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Fuel Tanks and Seismic Stability

bigstock-White-Tanks-In-Tank-Farm-With--339534433.jpgFuel tank farms provide gasoline, diesel and jet fuel to people in Oregon. However, many tanks in Oregon are located on ground that may be unstable during an earthquake, which means they present a risk to the local communities and the environment. 

In 2022, Senate Bill 1567 gave the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality the authority to develop a program that evaluates the vulnerability of fuel tanks to earthquakes and requires facilities to develop a plan to reduce risk. These rules will apply to facilities managing over 2 million gallons of fuel in Lane, Multnomah and Columbia counties.  

The facilities' plans will 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 also 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 will develop this program in consultation with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, known as DOGAMI, and the Oregon Department of Energy. 

Stay informed! 

Join DEQ's email list to stay up-to-date about DEQ's work for this program, the rules advisory committee and public engagement opportunities. The list is called Fuel Tanks and Seismic Stability and is under Cleanup Program, Sites and Spills.

Current status

As of June 2022, this is a new DEQ program, and we are hiring four new staff who will be responsible for implementing the program and reviewing plans from the facilities. DEQ is preparing to set up a rules advisory committee that will provide input and suggestions during the development of these new rules. As DEQ begins this work, we are committed to public outreach to ensure the public is informed about the process and outcomes.

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 will work with DOGAMI to select committee members to represent the range of interested groups for this program.
The committee will work together to provide input on the rules that guide 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.
Join DEQ’s email list​ to stay up-to-date on the development of the rules advisory committee – find the list called Fuel Tanks and Seismic Stability under Cleanup Program, Sites and Spills.
Members: To be determined
Meeting Dates: To be determined.

Key dates

On June 3, 2022: SB 1567 becomes effective

By mid- 2023: The Environmental Quality Commission adopts the proposed rules to implement this program based on the recommendations of the Rules Advisory Committee.

By June 1, 2024: Facilities must submit their plans with an assessment of current conditions and a plan for what to do to reduce risk.

After June 1, 2024: DEQ begins reviewing facility plans.

By Nov. 1, 2024: DEQ will report to the legislature to summarize the information DEQ has received and any policy recommendations to improve the program.


Program: Mike Kortenhof
Fuel Tank Compliance Manager

Media: Lauren Wirtis
Public Affairs