Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Compliance Date for Farms Extended to May 10, 2013

The United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a proposed rule amendment to 40 CFR Part 112’s SPCC compliance deadline for farmers.  A Federal Register posting summarized the proposed rule as follows, “EPA is taking direct final action to amend the date by which farms must prepare or amend, and implement their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans to May 10, 2013.  This rule is effective on November 7, 2011 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 2, 2011.”

According to the Proposed Amendment, farming operations that commenced on or before August 16, 2002 now have until May 10, 2013 to amend and implement their SPCC Plan.  The EPA website explains the rationale for this rule change, stating, “An overwhelming segment of the continental United States was affected by flooding during the spring and summer of 2011. Other areas were impacted by devastating fires.  Many counties in many states were declared disaster areas by either the federal or state government or both. As a result, EPA believes that because of their unique nature farms were disproportionately affected and need additional time to prepare and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan.  The amendment does not remove the regulatory requirement for owners or operators of farms in operation before August 16, 2002, to maintain and continue implementing an SPCC Plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations then in effect. Such farms continue to be required to maintain plans during the interim until the applicable compliance date for amending and implementing the amended Plans. Finally, the amendment does not relieve farms from the liability of any oil spills that occur.”

The extension of the SPCC plan compliance deadline for farmers has received support from both individual farm operators as well as the National Farmers Union as it will provide the agriculture community more time to recover from the devastating impacts of this year’s unprecedented drought, floods and fires.  Yet more importantly, it provides an extended timeframe for farmers to properly research all relevant aspects of the SPCC regulation and to create or update their oil spill mitigation planning as defined in the regulation.  An overview of resources for farmers and other agricultural operations that are subject to the new SPCC Plan deadline, including advice, technical support and oil spill prevention and clean up products are available at Interstate Products’ SPCC Farmers website at: http://interstateproducts.com/spcc_farmers.html

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Deadline to Prepare Farm SPCC Plan is November 10th, 2011

The Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulatory requirements for farming, ranching and other agricultural operations are outlined in The Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Code of Regulations 40 CFR 112.  As part of these new rules an SPCC Plan is required by all facilities subject to the regulation and is designed to help prevent any discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. The main thrust of the SPCC regulation is prevention as opposed to after-the-fact reactive measures commonly described in Oil Spill Contingency Plans.  The regulation states, “facilities that drill, produce, gather, store, use, process, refine, transfer, distribute or consume oil and oil products” must implement a plan that addresses specific measures to minimize the potential for oil discharge into the environment.”  The deadline to prepare and implement a revised SPCC spill control plan is November 10th, 2011.

According to the EPA website, before a facility is subject to the SPCC rule, it must meet three criteria:

  1. it must be non-transportation-related;
  2. it must have an aggregate aboveground storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons or a completely buried storage capacity greater than 42,000 gallons; and
  3. there must be a reasonable expectation of a discharge into or upon navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.

Specifically, the SPCC Plan must include a comprehensive description of a facility’s containment and countermeasure strategy to prevent an oil spill from occurring, and procedures to mitigate and clean up any potential oil spill.  Not only must your SPCC Plan outline procedures designed to prevent oil spills; but if a spill occurs, a description of control measures designed to stop spills from leaching into the environment is also necessary.  Finally, the plan must include detailed countermeasures to contain, clean up, and otherwise mitigate the effects of a spill that does impact the environment.  An SPCC Plan must also specify a means of secondary containment that can hold up to 110% of the capacity of the largest single tank or container.  Secondary containment procedures, controls and countermeasures must include tools and structures like oil spill berms, spill pallets, sorbents and drain seals.

Interstate Products, Inc. (IPI), the leading provider of spill containment products and the preferred source for environmental and industrial solutions had created a summary page of resource listings for commercial farmers and industrial agriculture firms whose operations are subject to SPCC rule compliance.  The site presents information on various SPCC plan requirements and links to official information, including specific plan outlines to help our clients meet all applicable rule requirements of 40 CFR 112.6(a)(3).  IPI’s SPCC Farmers resource site offers links to EPA plan overview documents that address eligibility, plan requirements and various products that enable users to come into compliance with the applicable rules.  This includes information on specific spill prevention measures covered facilities should include in an SPCC Plan.

Interstate Products provides an array of standard and customized solutions, including spill containment tanks and berms that enable industry compliance with the tools required to prevent, contain, mitigate and clean up oil, gasoline and other chemical spills.  IPI is recognized as the preferred source for spill containment products and accessories and has developed unique packages of oil spill kits, chemical spill kits and other customizable spill control kits that provide the solutions needed to comply with SPCC rules.  Additional products include complete lines of spill control pads, socks, pillows, spill berms, spill tanks, spill pallets and hazmat products.  Contact us to learn more about industrial spill containment solutions and view our full selection of portable spill kits at:  http://interstateproducts.com/spcc_farmers.html

IPI makes every effort to ensure the information presented on this page is accurate and up to date. IPI cannot be held liable for the content on this page. Consult with your local environmental management agency and fire marshal for the requirements in your area. Find regulations and additional formation at: http://www.epa.gov

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