Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program

SPCC Update, November 2015

In response to a requirement in the Waters Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014, EPA has completed and posted a study recommending a 2,500 gallon aggregate above ground oil storage tank threshold for farms to comply with the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule.

EPA also announced that it would conduct a rulemaking to finalize the 2,500 gallon threshold within 18 months. That rule will supersede the interim conditional 6,000 gallon threshold for farms with no reportable oil discharge history established by WRRDA.

EPA has been considering changes to the SPCC for over a decade. Prior to the WRRDA legislation being passed, EPA set the threshold at 1320 gallon above ground storage. WRRDA amended the applicability of the SPCC rule for farm facilities by establishing a 2,500 minimum threshold, and a temporary 6,000 gallon threshold for farms with no reportable discharges. WRRDA directed EPA to conduct a study to determine an appropriate threshold and to promulgate a regulation establishing a threshold between 2,500 and 6,000 gallons. More information on WRRDA and SPCC is available here.

The EPA study notes that the 1,320 gallon threshold for other types of facilities is also appropriate for farms, but that EPA is bound to a minimum threshold of 2,500 gallons under the WRRDA legislation.

EPA’s rule will require farms with aggregate above ground oil storage capacity greater than 2,500 gallons to meet the requirements of the SPCC rule, including having a spill plan.

Farms with above ground storage under 2,500 gallons will not need to have an SPCC plan, farms with storage between 2,500 and 20,000 gallons and do not have an individual tank greater than 10,000 gallons can self-­‐certify.

Farms must have a Professional Engineer certify their SPCC plan if they have an aggregated aboveground fuel storage capacity greater than 20,000 gallons or have an individual tank greater than 10,000 gallons.

OFB will keep members updated on the rulemaking process and file comments when the comment period becomes open.

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Fall 2014 Update:  Still being fine-tuned. SPCC applies to farms that store, transfer, use, or consume oil or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat; and potentially could discharge this oil into any waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines, such as interstate waters, intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams.

“In May 2014, the House and Senate passed the Water Resources & Reform Development Act, which alters the description of the farms and ranches subject to the SPCC rule,” said OFB’s Gail Greenman.

The new legislation states that SPPC certification by a professional engineer will be required for a farm or ranch with:

– an individual tank with an aboveground storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons, or
– an aggregate aboveground storage capacity greater than or equal to 20,000 gallons, or
– a reportable oil discharge history; or

SPPC certification by the owner or operator (self-certification) will be required for a farm or ranch with:

– an aggregate aboveground storage capacity between 6,000 and 20,000 gallons
– no reportable oil discharge history; and

At this time, no SPCC plan is required for a farm or ranch with aboveground storage capacity up to 6,000 gallons.

“However, the legislation also states that a study must be conducted to determine what the final level of above-ground storage capacity should be before a SPCC plan is needed,” said Greenman. “That level won’t be less than 2,500 or more than 6,000 gallons.”

For more information, visit the SPCC information for farms website, or contact OFB’s Gail Greenman.