Aboveground Storage Tanks (ASTs)

If your facility has a cumulative aboveground storage capacity of petroleum products that reach or exceed 1,320 gallons or a storage tank with capacity of 55-gallons or greater that is stored 10% below the ground surface (tank in an underground area) then the facility is regulated by the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA). These facilities typically include large petroleum tank facilities, aboveground fuel tank stations and vehicle repair shops with aboveground petroleum storage tanks. To ensure that each facility is doing its job to protect local residence and the environment, Plumas County Environmental Health inspects, educates, investigates complaints, and enforces the laws and regulations pertaining to APSA.

BASIC NEED-TO-KNOW RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Maintain an active permit through Environmental Health by keeping CERS up to date and paying annual fees
  • Prepare a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC Plan) in accordance with the oil pollution prevention guidelines in the Federal Code of Regulations and keep it on site.
  • Implement your SPCC plan, including but not limited to:
    • Provide training to employees as outlined in your SPCC plan and maintain records
    • Conduct routine visual inspections of the aboveground storage tank(s) as outlined in your SPCC plan and maintain records
    • Conduct annual spill prevention briefings and maintain records
    • Implement site security measures as outlined in your SPCC plan
  • Review SPCC and document review of SPCC plan every 5 years
  • Comply with all HMBP requirements

DEFINITIONS

  • Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) is defined under APSA a tank that has the capacity to store 55 gallons or more of petroleum and that is substantially or totally above the surface of the ground, including tanks in underground areas.
  • A Tank in an Underground Area (TIUGA) is defined under APSA as a tank (capacity of 55 gallons or more of petroleum) that is located above the floor surface but at least 10% below ground surface (ie basement/cellar/vault), the structure that the tank is stored in must provide secondary containment for the tank and allow for direct viewing of the exterior of the tank. See the TIUGA fact sheet for more details. 
  • Petroleum is defined under APSA to mean crude oil, or any fraction thereof, which is liquid at 60 degrees Fahrenheit and normal atmospheric pressure.
    • Under this definition, petroleum does not include propane, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), or liquid natural gas (LNG)
  • Tier I Qualified Facilities are facilities that store 10,000 gallons or less of aggregate (total) aboveground oil with no single/ individual aboveground storage tanks greater than 5,000 gallons. Additionally, the facility qualifies as Tier I only if no single discharge greater than 1,000 gallons or two discharges exceeding 42 gallons into navigable waters has occurred in any 12 month period during the previous three years. If the facility meets this criteria it may use and self-certify their SPCC plan using the Tier I SPCC plan template (PDF).
  • Tier II Qualified Facilities are facilities that store 10,000 gallons or less of aggregate (total) aboveground oil and has single/ individual aboveground storage tanks greater than 5,000 gallons. Additionally, the facility qualifies as Tier I only if no single discharge greater than 1,000 gallons or two discharges exceeding 42 gallons into navigable waters has occurred in any 12 month period during the previous three years. If the facility meets this criteria it may use and self-certify their SPCC plan using the Tier II SPCC plan template (PDF).
  • Non-Qualified Facilities are facilities that do not qualify as Tier I or Tier II. Non-qualified facilities must prepare a SPCC plan in accordance with good engineering practices and have the SPCC plan certified by a Professional Engineer.
  • Conditionally Exempt Facilities are tank facilities 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 a SPCC plan if:
    • no storage tank at the location exceeds 20,000 gallons, and
    • the cumulative storage capacity of the tank facility does not exceed 100,000 gallons.
      • These facilities are still subject APSA program fees, Tank Facility Statement/Business Plan submission, and inspection by Unified Program Agencies (UPAs). Additionally, these facilities are required to conduct daily visual inspection of aboveground tanks storing petroleum.

INSPECTIONS

To ensure that HMBP and HWG requirements are met and that the facility is in compliance with State and Federal law, the Environmental Health Department conducts routine inspections at all facilities that are HWG. These inspections also assist in identifying safety hazards that could lead to an accidental spill or release of hazardous materials and allow the Specialist to work with facility owners on how to avoid hazardous release problems.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CERS Requirements: