to the federal SPCC rule is far more flexible than the definition of “tank facility” under APSA. Can I follow the federal definition in determining whether I am regulated as a tank facility under APSA?
No. HSC section 25270.2(m) defines “tank facility” as any one or more aboveground storage tanks that contains petroleum and that are used by a single business entity at a single location or site, and HSC section 25270.4.5 requires that (unless otherwise exempted or excluded) each owner or operator of a storage tank at a tank facility subject to APSA prepare an SPCC Plan. Tank owners and/or operators must follow California law for determining whether they are regulated under APSA. The federal definition of facility should only be used for determining whether a “facility” is federally regulated under federal SPCC rules by US EPA.
22. When a tank subject to the APSA requirements is owned and operated by two different entities, who do we charge for enforcement purposes, for example when they have not submitted a storage statement or completed an SPCC plan? Do we take enforcement against both the owner and the operator?
Enforcement may be taken on either the owner, or the operator, or both the owner and operator.
No. The term “logging site” is not defined in APSA. Since the statute uses the term “logging site,” the Legislature apparently intended to limit the term to the actual location where timber is harvested.
No, since the term “logging site” refers to the actual location where the timber is harvested, sawmills and logging truck operations (yards and shops) would not be considered a logging site.
The term ‘transportation-related tank facilities’ is somewhat of a misnomer. The term and exclusion applies to not only certain types of facilities as a whole, but also to specific types of tanks/containers – depending upon how those tanks/containers are used.
• Breakout facilities for US DOT-regulated interstate pipelines (with no transfer into cargo tankers [trucks] or rail cars);
Except as noted above, for other facilities the “transportation-related” exemption is applicable to individual tanks, containers and other equipment (i.e., cargo vehicles and mobile tankers, etc.) operating at the facility - not the facility as a whole.
Non-transportation (and therefore regulated under APSA and for SPCC purposes) include:
No. There is no federal delegation of the federal SPCC program, and APSA has no impact on federal regulation or enforcement of SPCC requirements at California facilities.