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SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors

In August 2013, EPA revised the SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors. This guidance is intended to assist regional inspectors in reviewing a facility's implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule at 40 CFR part 112 (PDF) (117 pp, 4.3 MB, About PDF). This document is also available to owners and operators of facilities that may be subject to the requirements of the SPCC rule and the general public. The document is designed to provide a consistent national policy on several SPCC-related issues.

This guidance is a living document and will be revised, as necessary, to reflect any relevant regulatory amendments. Additionally, EPA welcomes comments from the regulated community and the public on the guidance.

How do I comment on the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Guidance for Regional Inspectors?

To comment on the SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors, e-mail us at SPCC.OilSpill@epa.gov. In your message, please include the specific page number or section number that your comments refer to. EPA will not respond to all comments. However, all comments will be reviewed and will be used to inform ongoing revisions to the guidance document.

If you have questions about the guidance please call the Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP and Oil Information hotline. If the hotline is unable to answer your specific questions, your question will be forwarded to an EPA staff member for a response.

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Disclaimer

This document provides guidance to EPA inspectors and owners and operators of facilities that may be subject to the requirements of SPCC (40 CFR Part 112). It also provides guidance to the general public on how EPA intends the SPCC rule to be implemented. The guidance is designed to facilitate nationally-consistent implementation of the SPCC rule.

The statutory provisions and EPA regulations described in this guidance document contain legally binding requirements. This guidance document does not substitute for those provisions or regulations, nor is it a regulation itself. In the event of a conflict between the discussion in this document and any statute or regulation, this document would not be controlling.

The guidance does not impose legally binding requirements on EPA or the regulated community, and might not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances. The word “should” as used in this guidance is intended solely to recommend or suggest, in contrast to “must” or “shall” which are used when restating regulatory requirements.

Similarly, model SPCC Plans in Appendices D, E, and F, as well as examples of SPCC Plan language in the guidance, are provided as suggestions and illustrations only. While this guidance document indicates EPA's preferred approach to assure effective implementation of legal requirements, EPA retains the discretion to adopt approaches on a case-by-case basis that differ from this guidance where appropriate. Any decisions regarding a particular facility will be made based on the statute and regulations.

References or links to information cited throughout this guidance are subject to change. Rule provisions and addresses provided in this guidance are current as of August 2013. This guidance is a living document and may be revised periodically without public notice. This document will be revised, as necessary, to reflect any relevant future regulatory amendments.

Interested parties are free to raise questions and objections about the substance of this guidance and the appropriateness of the application of this guidance to a particular situation. EPA welcomes public comments on this document at any time and will consider those comments in any future revision of this guidance document.

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Guidance Content

The SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors is divided into seven main chapters, appendices, a glossary of terms and an index. EPA recommends reading the entire SPCC rule at 40 CFR part 112 (PDF) (117 pp, 4.3 MB, About PDF) and the entire guidance document.

Revision History since August 28, 2013 Publication

December 2013

  • Appendix H - Added settlement agreement between EPA and API and Marathon Oil Company.
  • Fixed formatting issues with page numbering.

November 2013

  • Chapter 2 – Navigable waters: Replaced the reference to Rapanos guidance with a link to the Office of Water page on Waters of the US.
  • Chapter 5 – Figure 5-7: Revised the representation of the OWS in the diagram.
  • Chapter 6 – Section 6.3: Added a reference to 40 CFR 110.6 regarding notification requirements and an excerpt of the regulation.
  • Chapter 7 – Section 7.5.2: Changed the subsection heading to “No Applicable Industry Standard- Hybrid Inspection Program Established”
  • Chapter 7 – Figure 7-4: Revised the summary of integrity testing and inspection program documentation to add cross-references to footnote in the figure.

Text revisions are noted with a pencil symbol.

Full Guidance Document

Chapters 1-7:

Chapter 1: Introduction discusses the purpose and scope of 40 CFR part 112 and the regulatory history, including all SPCC rule amendments. Also includes the Table of Contents, disclaimer, EPA Oil Program contacts, and acronyms list.

Chapter 2: SPCC Rule Applicability  clarifies the facilities, activities, and equipment that are regulated under the SPCC rule by providing an in-depth discussion of the applicability criteria and relevant scenarios.

Chapter 3: Environmental Equivalence  discusses the use of the environmental equivalence provision, lists the substantive requirements eligible for environmental equivalence, clarifies certain policy areas, provides examples of proper documentation, and describes the role of the EPA inspector in reviewing deviations based on environmental equivalence.

Chapter 4: Secondary Containment and Impracticability Determinations  describes the various secondary containment requirements and demonstrates how these requirements apply to specific equipment and activities at an SPCC-regulated facility. This chapter also discusses:

  • the impracticability determination provision of the rule,
  • the additional requirements that accompany an impracticability determination, and
  • the documentation needed to support such a determination.

The role of the EPA inspector in reviewing and evaluating secondary containment requirements and impracticability determinations is also discussed.

Chapter 5: Oil/Water Separators  addresses the applicability of the SPCC rule to various scenarios involving oil/water separators and other equipment.

Chapter 6: Facility Diagram and Description  provides guidelines on the necessary level of detail for the facility description and facility diagrams included in an SPCC Plan. This chapter also includes example facility diagrams for different types of facilities.

Chapter 7: Inspections, Evaluation, and Testing  provides an overview of the SPCC inspection, evaluation, and testing requirements, as well as how environmental equivalence may apply for these requirements. This chapter also discusses:

  • the role of the EPA inspector in determining a facility's compliance with the inspection, evaluation, and testing rule requirements;
  • and a summary of industry standards, code requirements, and recommended practices that apply to different types of equipment.

Appendices: The guidance includes several appendices that provide supplementary information for inspectors.

Appendix A - Text of CWA 311(j)(1)(c)

Appendix B - Select Regulations

Appendix C - Summary of Revised Rule Provisions

Appendix D - Sample Bulk Storage Facility Plan

Appendix E - Sample Production Facility Plan

Appendix F - Sample Contingency Plan

Appendix G - SPCC Inspection Checklists (Revised checklists now available!)

Onshore Facilities (excluding production)
PDF version
MS Word version (DOC)(26 pp, 1 MB)
Excel Version (XLS)(26 pp, 2 MB)

Onshore Oil Production, Drilling, and Workover Facilities
PDF version
MS Word version (DOC)(26 pp, 944 K)
Excel version (XLS) (26 pp, 1.6 M)

Offshore Oil Production, Drilling, and Workover
PDF version
MS Word version (DOC)(26 pp, 1 MB)
Excel version (XLS) (17 pp, 1.9 M)

Tier I Qualified Facility Checklist
PDF version
MS Word version (DOC)(25 pp, 900 K)
Excel version (XLS)(26 pp, 2 MB)

Appendix H - Other Policy Documents

Memorandum, Use of Alternative Secondary Containment Measures at Facilities Regulated under the Oil Pollution Prevention Regulation (40 CFR Part 112), OSWER 9360.8-37, Don R. Clay, OSWER Assistant Administrator, April 29, 1992

EPA Liner Study: Report to Congress, Section 4113(a) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. May 1996

Letter to Mr. Chris Early of Safety-Kleen Corporation (July 14, 2004)

Letter to Melissa Young of Petroleum Marketers Association of America (2001)

Memorandum, Use of Alternative Secondary Containment Measures at Facilities Regulated under the Oil Pollution Prevention Regulation (40 CFR Part 112), OSWER 9360.8-38, Marianne Lamont Horinko, OSWER Assistant Administrator, August 9, 2002.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Regulatory Definition of “Waters of the United States”, 68 FR 1991, January 15, 2003. Text  | PDF (8 pp, 73 K, About PDF)

Settlement Agreement between EPA and American Petroleum Institute and Marathon Oil Company (2004)

Letter to Daniel Gilligan of Petroleum Marketers Association of America (May 25, 2004)

Susan Parker Bodine, Letter to Brian Jennings of American Coalition for Ethanol, November 7, 2006.

R. Craig Matthiessen, Letter to Roger Claff, December 10, 2010.

EPA Jurisdiction at Complexes, August 2013.

FRP Rule Attachment C-I: Flowchart of Criteria for Substantial Harm, 40 CFR Ch. I, Pt. 112, App. C.

FRP Rule Attachment C-II: Calculation of the Planning Distance, 40 CFR Ch. I, Pt. 112, App. C.

Single Vertical Cylindrical Tank Inside a Rectangular or Square Dike or Berm Example Calculations (PDF)
Blank Worksheet (Word)(7 pp, 253 K)   | Blank Worksheet (PDF)

Multiple Horizontal Cylindrical Tanks Inside a Rectangular or Square Dike or Berm Example Calculations
Blank Worksheet (Word)(7 pp, 483 K)   | Blank Worksheet (PDF)

Rectangular or Square Remote Impoundment Structure Example Calculations
Blank Worksheet (Word)(7 pp, 339 K)   | Blank Worksheet (PDF)

Constructing New Secondary Containment Example Calculations
Blank Worksheet (Word)(7 pp, 383 K) | Blank Worksheet (PDF)