If you work with oil products then you know there are endless amounts of regulations.  Also when your business handles oil products you quickly realize that no one person can possibly understand all those regulations.

Now you may have to make sure that your facility is SPCC compliant.  While you may not even know what a SPCC Plan is, your inspector does and he or she may be asking to see your plan.   Need to learn more? Let’s start with the basics.

What is in SPCC Plan?

SPCC stands for Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure.  Your SPCC Plan is to help prevent a spill, and help prepare you and your key employees to respond to a potential oil spill at your facility.  The ultimate goal of this regulation is to keep oil out of navigable waters.

 

The History of SPCC Plans

In 1973, the EPA published the Clean Water Act which was intended to prevent and prepare for an oil spill reaching navigable waters.  This became the basis for the 40 CFR 112, the SPCC rule which was first finalized in 2002, with the final rule amended in 2009.  While the enforcement may be relatively new the regulation itself is not.

 

Who needs an SPCC Plan?

This can depend on where you are located.  There are Federal EPA requirements for an SPCC Plan and also some states (like California) have additional requirements.  Below is an overview of the requirements for both Federal and Californian laws.

Federal EPA Requirements for an SPCC Plan

  • Do you have a total oil storage capacity of 1,320 gallons in aboveground containers?   (containers less than 55 gallons are not included)
  • Is your facility or part of your facility a non-transportation facility?
  • Is your facility a non-oil producing or refining facility?
  • Could an oil spill from your facility reach navigable waters or adjacent shorelines?

If you answered yes to all of these questions then under the federal law you need an SPCC Plan.

California Aboveground Storage Act

If your facility is located in California then not too surprisingly it can get a little more complicated. While the Federal Law regulates all “oils”, the California Aboveground Storage Act (APSA) instead regulates “petroleum”.  California’s APSA regulations require an SPCC Plan for any facility (excluding farms, nurseries, logging and construction sites) with a storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more for petroleum being stored in aboveground storage tanks.

 

How do I get a SPCC Plan?

First determine what type of plan applies to your facility.  There are three types of SPCC Plans.  Tier 1 is the entry level plan, Tier 2 is a full report and a Tier 3 is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) certified full report.  If your facility qualifies as a Tier 1 or Tier 2, you may write your SPCC Plan but you still must certify that your report and your facility meet all the applicable SPCC Plan regulatory requirements.  Of course if you are in California then you must certify that your plan meets all the APSA regulatory requirements as well.  All three report types can be written by a Professional Engineer. 

 

What type of SPCC plan do I need?

That depends on how much aboveground oil storage capacity is at your facility, the size of the storage containers, and your history of oil discharges.

       Qualified Tier I Facility

Based on the federal requirements your facility is a Qualified Tier I Facility if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Total aboveground oil storage capacity is 10,000 gallons or less
  • No individual aboveground oil containers is greater than 5,000 gallons
  • Your facility’s discharge history to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines for the past three years before your certified SPCC Pan

o  No discharges larger than 1,000 gallons

o  Or no two discharges larger than 42 gallons within a twelve month period

If you are a Qualified Tier I Facility than you may write and certify your own SPCC plan using the EPA’s template. You may also have a professional write the plan for your facility.

       Qualified Tier II Facility

Your facility is a Qualified Tier II Facility if you meet all of the following federal requirements:

  • Total aboveground oil storage capacity is 10,000 gallons or less
  • Your facility’s discharge history to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines for the past three years before your certified SPCC Pan

o   No discharges larger than 1,000 gallons

o   Or no two discharges larger than 42 gallons within a twelve month period

If your facility is a Qualified Tier II Facility than you must have a full SPCC plan.  You may write and certify the plan yourself or you may have a professional write the plan for your facility.

 

      Non-Qualified Facilities

      All other facilities are considered “Non-Qualified Facilities” and therefore must have a full SPCC Plan that is signed and certified by a Professional Engineer.

 

So where do I start?

If you need help with SPCC regulations, of course there is an abundance of information from the EPA at https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulationsresources

If you would like to have a SPCC Plan prepared for your facility you can call us 619-688-5848 or reach us through our Contact Us form.

 

 

Tagged on:         

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *