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Using federal rules and regulations, the Environment Protection Agency creates requirements to prevent environmental damage and protect public health from hazardous material spills. Since oil spills endanger public health, impact drinking water, devastate natural resources, and disrupt the economy, the EPA enacted specific rules to prevent and prepare for oil spills.
The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule helps oil exploration and production in the upstream sector and helps to prevent the discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. The goal of the SPCC rule is to protect people, property, and the environment safe from hazardous oil material.
The SPCC rule requires facilities to develop, maintain, and implement an oil spill prevention plan, or an SPCC plan.
Facilities with an aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,330 U.S. gallons or a completely buried storage capacity of greater than 42,000 U.S. gallons need a SPCC plan. Additionally, a facility that stores, processes, refines, uses or consumes oil and is non-transportation-related is potentially subject to the SPCC rule.
The United States uses vast quantities of oils to heat homes, fuel automobiles and other modes of transportation and operate various pieces of equipment. As a result, the SPCC rule covers many different types of facilities that store, process, refine, uses or consumes oil. Examples of facilities covered by the SPCC rule include:
Still not sure if your facility engages in any of these oil-related activities? Here are a few questions to help you determine if you need to follow SPCC plan requirements:
Have you answered yes to one or more of these questions? If so, you need an SPCC plan.
In an SPCC plan, facility owners and operators must detail oil handling operations, spill prevention practices, discharge or drainage controls, and the personnel, equipment and resources at the facility to prevent environmental damage from an oil spill.
A spill prevention plan covers the following procedures and measures, according to SPCC rule:
In addition to SPCC plan procedures and measures, an OSHA spill prevention plan may cover additional planning and implementing efforts related to employee health and safety and chemical storage.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, hazardous waste site clean-up efforts must rely on site-specific occupational safety and health programs. These programs protect employees at the site and serve as an extension of an employer’s overall safety and health program work. Learn more about OSHA requirements for chemical storage.
Transportation-related activities or equipment typically not covered by the SPCC rule include:
The SPCC rule covers oil of any type and in any form. The types of oil include (but not limited to):
Facilities meeting the criteria as outlined by the EPA must develop and implement an SPCC plan to prevent oil spills. As detailed by the SPCC rule, the following tactics or precautions help prevent environmental damage and protect public health from an oil spill.
Facilities risk contaminating the environment, harming employees, and incurring significant costs for cleanup should a spill occur without an SPCC plan in place. Facility owners and operators without an SPCC plan face fines from the EPA of up to $27,500 per day for noncompliance.
"I have been installing Poly Dike MPE Systems for well over a year. My business requires a system that ships easily and installs quickly with minimal personnel and tools yet provides robust spill containment in a professional looking package. The MPE System not only meets, but exceeds my expectations in each of these areas ... All-in-all, I guess what’s most impressive is that after a single installation, every customer of mine now requires that I use the Poly Dike MPE for his job site. Nothing speaks more to the confidence me and my customers have in the MPE system than that."
- John Hite, A & A Construction, Inc.
“I just received an email this morning stating that it was fabulous. Two guys set it up and it worked perfectly. The customer is extremely satisfied and grateful. Thank you for supporting this requirement and ensuring it was all you claimed it would be. Great asset to have!”
- Deborah K. Whitley (Deb) Fort Bragg, N.C. Bladder Dike MPE Utilized by Special Forces Overseas.