Tag Archives: spill

More Delays in SPCC Rule

EPA announced it is proposing yet another delay in the implementation of the “new” SPCC regulations, originally published in 2001.

EPA states:

Types of facilities that may be eligible for the proposed one year extension:

Oil production, farms, electric utility plants, petroleum refining and related industries, chemical manufacturing, food manufacturing, manufacturing facilities using and storing animal fats and vegetable oils, metal and other manufacturing, real estate rental and leasing, retail trade, contract construction, wholesale trade, other commercial, transportation, arts entertainment & recreation, other services (except public administration), petroleum bulk stations and terminals, education, hospitals & other health care, accommodation and food services, fuel oil dealers, gasoline stations, information finance and insurance, mining, warehousing and storage, religious organizations, military installations, and government facilities.

In summary, the proposed rule would:

  • Extend the date by which the owners or operators of certain facilities must prepare or amend and implement an SPCC plan by one year to November 10, 2011
  • Delay the compliance date for facilities with milk containers that are constructed according to the current applicable 3-A sanitary standards, and subject to the current applicable grade “A” pasteurized milk ordinance (PMO) or a state dairy regulatory requirement equivalent to the current applicable PMO until one year after EPA finalizes a rule for these facilities.
  • Maintain the current November 10, 2010 compliance date for drilling, production and workover facilities that are offshore or that have an offshore component, and for onshore facilities required to have and submit FRPs
  • Reconcile the proposed compliance dates for new production facilities

The proposed amendments do not remove the regulatory requirement for owners or operators of facilities in operation before August 16, 2002 (other than facilities with milk containers described above), to maintain and continue implementing an SPCC plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations then in effect.  EPA is seeking comment on whether a shorter extension period (6 to 9 months) is warranted for facilities rather than the proposed one year extension. In considering a shorter compliance extension period, we request comments on the criteria to consider, such as discharge history, size and type of facility, potential risk posed, and ability to come into compliance.

More information on the proposed rule:  http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm

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.