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When is a Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan required?

 If you store any oil-based liquid, including synthetic oils, animal fats (but not milk), oils, & greases, or vegetable oils, you may be subject to the federal regulation 40 CFR 112, which requires the preparation and implementation of an SPCC plan. To determine whether any non-contiguous site or facility is subject to this rule or not, the following questions need to be answered. In regard to this rule, “oil” does not include such liquids as antifreeze or pesticides, unless the antifreeze is petroleum-based.

1. Is the facility considered to be “non-transportation” related? (I.e., the primary purpose of the facility is not transporting oil on public roads.) If the facility is transportation related, this rule does not apply.
2. Is the facility engaged in drilling, producing, gathering, storing, processing, refining, transferring, distributing, using, or consuming oil? If not, this rule does not apply.
3. Could the facility reasonably be expected to discharge oil in quantities that may be harmful into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines? If not, this rule does not apply.
4. Is the total aggregate capacity of aboveground storage containers greater than 1,320 gallons of oil or the total aggregate capacity of completely buried storage containers greater than 42,000 gallons of oil? (In calculating the total aggregate capacity, do not include containers having a capacity of less than 55 gallons, permanently closed containers, motive power containers, containers used for hot mix asphalt, heating oil containers used solely at a single family residence, or storage containers used exclusively for wastewater treatment. Also, do not include completely buried containers subject to all technical requirements of 40 CFR 280/281.) If neither of the above thresholds are met at a particular facility, this rule does not apply.

For some smaller facilities (specified as “qualified facilities” in the rule), EPA has modified the requirements in the hope that they will be less onerous. In the next blogpost, I will discuss “qualified facilities” under the SPCC rule.