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Fuel Tank Seismic Stability 2023

Adopted rule

Administrative Order No. DEQ-13-2023
Filed and Effective: Sept. 14, 2023
See Oregon Bulletin, October 2023

Adopted rules

Rulemaking contact: Killian Stoltenburg, 971-295-8734
Media contact: Jennifer Flynt, Public Affairs, 503-568-3295

In 2022, Senate Bill 1567 gave the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality the authority to develop a program that evaluates the vulnerability of fuel tank systems to earthquakes and requires facilities to develop a plan to minimize risk. These rules will apply to facilities managing over two million gallons of fuel in Lane, Multnomah and Columbia counties.  

DEQ has established a rules advisory committee that will provide input and suggestions during the development of these new rules. The committee represents a combination of neighborhood, local emergency response, impacted neighborhood and community groups and regulated party perspectives.   

The Environmental Quality Commission reviewed and adopted these rules on Sept. 14, 2023. DEQ is aiming to complete facility assessments by June 1, 2024.

Fuel tank farms provide gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to people in Oregon. However, many tanks in Oregon may be vulnerable to earthquakes, which means they present a risk to the local communities and the environment.  

Under the adopted rules, facilities will develop plans that include actions to protect public health, life safety, and environmental safety within the facility, in areas adjacent to the facility and in other areas that may be affected as a result of damages to the facility. The plans must consider the impacts of a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, the potential consequences of that event and the resources needed to respond.  
DEQ developed this program in consultation with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, known as DOGAMI, and the Oregon Department of Energy. ​

A rules advisory committee is a group of people who represent various interests on an issue and provide input and suggestions during the development of new rules. DEQ worked with Department of Geology and Mineral Industries to select committee members to represent the range of interested groups for this program. 
The committee provided input on DEQ proposals for  this program. The rules for this program may include: 
  • What the assessment and risk reduction plans from the facilities have to include for DEQ to approve them. 
  • What facilities must do to stay prepared and keep their operations safe. 
  • What facilities must do to minimize harmful impacts to local communities and the environment in the event of an oil release from an earthquake. 
  • Inspection requirements. 
  • Design and construction requirements for any new storage tanks and seismic improvements for existing tanks. 
All rulemaking processes at DEQ must evaluate the potential impacts to traditionally underrepresented communities. 
Committee Members  
  • Amit Kumar, City of Portland Bureau of Development Services, Engineering Supervisor 
  • Andrew Holbrook, Kinder Morgan Pipeline, NW Region Director​ 
  • Chris Voss, Multnomah County Director of Emergency Management  
  • Doug Lenz, Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, Plant Manager 
  • Holli Johnson, Western States Petroleum Association, Senior Manager Local Government Affairs 
  • Jacque Wurster, Ready NW Eugene, Committee Chair 
  • Lindsey Hutchison, Willamette Riverkeeper, Staff Attorney 
  • Nancy Hiser, Linnton Neighborhood Association, Environmental Committee 
  • Paul Edison-Lahm, NAACP Environmental Justice Committee, Co-founder 
  • Peter Dusicka, Portland State University, Professor of Civil Engineering 
  • Randy Groves, City of Eugene, City Councilor 
  • Sterling Stokes, Portland Harbor Community Coalition
  • Warren Seely, Beaver Drainage District, President 
Additional committee materials 

Public involvement

The comment period closed on July 12, 2023 at 4 p.m..

For more information, see the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which includes the notice and proposed rules. 

Public meetings

DEQ held three public hearings throughout June.

  • Hearing 1, June 15, 2023
  • Hearing 2, June 17, 2023
  • Hearing 3, June 20, 2023
A fee payers informational session was held on May 15, 2023.