EPA Writes Another Chapter in the SPCC Rule Novel

Today, EPA announced a final regulation that amends certain requirements for facilities subject to the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule.  The amendments clarify regulatory requirements, tailor requirements to particular industry sectors, and streamline certain requirements for a facility owner or operator subject to the rule.

This rulemaking marks the completion of the SPCC action, which was proposed on October 15, 2007, finalized on December 5, 2008, and for which the agency requested public comments again on February 3, 2009.

In general, this final rule retains most of the December 5, 2008 provisions, with 3 major differences.  EPA has eliminated the exemptions for:

  • certain produced water containers;
  • the alternative criteria for oil production facilities to be eligible for self-certification of their SPCC plan; and
  • the exclusion of oil production and farm facilities from the “loading rack” requirements.

The amendments do not remove any regulatory requirement for owners or operators of facilities in operation before August 16, 2002, to develop, implement and maintain an SPCC plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations then in effect.  Such facilities continue to be required to maintain their plans during the interim until the applicable date for revising and implementing their plans under the new amendments.

The effective date of this final rule is January 14, 2010.

See the official pre-publication version of this final rule here.

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