The Petroleum Chemistry Laboratory (PCL) is located near the Nimbus and American River Fish Hatcheries in Rancho Cordova. The PCL performs analyses associated with petroleum spills and natural seeps and has been instrumental in identifying the source of petroleum contaminating beaches and wildlife for over 20 years.
The primary responsibility of the PCL is to provide the necessary link between the spilled material and the Responsible Party. The PCL also provides petroleum related analytical, technical, and training support for other units within OSPR, specifically enforcement, administration, legal, planning, regulations and response. The majority of analyses performed are related to oil spill enforcement actions taken under the jurisdiction of OSPR. Other analyses are performed to support resource damage assessment, research and regulatory studies, or when backup is required by one of the other lab facilities. The unit also provides support in the form of literature reviews and determinations of potential OSPR regulatory jurisdiction for hydrocarbons, other chemicals, or mixtures from unknown sources. Chemists from the PCL respond to oil spill incidents. They act as coordinators for spill investigation, natural resource damage assessment sampling and analysis. The PCL also provides expertise for preparation of study plans for quantitative determination of spilled petroleum hydrocarbons.