Environmental & Safety Blog


We offer compliance consulting and assist petro chemical, manufacturing and general industry clients with 40 CFR 112 SPCC Plans.
Since December 1973 the EPA has used the requirement for SPCC plans as a critical part oil spill prevention. The main emphasis of the regulation is the ”prevention” part as opposed to the after-the-fact response requirements. Owners and operators of facilities engaged in drilling, producing, gathering, storing, processing, refining, transferring, or consuming oil or oil products must comply providing the facility:
·         Is non-transportation related
·         Has aboveground storage capacity in excess of 660 gallons or an aggregate storage greater than 1,320 gallons
·         Has a below ground storage total capacity greater than 42,000 gallons
·         Due to their location could reasonably expect spilled oil to reach US waters
A spill contingency plan is required as part of the SPCC Plan, but the objective is to not have the initial “spill”. A SPCC Plan is a well thought out plan, prepared with sound objective data and requiring full approval and “buy-in” from top management. These plans, while following general topics, are unique to each facility. EPA’s November 2011 SPCC field inspection and plan review checklist is incredibly helpful to environmental folks in the development or on-going compliance of implementing a SPCC plan. This SPCC checklist can also be used as a partial compliance checklist to make sure items are complete and up-to-date.
EPA periodically performs inspections to assure compliance with the SPCC Plan regulations. If a discharge occurs – in excess of 1,000 gallons in a single event or two discharges occur in “harmful quantities” within any twelve month period, the facility responsible person must submit copies of the plan to the Regional Administrator or to the State water pollution control agency. 
You must keep a complete copy of your SPCC Plan at your facility and ensure that it has been certified by a professional engineer per 112.3(d). EPA requires that a SPCC Plan be available to the EPA for on-site review and inspection during normal working hours.
Common SPCC violations include:
·    No Plan at all. [40 CFR 112.3 (a) or (b)]
·    Failure to prepare and implement SPCC plan, specifically failed to include all elements of a complete plan as required by SPCC regulations. [40 CFR 112.3 (c)]
·    Plan not PE certified. [40 CFR 112.3 (d)]
·    Plan not reviewed/updated every three years. [40 CFR 112.5 (b)]
·    Plan does not include all oil on facility, i.e., transformers, hydraulic systems, emergency generators, drum storage, etc. [40 CFR 112.7 (e)(2)]
·    Plan does not accurately identify, from each oil storage location, the detailed path spilled oil would take to reach a waterway, i.e., a typical facility is so wide, drainage may flow in different directions, to different receptors, especially in urban locations. Drains not traced out. [40 CFR 112.7 (e)(1)]
·    Designated staff does not conduct regular walk-through inspections. [40 CFR 112.7 (e)(8)]
·    Small, scattered Above-ground Storage Tanks (ASTs) are not adequately protected from tampering/vandalism. [40 CFR 112.7 (e)(9)]


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