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Regulation for SPCC & Integrity Testing

SPCC Regulation Background

Regulations for SPCC were originally developed in 1973 and finally published nearly 20 years later in 2002.  The EPA’s final regulation amended the original spill plan rule, formally known as the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation (40 CFR part 112).  The regulation included new sub-parts outlining the SPCC regulations for :

  • various classes of oil;
  • revised the applicability of the regulation;
  • amended the requirements for completing SPCC Plans.

5 Major SPCC Regulation developments

  1. After publication of the regulation’s amendments, there were several legal challenges that have now been resolved.  EPA published clarifications in the Federal Register to several aspects of the amended rule (69 FR 29728, May 25, 2004).   The agency published the final regulation and changed the definition of “navigable waters” in 40 CFR part 112.  The EPA restored the definition to the broad  regulatory definition promulgated in 1973.
  2. Effective December 2006, additional amendments addressed a number of issues, including those pertaining to certain qualified facilities, qualified oil-filled operational equipment, motive power containers, mobile refuelers.  Regulation amendments also removed  provisions inapplicable to AFVOs, and extended the compliance date for farms.
  3. December 5, 2008, EPA amended SPCC regulations again to clarify certain provisions, tailor requirements to particular industry sectors, and streamline certain rule requirements.  The Agency also established dates for the owners and operators of farms to prepare, implement and amend their SPCC plans.
  4. As the regulation stands now, owners or operators of facilities with 1320 gallons or more of oil product must implement and maintain an SPCC Plan.  The compliance deadline for the SPCC regulation was November 10, 2011.
  5. Milk Exemption: April 2011, the EPA exempted milk product storage from SPCC regulations.  This regulation amendment does not exempt milk producers & milk manufactures from compliance.  If the milk farm stores petroleum products or other oil types, compliance with SPCC regulations may be necessary depending on the quantity stored at the facility.

Latest Deadline for SPCC regulation

  • As of November 10, 2011,  owners/operators of facilities with 1,320 gallons or more of petroleum product must maintain an SPCC Plan.
  • The facility also must make any necessary amendments by November 10, 2011.
  • Any facility currently without an SPCC Plan is in violation and may be subject to fines and/or permit revocation.
  • If the facility becomes operational after November 10, 2011, it must have its SPCC plan in place and implemented before beginning operations.
  • Fines can exceed $30,000 per day for not complying with the regulation.
  • Our SPCC requirements page will explain the type of SPCC plan your facility requires.

Regulations for Self Certifying SPCC Plans

Federal regulations 40 CFR 112 requires the self certifying owner to:

  • attest he/she is intimately familiar with the SPCC regulations
  • establish procedures for required inspections & testing
  • show evidence the plan is being fully implemented & sufficient resources are committed to funding the plan
  • write a plan in accordance with accepted & sound  industry practices
  • comply and not deviate from any rule requirements.

See our SPCC plan page which will help you determine whether self-certifying is an option for your location.

3 Advantages of SPCC Self Certification

  1. Self certification plans streamline some of the elements required for larger facilities.
  2. These plans are less costly to create & implement.
  3. Owners of  self certifying facilities can create the plan themselves without hiring an expensive professional engineer to certify the plan.

Beware:  Some states do not recognize self-certification or have different requirements. If you’re not sure, give us a call!

3 Pitfalls with self-certifying plans

  1. Most self certifying owners and operators are not familiar with industry accepted practices and have no idea how to create elements of the plan that are compliant.
  2. Because of their lack of experience with this regulation, self certified facilities are at increased risk for fines if the regulator reviews the plan.
  3. In some instances, facilities are doing too much in their plan especially if they qualify for Tier 1 classification.

SPCC Regulations- Facility Security & Integrity Testing

According to the EPA SPCC enforcement, the self certifying plan must contain specifics about security and integrity testing.

Facility Security– The plan must describe how:

  • access is controlled to oil handling, processing & other storage areas,
  • the facility prevents unauthorized access to starter controls on oil pumps and
  • master flow & drain valves are secured.  This includes out-of-service loading and unloading connections oil pipelines.

Integrity Testing–  The plan must provide for:

  • a regular schedule of testing & inspection on each above ground tank and
  • required testing whenever material repairs are made on any above ground tank
  • frequency of testing should take into account design, configuration and size of the storage.

Tank integrity testing requirements – 3 points to remember

  • The rule requires owners/operators of qualified facilities to test and inspect each above ground container for integrity on a regular schedule and whenever material repairs are made.
  • Where there are applicable industry standards, it allows qualified facilities the flexibility to determine, in accordance with industry standards, the appropriate qualifications for personnel performing tests and inspections, as well as the frequency and type of testing and inspections that take into account container size, configuration, and design.
  • SPCC regulations also require self-certifying facilities to institute methods and frequency of inspections and testing in your SPCC Plan, including monthly, yearly and 5 year interval inspections.

If you have questions about testing protocols, we can help. We can provide you with:

  • schedules for testing and inspections
  • provide you with monthly and annual reminders to perform your inspections
  • provide all your tank inspections and testing with API and STI certified inspectors so you are never out of compliance

Call our National SPCC Resource Center  1-877-440-8265

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