|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.
Pursuant to the requirements of 40CFR112 the deadlines for the preparation and implementation of SPCC Plans are as follows:
No. The APSA only requires a tank facility to submit/file a Tank Facility Statement with the UPA. There is no requirement in APSA for a tank facility to submit or file its SPCC Plan itself. However the UPA may require a copy of the SPCC Plan to be submitted as part of the UPA’s city/county ordinance or policy. There is also no requirement in APSA for a tank facility’s SPCC Plan to be approved by the UPA. Federal regulations (40 CFR 112) also do not require the routine submittal, filing or approval of an SPCC Plan (although a Plan may be required to be submitted to USEPA after certain significant oil spills into navigable waters).
The APSA statute contains no specific requirements or restrictions related to the registration/licensing type or state for certifying engineers, only that the SPCC Plan be prepared in accordance with federal SPCC regulations (40 CFR 112). The federal regulations also do not specify the type or state of the certifying engineer. There is also no requirement either in APSA or federal rules that the certifying engineer be independent (i.e., a non-employee of the facility).
The issue of the type of certifying engineer (e.g., civil vs. chemical) or registration state may be evaluated in the future by Cal/EPA as it relates to APSA in light of the general California regulations governing the practice of engineering contained in California Business and Professions Code, section 6704.
Either a registered Professional Engineer or the owner or operator of a qualified tank facility may certify a tank facility’s SPCC Plan. The tank facility must meet the qualifications as a “qualified facility” in order for the owner or operator of the tank facility to be permitted to self-certify the SPCC Plan. Pursuant to the definition of a “qualified facility” in section 112.3(g) of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, in order to qualify as a “qualified facility,” the facility must meet all the following criteria:
In general, an SPCC Plan must be prepared in accordance with good engineering practice. No specific format is required, but if the Plan is not organized to follow the sequence of the requirements in 40 CFR 112, it must have a cross-reference. As long as the Plan contains all the required 40 CFR 112 elements, is facility-specific and is prepared in accordance with good engineering practice, any format may be used.
In the December 2008 revision to the federal SPCC rule, which becomes effective on January 14, 2010, EPA created two subcategories of qualified facilities, Tier I and Tier II:
The owner or operator is required to review the SPCC Plan at least once every five years. Every review must be documented.
There are two triggers for SPCC Plan amendments by the facility: Technical changes, and the 5-year review.
Electrical transformers and similar equipment are covered by the Federal SPCC regulation provided that they contain sufficient quantities of oil, and, due to location, can reasonably be expected to discharge their oil into navigable waters or adjoining shoreline.