Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans


The U.S. EPA regulations on Oil Pollution Prevention (40 CFR Part 112) establish procedures, methods, and equipment necessary to prevent the discharge of oil from non-transportation related onshore and offshore facilities into or upon the navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines.  The U.S. EPA also defines oil as "oil of any kind or in any form, including, but not limited to, petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil".  This regulation applies to owners or operators of non-transportation related onshore and offshore facilities engaged in drilling, producing, gathering, storing, processing, refining, transferring, distributing, using, or consuming oil products which have a combined aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons.  The above ground oil storage includes all tanks, process equipment and containers with a storage capacity equal to or greater than 55-gallons.

The specific requirement of this regulation is the preparation and implementation of a SPCC Plan.  The SPCC Plan, at a minimum, shall include the following components:

  • Facility description

  • Facility diagram

  • Description of potential spill sources

  • Discussion of discharge prevention and control countermeasures

  • Discharge contingency plan

  • Inspection, testing and record keeping procedures and schedules

  • Management approval of the Plan

  • Professional Engineer's certification

  • Personnel training program

  • Designated discharge prevention contact person

The SPCC Plan must be updated whenever there is a spill and whenever there is a change in facility design, construction, operation, or maintenance that materially affects the facility's potential for the discharge of oil.  This update should be fully implemented as soon as possible but no later than six months after such change occurs.  At a minimum, a complete review and evaluation of the SPCC Plan must be performed once every five years, and the SPCC Plan must be updated, if necessary, within six months of the review.  A Registered Professional Engineer must certify any technical amendment to a SPCC Plan.

In December 2006, the U.S. EPA amended the SPCC rule to streamline some of the requirements for facilities with smaller oil storage capacity and for specific types of equipment.  The revised rule provides an option for "qualified facilities" to prepare a self-certified SPCC Plan instead of one that is reviewed and certified by a Professional Engineer (PE).  These facilities may also use newly revised facility security and tank integrity inspection requirements that are qualified facilities without PE certification.  The SPCC rules were further modified in December 2008.

IWM Consulting Group can prepare SPCC Plans that meet current federal requirements for all types of site-specific facilities, which include but are not limited to Oil Handling Facilities, Bulk Terminals and other industrial locations.