Jump to main content.

Contact Us

Qualified Facilities

The SPCC rule has streamlined requirements for facilities with smaller oil storage capacity that have not had oil spills. The owner or operator of a "qualified facility" can prepare and self-certify an SPCC Plan rather than have a Professional Engineer (PE) review and certify the Plan.

There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and II. To determine if you have a qualified facility you need to know the total capacity of aboveground oil storage containers at the facility and information on oil spills from the facility for the past three years.

Qualified Facility Applicability

If the facility total aboveground oil storage capacity is 10,000 gallons or less…
And… And the facility has… Then the facility is a:
In the three years before the SPCC Plan is certified, the facility has had no discharges to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines as described below:
  • A single discharge of oil greater than 1,000 gallons, or
  • Two discharges of oil each greater than 42 gallons within any 12-month period.
No individual aboveground oil containers greater than 5,000 gallons; Tier I Qualified Facility:
Complete and self-certify Plan template (Appendix G to 40 CFR part 112) in lieu of a full PE-certified Plan or other self-certified SPCC Plan.
Any individual aboveground oil container greater than 5,000 gallons; Tier II Qualified Facility:
Prepare a self-certified Plan in accordance with all applicable requirements of §112.7 and subparts B or C of the rule, in lieu of a PE-certified Plan.

Please note: This does not include discharges that are the result of natural disasters, acts of war, or terrorism. When determining the applicability of this SPCC reporting requirement, the gallon amount(s) specified (either 1,000 or 42) refers to the amount of oil that actually reaches navigable waters or adjoining shorelines not the total amount of oil spilled. EPA considers the entire volume of the discharge to be oil for the purposes of these reporting requirements.

The following document guides you through SPCC applicability to help you determine if the rule applies to your facility. The document:

This document incorporates, and does not modify, existing EPA policy and guidance on SPCC applicability.

Qualified Facilities Applicability (PDF) (5 pp, 119K, about PDF)

For general information on qualified facilities:

SPCC Qualified Facilities Fact Sheet (PDF) (4 pp, 103K, about PDF)

If you have a Tier I Qualified Facility, copies of the SPCC Plan template and examples of completed Plan templates are available to assist you in developing your Plan.

Self-certification is an optional alternative to PE certification of the Plan. However, please note that some states do not allow self certification. You should consult with your state to ensure that SPCC Plan certification is not limited to PEs. A list of State Professional Engineer (PE) licensing board contacts (PDF) (4 pp, 100K, about PDF) is available.

Secondary Containment Calculation Worksheets

If you are the owner or operator of a qualified facility, you need to ensure that you have adequate secondary containment to prevent oil spills from reaching navigable water.

Example and blank worksheets used to calculate secondary containment capacity are available below to help you to comply with the secondary containment requirements of the SPCC rule. These worksheets address four specific scenarios and may not be valid for every facility. Although the SPCC rule does not require you to show the calculations of sized secondary containment in your Plan, you should maintain documentation of secondary containment calculations to demonstrate compliance to an EPA inspector.

Disclaimer: Please note that these are simplified calculations for qualified facilities that assume: 1) the secondary containment is designed with a flat floor; 2) the wall height is equal for all four walls; and 3) the corners of the secondary containment system are 90 degrees. Additionally, the calculations do not include displacement for support structures or foundations. For Professional Engineer (PE) certified Plans, the PE may need to account for site-specific conditions associated with the secondary containment structure which may require modifications to these sample calculations to ensure good engineering practice.

Please note: Word versions are fill-in the blank only. PDF forms compute calculations.

Tank Inspections

If you are the owner or operator of a qualified facility with aboveground oil storage containers, you must inspect these containers for integrity on a regular basis in accordance with industry standards. For more information on tank inspection requirements see Chapter 7 of the SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors.

Please note: the scope of STI SP001 Standard for the Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks by the Steel Tank Institute (STI) includes the inspection and testing of aboveground shop-fabricated tanks, small field-erected tanks, portable containers, and associated secondary containment. The standard is copyrighted. However, the periodic tank inspection checklists in Appendix C of the standard are not copyrighted and are available here. Utilization of the checklists alone does not constitute compliance with the standard. The standard is available from STI at the following web address: https://www.steeltank.com/Publications/PublicationsIndex/tabid/108/Default.aspx Exit EPA Disclaimer.

If you are an owner or operator of a qualified facility with aboveground oil storage containers, the checklist will help you inspect them for integrity in accordance with industry standards.

Top of page


Contact the Emergency Response webmaster to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

Jump to main content.