SPCC Revisions and Requirements

July 17, 2002


Compiled by: Tony Rieck

T.R. Consulting, Inc.



For a list of archived articles go to www.trconsultinggroup.com/safety/archive.html


40 CFR Part 112 Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC)

revised July 17, 2002


Oil products are not limited to petroleum products and include vegetable, mineral and animal oils as well as grease and oil from nuts, etc.


General Applicability: These regulations apply to any owner or operator of a non-transportation-related onshore or offshore facility engaged in drilling, producing, storing, processing, refining, transferring, distributing, using or consuming oil products if the facility could cause a discharge of oil in a harmful quantity to Navigable Waterways.


Navigable Waterways is defined to include: all waters that have been, are or could be in the future used for interstate or foreign commerce; all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide; all interstate waters and wetlands; all other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams, intermittent streams, mudflats, prairie potholes, wet meadows, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, playa lakes, natural ponds that could affect interstate or foreign commerce; etc.; etc.; etc.


Interstate or foreign commerce would include current or potential for future use in recreation, fishing, harvesting shellfish, industrial purposes or other purposes.



Applies to: A) Aboveground containers

B) Completely buried tanks

C) Containers used for temporary, seasonal or standby purposes

D) Bunkered (partially buried) tanks

Non-Applicable to: A) USTs (underground storage tanks) regulated under either 40 CFR part 280 or under State programs approved in accordance with 40 CFR part 281

B) UST sites with system capacity less than or equal to 42,000 gallons and the aboveground storage aggregate capacity of all tanks is less than or equal to 1320 gallons

C) Containers of less than 55 gallons do not count toward aggregate capacity

D) Permanently closed containers

E) Equipment and operations regulated under DOT (Dept. of Transportation)

F) Offshore facilities regulated by the Minerals Management Service

G) Parts of facilities used solely for waste water treatment (recovery, recycling and production operations are not considered a part of waste water treatment).


Applicability Note: USTs that are excluded from inclusion due to their regulation under 40 CFR part 280 or under State programs approved in accordance with 40 CFR part 281 must still appear on site maps for facilities otherwise subject to the requirements of this regulation.


SPCC Plans:


For those facilities that are regulated under this regulation, a compliant SPCC plan must be implemented in accordance with the following schedule:


  1. Facilities in existence on or before August 16, 2002 must maintain their current SPCC plan, make amendments to comply with the revised regulations no later than February 17, 2003 ***a final rule extension to August 17, 2004 has been allowed*** and implement the amended plan no later than August 18, 2003 *** also extended 18 months to February 18, 2005***.
  2. Facilities that become operational between August 16, 2002 and August 18, 2003 must have an SPCC plan implemented no later than August 18, 2003.
  3. Facilities that become operational after August 18, 2003 must have an SPCC plan implemented prior to the onset of operations.


SPCC Plans must be reviewed and certified by a licensed Professional Engineer.


Plans must be maintained on site and available for review during normal working hours.


SPCC plans must be reviewed at least once every 5 years and amended within 6 months of review. Changes in facility design, operation or maintenance, or construction at a facility require an SPCC plan review.


A release is reportable under this regulation whenever any one spill is greater than 1000 gallons or any two spills greater than 42 gallons occur within any 12 month period.


Some Highlighted Revisions within the Rule:


  1. USTs regulated under 40 CFR part 280 or under State programs approved in accordance with 40 CFR part 281 are exempted from the aggregate storage calculations for a site. If these USTs comprise the only storage on site, the SPCC plan is not required.
  2. An SPCC plan is no longer required for every facility with an above ground storage container with a capacity greater than 660 gallons. Under the revised rule, only sites with greater than 1320 of above ground storage are included.
  3. Facilities or parts of facilities used solely for waste water treatment are no longer subject to the planning requirements of the rule unless they are used to meet the requirements of the rule.
  4. The Regional Administrator has authority to require SPCC plan by owners/operators of exempted facilities.
  5. The definition of Facility is revised to range from facilities as small as a piece of equipment or as large as a military base.
  6. An agent of the PE can now perform the site visit and the PE must attest that the part 112 requirements.
  7. Copies of the SPCC plan must now be maintained at the facility.
  8. Release reporting is clarified to be to the agency in charge of oil pollution control activities.
  9. The SPCC plan review time table has been extended from every 3 years to every 5 years.
  10. Non-technical amendments to SPCC plans no longer require PE certification.
  11. Periodic container, valve and piping integrity tests have been added.
  12. Only oil handling employees must receive training.
  13. Field-constructed above ground containers must be evaluated for brittle fracture when undergoing a repair, alteration, reconstruction or change of service.
  14. NPDES records can be used to record storm water bypass events for SPCC purposes.
  15. Buried piping installed on or after August 16, 2002 is required to be protected from corrosion.