Oil Storage Tank Requirements
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule requires farms and other facilities to develop, maintain and implement an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC plan, if storage capacity thresholds are exceeded. These plans help farms to be prepared in the event of an oil spill.
According to the EPA, the SPCC program applies to a farm that stores, transfers, uses or consumes oil or oil products; stores more than 1,320 gallons or more in storage capacity in aboveground containers (in 55 gallon containers and greater) or more than 42,000 gallons storage capacity in completely buried containers; and could "reasonably be expected" to discharge oil to waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines. The SPCC regulates all oil, petroleum and non-petroleum, including animal and vegetable oils.
Farms and ranches are exempt from preparing an SPCC plan for the California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Program, or APSA, if they have storage tanks no greater than 10,000 gallons and no more than 100,000 gallons total storage capacity (in 55 gallon containers or greater). In California, the APSA program only regulates storage of petroleum-based oil products and biodiesel. Propane, liquefied petroleum gas or liquefied natural gas are not regulated under APSA. This program is enforced at the local level by a county agency such as the Environmental Health Department or the Fire Marshal, also known as the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA or UPA). Each county will have requirements that must be met in order to operate under the exemption. Check with your local CUPA. A listing of local CUPA agencies is available at cersapps.calepa.ca.gov.
- Guidance for Oil Storage on the Farm & Ranch (PDF, 96 KB)
- Federal Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasures (SPCC) Regulations (PDF, 73 KB)
- Information for farmers from U.S. EPA (PDF, 58 KB)
California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Information
- Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act F.A.Q. (PDF, 33 KB)
- California Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) Basic Chart (PDF, 75 KB)
Forms and templates
- Tier I Qualified Facility SPCC Plan form (PDF, 53 KB)
- Tier II Qualified Facility SPCC plan template (PDF, 356 KB)
Ag Alert coverage
- Ag Alert: Deadline nears for farmers to create their oil spill plans (April 10, 2013)