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Note: New State Surcharge for APSA Facilities

On September 25, 2012, Assembly Bill 1566 appointed the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) as the State oversight agency for implementation of the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA). A Cal/EPA Unified Program surcharge of $26.00 will be assessed annually on each tank facility regulated under the APSA program to cover statewide costs incurred by the OSFM to implement, maintain, and oversee the APSA program. San Bernardino County CUPA is required to collect State surcharges when charging permit fees. Therefore, if your facility is subject to APSA, this new surcharge will appear on your invoice for annual permit fees beginning July 1, 2014. A tank facility that is conditionally exempt from preparing and implementing an SPCC plan under APSA is not exempt from paying this new APSA assessment. Additional information is available from Cal/EPA and the Office of the State Fire Marshal regarding this new surcharge. For information about whether your facility is subject to APSA, refer to our APSA webpage.

What facilities are subject to this law?

Any facility that has an aggregate aboveground petroleum storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more may be subject to this law. It is the capacity that counts rather than the actual amount of petroleum stored. The capacity of all aboveground tanks, containers, hydraulic systems, and oil-filled manufacturing and operational equipment with a design/shell capacity equal to or greater than 55 gallons should be added together. Under APSA, petroleum is defined as crude oil or a fraction thereof which is liquid at 60°F and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure. It includes new and used oil; petroleum-based liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuels; lubricating oils; etc. Under this definition, petroleum does not include propane, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), liquid natural gas (LNG), or antifreeze.

Even if a facility may not be subject to APSA, be aware that the federal EPA’s SPCC rule regulates facilities with aboveground storage tanks that contain oil of any kind, including mineral, synthetic, animal, and vegetable oils in addition to petroleum. Therefore some facilities which are not captured under APSA may be subject to federal regulation and US EPA oversight. US EPA still retains full and complete authority to administer, inspect and enforce federal SPCC requirements at all California facilities subject to 40 CFR Part 112. Although the two programs are similar, there are some significant differences. Any questions or clarifications on the federal SPCC program should be directed to US EPA. For federal SPCC guidance and the latest information, see the Oil Spills page and the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule page on the U.S. EPA website.

What are the requirements of APSA?

Any facility that is subject to APSA must do the following:

  • Pay an annual fee to the CUPA.
  • Pay an annual State surcharge for APSA program oversight by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. This fee is collected by the CUPA and forwarded to the State.
  • Prepare a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan in accordance with U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 112 and pursuant to Health and Safety Code, chapter 6.67, section 25270.4.5 (a). All Plans must be prepared or have been amended to meet post-2002 SPCC rule requirements / amendments.
  • Conduct periodic inspections to assure compliance with 40 CFR Part 112 and pursuant to Health and Safety Code, chapter 6.67, section 25270.4.5 (a).
  • Implement SPCC Plan in compliance with 40 CFR Part 112 and pursuant to Health and Safety Code, chapter 6.67, section 25270.4.5 (a).
  • You may upload a Petroleum Storage Tank Storage Facility Statement through the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). The form is available on our Forms and Guidelines page. This requirement can also be met by submitting a complete Business Emergency / Contingency Plan through CERS and remaining in compliance with all Business Plan requirements.

When must a copy of the SPCC Plan be submitted to the CUPA?

A complete copy of the SPCC Plan must be maintained at the facility if the facility is normally attended at least four hours per day or at the nearest field office if the facility is not so attended. It is NOT required to submit a copy to the CUPA or to submit a copy through CERS.

Must the SPCC Plan be certified by a professional engineer?

All facilities with over 10,000 gallons of aggregate aboveground petroleum storage capacity must prepare a full SPCC Plan that is certified by a Professional Engineer. However, facilities with a total oil storage capacity between 1,320 and 10,000 gallons in aboveground containers and that meet certain other criteria may self-certify their own Plan. These additional criteria are outlined on the US EPA website. Note: Since the definition of a Qualified Facility is a federal provision outlined in 40 CFR Part 112, oil of any kind rather than just petroleum must be considered in determining the aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity used to meet the 10,000-gallon threshold. This means that in addition to petroleum storage, oils of vegetable origin (i.e., corn, soybean or nut oil) or animal origin (i.e., fats and greases) as well as 100% synthetic oils must also be included in the total. If a facility is eligible to self-certify its Plan, and has no aboveground container greater than 5,000 gallons in capacity, then it may use the Tier I Plan template that is found in Appendix G to 40 CFR part 112. Editable versions of the template in Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, and a pdf version are available on the US EPA website. Facilities that have a single aboveground container of oil exceeding 5,000 gallons but an aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less, may self-certify their SPCC Plan.

Additional information:

Presentation regarding APSA and SPCC Plans:

On March 4, 2009, San Bernardino County CUPA hosted an APSA / SPCC informational workshop for businesses. This workshop presented information and guidance to assist in preparing or updating an SPCC Plan or Plan template, implementing an effective oil spill prevention program, and how to be in compliance with APSA and SPCC regulations. A condensed version of the presentation given during that workshop can be accessed through the following links. Note that the effective date for some of the amendments and the compliance date have changed since the workshop was presented. Please refer to the SPCC Rule page on the US EPA website for more information.

Contact our office at 909.386.8401 if you have additional questions.

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