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Overview of Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Regulations

The Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations were implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to establish requirements for spill prevention and a plan for cleanup if necessary.  The SPCC establishes requirements for oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response in an effort to prevent oil discharges into navigable waters and adjoining shorelines. 

Under the Clean Water Act, approximately 650,000 facilities are required to comply with SPCC regulations found at 40 CFR 112.  These are non-transportation-related facilities with a total aboveground oil storage capacity of greater than 1,320 gallons (gal) or buried oil storage capacity greater than 42,000 gal.  Because of their locations, many of these facilities are potential risks for discharging oil into navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.

According to an EPA estimate in the Revision of Information Collection Request (ICR) for the Oil Pollution Prevention Regulation for Certain Facilities to Prepare and Maintain an Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan (Final Rule) (EPA No. 0328.15, OMB No. 2050-0021), the SPCC-regulated community is mostly made up of oil production facilities (34%), farms (23%), and electric utilities (10%).  The other one-third of regulated facilities is made up of about 25 different industries, including chemical and metal manufacturers, mining, and transportation equipment and maintenance facilities.


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Articles about Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Regulations
  • May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelly Lagana at BLR

    Several catastrophic spills over the past few years have sparked significant interest in oil spill prevention across the industry. Not only do facilities with large amounts of oil want to prevent environmental damage, loss of product, and civil lawsuits, but, assuming their operations are based in the United States, they must also comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations.

  • July/August 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

    On October 7, 2010, EPA maintained the November 10, 2010 compliance date for drilling, production or workover facilities that are offshore or that have an offshore component, and for onshore facilities required to have and submit Facility Response Plans (FRPs). However, EPA extended the compliance date an additional year for all other facilities to amend or develop a SPCC Plan until November 10, 2011.

  • November/December 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Philip Myers at Chevron Texaco

    The purpose of the new SPCC rule is two-fold; i.e. to prevent oil spills from occurring and to respond to them if they do occur. We believe that few will argue that prevention is far better and less costly than response in general. The focus of this paper is to highlight how the new SPCC invokes existing industry standards as a requirement for implementation at all covered facilities in an effort to prevent spills. In particular, we focus on the most important industry standards that are required to prevent spills from occurring in existing facilities. Since the SPCC rule does not specifically identify any required standards the task of figuring out which standards are applicable and must be implemented is a challenging one. There are at least a hundred industry standards related to tanks and terminal facilities.

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