Does Your Facility Need an SPCC Plan?

SPCC stands for Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure. SPCC plans are developed to help facilities prevent a discharge of oil and to create response procedures in the event of a spill, fire, earthquake, flood or other impactful emergency. This is a Federal requirement, enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the Oil Pollution Prevention regulation (40 CFR 112). The majority of facilities in Alaska that need an SPCC plan will have a Facility Response Plan (FRP) in conjunction with it, both of which specify how to run a facility and what to do in case of emergency.

Any “non-transport facility” with the “potential to discharge oil to waters of the U.S.” are required to have an SPCC plan if they store:

  • Greater than 1,320 U.S. gallons of fuel above ground
  • Have a completely buried storage capacity greater than 42,000 U.S. gallons

A few key points to keep in mind:

Non-transport facility – Refers to stationary facilities, but covers almost all facilities found in remote Alaska, including village, city, corporation and private tank farms.

Potential to discharge oil to waters of the U.S. – In Alaska, water is everywhere. Even if your facility isn’t adjacent to a major body of water or river, often there is still potential to discharge oil to water through land contours. Creeks, wetlands, drainages and catch basins fit the criteria

Stores oil or petroleum products on-site in excess of 1,320 gallons – This can be tricky in that the measurement is based on the container capacity, not on the amount physically stored. This means if you have a 2000 gallon tank but only ever keep it half full at 1000 gallons, it is still measured as 2000 gallons by the EPA. They also count any container over 55-gallons in your total capacity. So, if you have 8 55-gallon drums, a 500-gallon heating oil tank and a 500-gallon gasoline tank… you need an SPCC plan.

Oil or Petroleum – Used oil, bio-fuels, gasoline, diesel, hydraulic oil, lubricants, fuel stored in machinery, etc., all count toward your total storage.

What is an SPCC Plan?

SPCC plans outline a facilities’ operating procedures for spill prevention, establish measures to prevent spills from entering waterways, and countermeasures to contain and report any discharges. An SPCC plan is written specifically for each facility that requires one.

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