Marine Oil Terminal Engineering and Maintenance Standards

Photo of Pier by Tom Paiva

There are 34 marine oil terminals in California where nearly two million barrels of oil and petroleum products are transferred over water (between ship and shore) daily. The Commission regulates all marine oil terminals in California, including enforcement of state building standards. Most marine oil terminals in California were built in the early 1900s when oil was carried by ships much smaller than the size of today's tankers, and before modern seismic safety standards and environmental requirements were established.

The Marine Oil Terminal Engineering and Maintenance Standards, known as MOTEMS, are building standards (California Building Code, Chapter 31F - Marine Oil Terminals) that apply to all marine oil terminals in California. The MOTEMS establish minimum engineering, inspection, and maintenance criteria for marine oil terminals to protect public health, safety and the environment, and govern the upgrade and design of terminals to ensure better resistance to earthquakes and reduce the potential of oil spills.

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  • Join the Marine Oil Terminal Regulations e-list to receive the latest amendments, proposed or new regulations pertaining to the marine oil terminals and marine oil terminal engineering and maintenance standards (MOTEMS) from the California State Lands Commission staff.