The Federal SPCC Regulations You Need to Know for Spill Prevention

The federal government has established strict rules regarding spill prevention, control, and countermeasure planning (SPCC). To ensure your company remains compliant, we encourage safety managers to become familiar with federal SPCC regulations (40 CFR 112).

To help, RSB Environmental has created this guide for all things SPCC. Below, we cover what types of businesses must comply with SPCC regulations. We also highlight some must-know requirements. From there, we discuss common compliance issues your company may encounter.

Which Companies Must Adhere to Federal SPCC Regulations?

SPCC regulations apply to certain non-transportation-related facilities. Specifically, these requirements apply to businesses that:

  • Could reasonably discharge oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines; and
  • Have a total underground storage capacity of 42,000+ gallons, or
  • Have a total above-ground storage capacity of 1,320 gallons or more.

The last stipulation only applies if the company’s storage capacity consists of containers that can hold 55 gallons or greater.

Must-Know Federal SPCC Regulations

If your company meets two of the three above criteria, you must create an SPCC plan.

  • The plan should outline your spill-prevention measures.
  • The plan must detail how you intend to respond to a spill.
  • The plan must identify what countermeasures are in place.

You will be out of compliance if a plan lacks any required information, and non-compliance can lead to fines or other penalties. If an incident occurs, these fines could be even more severe. Additionally, you would incur serious damage to your company’s reputation.

In addition to creating a plan, you must also invest in secondary containment equipment. This equipment is an extra line of defense if your storage containers leak or break.

After your SPCC plan and equipment is in place, you must perform monthly inspections, which include checking for leaks, spills, and damage. These inspections must be documented, and the results must be submitted to the government.

What Are the Common SPCC Compliance Issues?

There are a handful of common compliance issues. Consider the following examples.

– One typical issue is that businesses have more than 1,320 gallons of above-ground storage capacity but don’t realize it. As a result, they don’t have an SPCC plan.

– Another common issue is that companies fail to have certified plans. Creating a plan is not enough. The plan must be signed and stamped by a licensed engineer. If it is not, the plan is invalid.

– The biggest oversight involves failing to update the SPCC plan. The plan must be updated within six months of adding new equipment. SPCC plans also have to be updated every five years, even if nothing has changed.

Stay in the Know with RSB Environmental

If you are involved with safety and compliance at your facility, you must proactively work to stay in the know. Federal SPCC regulations are definitely one of those “must-know” topics. However, there are many other industrial hygiene topics that you need to be familiar with.

At RSB Environmental, we understand that keeping up with these regulations can be a major headache. The good news is that we make accessing the information you need easier.

Every month, our team publishes an email newsletter. In each edition, we cover timely topics such as SPCC, stormwater pollution prevention, and compliance. These newsletters can serve as refreshers or bring you up to speed on new developments in the world of environmental compliance.

Sign up for our e-newsletter by emailing info@rsbenv.com to be added to our list. You will start to receive these valuable monthly updates sent directly to your inbox.

– If you need assistance with SPCC compliance, we can provide audit services. We can also assist with SPCC plan creation. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help.