Posted by - Regulatory Updates

EPAWhat is Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Rule better known as SPCC, and do I have to have one for my above ground storage tank? The short answer is yes!

Briefly, the SPCC purpose is to prevent the release of hazardous liquid, including petroleum, into navigable waters and shorelines. The EPA’s SPCC rule’s goal is also to protect public health and the environment. Additionally, it helps owners and operators avoid costly cleanup, which can run into the millions of dollars.

The SPCC regulation requires facilities to develop and implement SPCC Plans.  It also establishes procedures, methods and equipment requirements:

  • Preventing
  • Preparing
  • Responding to oil discharges at specific non-transportation related facilities

Individual SPCC plans must follow engineering practices and be certified by a professional engineer. In some cases, the facility owner or operator can self-certify.

There is an SPCC aggregate capacity rule that also applies.

The total aggregate capacity of AST containers under SPCC must be greater than 1,320 gallons of petroleum. The exceptions include containers of less than 55 gallons, permanently closed containers, motive power containers, or storage containers used exclusively for wastewater treatment.  (A motive power container is an onboard bulk storage container used to power a motor vehicle, or ancillary onboard oil-filled operational equipment.)

In some states, SPCC is just one level of AST compliance. For example, some states have adopted the Steel Tank Institute’s Standard Practice SP001, which helps comply with EPA mandates. SP001 is a valuable resource even if individual state regulators do not require it.

The EPA also reserves the right to regulate AST holding oils of any kind, per verbiage in the EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Regulation (40 CFR Part 112).

Also, “the SPCC regulation does not specifically use the term AST, but rather includes ASTs under the term bulk storage container,” according to the EPA.

The EPA has created a page on their website called Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations to define actions are needed, along with this guide/companion site.