New SPCC Rules give a break to Retail Operations

Posted by admin on January 6th, 2009 filed in Federal Rulemaking, Regulatory Compliance, Retail Compliance

With the finalization of the new SPCC rules on December 5th, EPA has closed the chapter on one of the longest and most convoluted rulemaking efforts ever.  The product of dozens of failed proposals, law suits, and an evolving marketplace, the new rules provide much needed flexibility for retailers caught up in the SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures) Planning requirements.

Smaller oil storage facilities have the ability to be designated as “Tier I” facilities, removing some of the compliance burden.  Tier I facilities have the following characteristics:

  • Less than 10,000 gallons of oil in aboveground storage;
  • No container larger than 5,000 gallons; and
  • No reportable off-site discharges of oil in the past three years (more detail in the rule package).

In addition, the facilities must meet the SPCC requirements for secondary containment (i.e., they can not use equivalent engineering methods).

Meeting the Tier I criteria will prove to be a bonanza for telecommunications facilities, retailers, and those facilities having only an emergency generator on site throwing them into the SPCC requirements.  Tier I facilities can complete and self-certify a template SPCC plan provided by the EPA (Appendix G).  Being able to complete the Tier I template will greatly reduce the paperwork burden for more than 100,000 covered facilities, nationwide.

Endeavour has worked closely with retailers and telecommunications companies on the preparation of SPCC plans and training employees in their responsibilities.  For more information on these requirements, contact us.

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