Understanding Federal SPCC Regulations: Ensure Compliance to Avoid Penalties

In the realm of environmental regulations, the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules have been in existence since 1974. However, despite their longevity, a significant number of facilities still fall short of compliance. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified the lack of SPCC plan preparation as one of the top violations during multi-media compliance inspections. At Liberty Environmental, Inc., we understand the importance of SPCC compliance and aim to raise awareness among facilities that may be subject to these regulations. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the SPCC requirements, who they affect, and the steps necessary to achieve compliance.

Understanding and complying with federal SPCC regulations is vital to protect the environment and avoid costly penalties. Facilities storing oil above specified quantities must prepare and implement an SPCC plan that meets the requirements outlined by the EPA. By taking proactive steps to achieve compliance, you not only safeguard the environment but also your facility’s reputation and financial well-being. Reach out to Liberty Environmental, Inc. for expert guidance and support on your journey to SPCC compliance.

Who Is Affected by the SPCC Rule?

In general, facilities that store oil aboveground in quantities exceeding 1,320 gallons or underground in quantities exceeding 42,000 gallons must prepare and implement an SPCC plan if they can reasonably be expected to discharge oil into waters of the United States in the event of a spill. Here are some key criteria to consider:

All containers 55 gallons in size or greater must be counted toward the 1,320-gallon threshold. This includes storage tanks, hydraulic fluid reservoirs, oil-filled electric transformers, drums, and totes.

All oil products, such as heating oil, waste oil, mineral oil, vegetable oil, and solvents, must be considered when assessing your facility’s compliance status.

Major SPCC Requirements

Federal SPCC regulations outline several key requirements for affected facilities, including:

Secondary Containment: All storage containers, including portable ones, must have secondary containment measures in place to prevent oil spills from reaching surrounding areas.

Discharge Prevention: Facilities must provide discharge prevention measures for tank loading and unloading areas, as well as oil handling and transfer areas.

Integrity Testing: Bulk storage containers need to undergo integrity testing. In some cases, a visual inspection may suffice.

Security Measures: Security measures should be in place to protect tanks and their controls from unauthorized access.

Professional Engineering: A written SPCC plan must be prepared and certified by a licensed professional engineer, ensuring the plan meets the necessary regulatory standards.

Regular Re-Evaluation: The SPCC plan must be re-evaluated every five years or whenever a change is made to the facility that affects the plan.

Annual Training: Formal, annual SPCC Plan Training must be provided to all oil-handling personnel to ensure they understand and can execute the plan effectively.

Liberty Environmental Can Help

For facilities that are unsure about their compliance with the SPCC regulations or need assistance in preparing or updating an SPCC plan, Liberty Environmental is here to help. Our team of experts can guide you through the process, ensuring your facility is in line with federal requirements and helping you avoid potential penalties for non-compliance. Don’t wait until an EPA inspection to discover your facility’s SPCC status. Contact Liberty Environmental, Inc. at (800) 305-6019 or via email at info@libertyenviro.com to ensure that your facility is SPCC-compliant.