EPA Publishes Proposed SPCC Rule Amendments

November 16, 2007
by RODD BENDER
Client Alert Newsletter November 2007

On October 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") issued proposed amendments to the federal Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure ("SPCC") planning regulations. According to the preamble, EPA intends through the rulemaking to clarify, tailor, and streamline certain SPCC requirements. Among other changes, the amendments would redefine the term "facility" to allow separation or aggregation of oil storage containers based on ownership, type of use, and other relevant considerations (impacting whether a given facility has sufficient storage capacity to trigger SPCC planning requirements). In addition, EPA would establish streamlined SPCC requirements for two tiers of "qualified facilities," allowing certain (Tier I) qualified facilities to complete a self-certified SPCC plan template, while other (Tier II) qualified facilities could self-certify a full SPCC plan. The amendments would also create a new "loading/unloading rack" definition, clarifying the scope of the existing section 112.7(h) requirements for such equipment. Finally, the proposal includes increased flexibility for satisfying facility diagram, secondary containment, security, and integrity testing requirements. Comments on the proposal are due by December 14.