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Spill Prevention, Control, & Countermeasure Plans


In recent months, many changes have been made to the SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure) Regulation.  The SPCC Regulation affects owners and operators of bulk petroleum storage facilities and may affect other facilities that store oil and other petroleum products. 

In recent years, many facilities have removed underground storage tanks (USTs) and replaced them with above ground storage tanks (ASTs).  These ASTs are often self-contained tanks such as Convault TanksTM.  The SPCC Plan regulatory trigger for aggregate UST storage is 42,000 gallons or greater however the AST storage trigger is an aggregate storage of 1,320 gallons or greater as stored in tanks or drums no less than 55-gallons in capacity. 

Because of the change to above ground tanks, many facilities which did not previously trigger an SPCC Plan with a UST may now exceed the SPCC Plan trigger with an AST.  It is important for all facilities that store oil, including Town Garages, Marinas, Trucking Fleets and Bulk Oil Storage Facilities to be aware of the regulation and ensure that they have an SPCC Plan prepared if one is required.

First issued in 1973, the SPCC Rule was developed by the EPA to prevent discharge of oil into navigable waters. On January 10, 2010, major amendments to the regulation promulgated on December 5, 2008 became effective.  The amendments are summarized below. 

Amendment Summary for December 2008 Revisions

  • Facility Diagram Flexibility
  • Clarification of Loading/Unloading Rack Regulations
  • Simplified Security Regulations
  • Clarification to Secondary Containment Regulations
  • Integrity Testing Flexibility
  • Oil Production Facility Revisions
  • Amended Definition of "Facility"
  • Exclusion of Non-Transportation-Related Tank Trucks
  • Clarification to Exemptions, Permanently Closed Tanks, Manmade Structures, and Wind Turbines
  • SPPC Plan Template Available to Qualified Tier I and Tier II Facilities
  • Qualified Tier I and Tier II Facility Self-Certification

The compliance date for all facilities to revise (or prepare) and implement an SPCC Plan has been extended until November 10, 2010, although an extension of this date has recently been proposed as well. These extensions have NO impact on those facilities in operation before August 16, 2002. Those facilities are required to maintain an SPCC Plan in accordance with the current SPCC regulations.

describe the imageConsidering all of the recent changes to the SPCC regulations, having an engineering firm that is knowledgeable in SPCC is critical.  Norfolk Ram's team of engineers has experience working with the recent revisions and implications of recent compliance extensions.  Norfolk Ram can assist with all aspects of SPCC Plan development and associated training, testing and inspections. 

By Melissa Parker

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