Do You Need an SPCC Facility Response Plan?

Posted on 3/19/2018 by Anthony Cardno

Anthony Cardno is lead instructor for Lion Technology's Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop, which comes to Orlando, FL on October 23-24, 2019. 

Oil-350.jpgUnder authority granted by the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) program at 40 CFR 112. While most facilities subject to the SPCC rules must simply create and maintain a plan meeting the program requirements (which vary based on a number of factors, including the type of oil stored on site), a small subset of those facilities need to additionally develop a Facility Response Plan (FRP).

Who Needs an SPCC Facility Response Plan (FRP)?

Any facility subject to SPCC that could reasonably be expected to have a release of oil to the navigable waters of the United States that causes substantial harm to the environment must create a facility response plan.

Be confident you know your site's responsibilites for creating and maintaining a compliant SPCC Plans. The Developing an SPCC Plan Online Course is available now.

What Is Substantial Harm?

A facility must create and submit an FRP if it meets any one of the following criteria:
  • The facility transfers oil over water to or from vessels and has a total oil storage capacity ≥ 42,000 gallons.
  • The facility is notified by the EPA Regional Administrator that an FRP is required (the “because-we-said-so” clause).
  • The facility’s total oil storage capacity is ≥ 1 million gallons and one of the following is true:
    • The facility does not have sufficient secondary containment for each above-ground storage area), or
    • The facility is located at a distance such that a discharge from the facility may cause injury to fish and wildlife and sensitive environments, or
    • The facility is located at a distance such that a discharge from the facility would shut down a public drinking water intake, or
    • The facility has had a reportable spill in an amount of ≥ 10,000 gallons within the past five years.
If a facility determines that it could not, because of its location, reasonably expect to cause substantial harm via a discharge of oil, the owner/operator must complete the certification form found in Appendix C of 40 CFR 112.

Deadlines for Submitting Your FRP

oil_spill_on_water_18456106.jpgFacilities that commenced operation or became regulated due to changes in design, construction, operation, or maintenance after August 30, 1994 must submit FRPs prior to commencing operations.
Facilities that become regulated due to an unplanned event or change in facility characteristics must submit FRPs within six months of the unplanned event.

If a facility becomes subject to FRP because the Regional Administrator notifies it, the FRP must be submitted within six months of notification.

What's in a Facility Response Plan?

The Facility Response Plan format can be found in 40 CFR 112, Appendix F. The FRP must include:
  • The emergency response action plan (including the name of a person with full authority to implement the FRP).
  • Facility information (including facility location, type, and the name of present owner/operator).
  • Emergency response information (identity of private personnel contracted to remove a worst-case discharge).
  • Hazard evaluation (including where discharges have occurred in the past or are likely to occur in the future).
  • Response planning levels (for worst-case discharges, discharges of 2,100 gallons or less, and discharges of greater than 2,100 but less than or equal to 36,000 gallons or 10 percent of the largest tank).
  • Discharge detection system descriptions.
  • Plan implementation procedures.
  • Self-inspection, drills/exercises, and response training per 40 CFR 112.21.
  • Site plan and drainage plan diagrams.
  • Security system descriptions.
Being ready to respond to a release of oil is a key part of both Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans and Facility Response Plans. FRPs must be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect facility changes and to maintain consistency with the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan, which will be the subject of an upcoming Lion newsletter.

Tags: Act, Clean, oil, oil spill, SPCC, Water

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