Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tank Program

As the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) for Stanislaus County, the Hazardous Materials Division has regulatory authority of facilities subject to regulation by State of California under Health and Safety Code (HSC), Div.20, Ch.6.67 or otherwise known as the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA).

If your facility has one aboveground storage tank (AST) or multiple ASTs storing petroleum, with a cumulative storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more (stored in containers of 55 gallons and larger), you may be regulated under our APSA program. This may result in being required to implement a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan in accordance with the Oil Pollution Prevention Federal Law 40CFR, part 112.

If your facility has a cumulative storage capacity of less than 1,320 gallons of petroleum, but has one or more tanks in an underground storage area (TIUGA), then they may be subject to APSA. It is important to know there are exemptions and exclusions that apply to certain facility operations that are under the jurisdiction of other agencies (HSC, Div.20, Ch.6.67, Section 25270.2) .

The California APSA Program only regulates tank facilities that store petroleum based products. Petroleum is defined in the APSA as "crude oil, or any fraction thereof, which is liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute pressure (normal atmospheric pressure). Fuels that are not liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit are not considered "petroleum" under the APSA definition. Additionally 100% vegetable or plant based oils are NOT regulated under APSA (but may be regulated under federal SPCC law).

Tank Facilities with a total storage capacity of more than 1,320 gallons and less than 10,000 gallons of oil, with limited or no oil releases, are considered "Qualified Facilities" under the Federal SPCC rule (40 CFR Part 112.6). There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and Tier II. There are Tier I and Tier II SPCC Plan templates available for tank facilities to complete, self-certify, and implement in lieu of a full Professional Engineer (PE) certified SPCC Plan. To determine whether your facility meets the requirements of a Qualified Facility, please utilize EPA's Qualified Facility Determination Page and/or contact our Department.

  • Tier 1 Qualified Facility SPCC Plan Template
    Tier 1 SPCC Plan Template was prepared by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). It was designed to assist facilities that meet the Tier I Qualification in meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 112.

  • Tier 2 Qualified Facility SPCC Plan Template
    This Tier II SPCC Plan Template was prepared by the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) -Office of the State Fire Marshal. It was designed to serve as guidance to assist facilities to prepare a SPCC Tier II plan as found in (40 CFR) 112.3(g)(2). It is based upon the Tier II Qualified Facility SPCC Plan template originally designed by the California CUPA Forum Board's (Cal CUPA) APSA workgroup.


There are APSA exemptions involving facilities not subject to the requirement of preparing an SPCC Plan. These exemptions only apply to farms, nurseries, logging sites or construction sites, if

(1) No aboveground tank exceeds 20,000 gallons and

(2) The cumulative storage capacity at the site is less than 100,000 gallons. To maintain this exemption, the facility must conduct and document daily inspections of the aboveground tank(s); be inspected by the local CUPA; and install secondary containment if a determination is made by the CUPA.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Although Conditionally Exempt under APSA, if the aforementioned parameters are adhered to, these facilities may still be required to prepare and implement a Federal SPCC plan.

*A construction site is the portion of the facility that is actually undergoing construction. A construction yard is not a construction site.


Based on the Office of the State Fire Marshal's 2016 guidance document "California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act: Requirements for Farms per Senate Bill 612", it was determined there are some Farm facilities excluded from APSA requirements.

Farms that have 1,320 gallons of total petroleum (i.e. diesel, gasoline, motor oil, used oil, and other petroleum based oils) stored in regulated aboveground storage containers, may still not be subject to APSA, if the following applies:

  • If a farm does not have a total of 2,500 gallons of any oil (includes the 1,320 gallons of petroleum) then it is not regulated under APSA.
  • If a farm has exactly 2,500 gallons of any oil (includes the 1,320 gallons of petroleum) and no reportable discharge history*, then it is not regulated under APSA.
  • If a farm does not have a total of 6,000 gallons of any oil (includes the 1,320 gallons of petroleum) and no reportable discharge history*, then it is not regulated under APSA.

*Reportable Discharge History:

If it is determined the farm is not regulated under APSA, then it is not subject to any associated APSA state surcharge and conditionally exempt requirements do not apply.

This exclusion determination further excludes Farm facilities reporting in the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS) when it comes to APSA activities. Farms determined not to be subject to APSA requirements, are not required to select APSA activities under business activities within CERS (i.e. there should be no APSA element submittal within CERS). For guidance on this matter, please refer to the CERS document "Preparing an APSA Submittal" or contact our Department.


According to the APSA [HSC 25270.2 (o)(1)], Tanks in an Underground Storage Area include all of the following:

  • The storage tank is stationary.
  • The storage tank is located on or above the surface of the floor in a structure at least 10 percent below the ground surface, including but not limited to, a basement, cellar, shaft, pit, or vault.
  • The structure in which the storage tank is located must provide for secondary containment of the contents of the tank1, piping, and ancillary equipment, until cleanup occurs.
  • The structure in which the storage tank is located must allow for direct viewing of the exterior of the tank except for the part of the tank in contact with the surface of the floor.
  • The storage tank meets one or more of the following categories:
    • Lubricant/coolant tank - Contains petroleum (new or used oil) as lubricant or coolant in motor engines, transmissions, or oil-filled operational or manufacturing equipment [HSC Section 25270.2(o)(1)(C)(i)]. 
    • Hazardous waste tank - Contains petroleum that is considered a hazardous waste and complies with the hazardous waste tank standards in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 22, Division 4.5, Chapter 15, Article 10 [HSC Section 25270.2(o)(1)(C)(ii)].
    • Emergency system tank - Contains petroleum to be used for emergency systems, solely in connection with a fire pump or an emergency system, legally required standby system, or optional standby system as defined in the California Electrical Code [HSC Section 25270.2(o)(1)(C)(iii)].
    • Other tank - Does not fit into any of the above three categories and contains petroleum [HSC Section 25270.2(o)(1)(C)(iv)].

If you are an owner or operator of this type of tank and even if you store less than 1,320 gallons of petroleum, you may still be subject to APSA regulations.

If you have a TIUGA with a storage capacity of less than 55 gallons, it is still subject to APSA regulations, however, the compliance requirements are different from those tanks/containers having capacities of 55 gallons or more. For additional guidance on these tanks, please visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal page TIUGAs and contact our Department.


Before purchasing, installing, removing or retrofitting an existing tank, the facility owner and/or operator must at least contact the local fire authority, building Department and our Department. In addition, it is the responsibility of the tank owner and/or operator to ensure all appropriate agencies have been notified and required permits obtained before any work commences.

Our Department requires the submittal of one set of plans and any addendums for us to maintain on file. There is no cost associated with these submittals.



If you have any underground storage containers being used as aboveground storage tanks at your facility, please contact our Department.

California State Fire Marshal Information Bulletin 14-005

California State Fire Marshal Information Bulletin 14-005 Addendum



For Information about Aboveground Storage Tank Requirements Please Contact:

Stanislaus County Hazardous Materials Division
Aboveground Storage Tank Program
Stanislaus County Dept. of Environmental Resources
3800 Cornucopia Way, Suite C
Modesto, CA 95358
Phone: (209) 525-6700

For Additional Information about Aboveground Storage Tank Requirements in California Please Contact:

Office of the State Fire Marshal