Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Guide for Marinas and Boat Owners

  • Marina Operators
  • Boat Owners
  • Additional Resources

Marina Operators

  • Do you have a fuel dock?
  • Do you have above ground fuel storage?

If you do, you may need a federal Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. Here's some information specifically designed for marinas to help you comply with this law.

Background Information

All marinas are expected to practice smart pollution prevention measures while handling and storing petroleum products.

Some marinas need to have a federal SPCC Plan. US EPA requires many different kinds of businesses that store large amounts of petroleum products to develop these written plans. This requirement has been around since 1974 and was revised in 2002.

This regulation is designed to help facilities that store petroleum to plan ahead and prevent potential spills from reaching our waterways.

Does your marina need an SPCC Plan? Do you have a fuel dock or above ground petroleum storage?

No, I don't

You will not need a Federal Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan.

Please be aware there may be other state or local regulations which you need to follow.

You can play a key role in educating your customers and staff to help prevent small fuel spills.


Yes, I do

Marinas that store more than 1,320 gallons of petroleum generally need an SPCC Plan.

Use this worksheet to calculate the storage capacity of all above ground petroleum storage containers that are 55 gallons or more.

Container Details: location and/or description of tank number, size or color Capcity: What size are your tanks? Enter the capacity of each tank, not how much it currently holds.
Above Ground Oil Storage Capacity Worksheet
Mobile/portable tanks                         Gallons
Totes                         Gallons
Drums                         Gallons
Other containers > 55 gallons (remember to include Heating Oil, Lube Oil, Solvents, Fuel, etc)                         Gallons
Other                         Gallons
                          Gallons
                          Gallons
                          Gallons
                          Gallons
                          Gallons

If your total is 1,320 gallons or more, you will need a Federal SPCC Plan. If you do not have this much petroleum storage, you will not need an SPCC Plan.

The SPCC Plan is a written document that describes measures you have taken to prevent petroleum spills, and what you will do if needed, to contain and clean them up.

It includes information about:

  • the facility,
  • the petroleum storage containment,
  • inspections, and
  • a site diagram with locations of tanks (above and below ground), drainage, and other pertinent details.

It can be drafted by the marina operator, but it must be certified by a Professional Engineer.

However, if you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to self-certify your plan:

  1. the facility has 10,000 gallons or less in aggregate above ground oirl storage capacity, and
  2. the facility must not have had
    • a single discharge of oil to navigable waters exceeding 1,000 U.S. gallons or
    • two discharges of oul to navigable waters, each exceeding 42 U.S. gallons within any twelve-month period, in the three year prior to the SPCC Plan certification, or since be coming subject to 40 CFR part 112 if operating for less than three years.

For more information on self-certifying your SPCC Plan, please see: Is My Facility a "Qualified Facility" Under the SPCC Rule?"

Sample SPCC plan for marinas

Once you have your SPCC Plan

Once you have a written Plan, keep a copy of it at the Marina, available for inspection, during normal operating hours. You do not need to file it with EPA unless we request it.

Make sure you update it whenever there is a change in management or when you add or remove petroleum containers.

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Boat Owners

There are lots of easy things you can do to prevent fuel spills while you are maintaining or operating your engine, and while you are fueling up. Here's a start:

  • Know how much your fuel tank holds.
  • Before filling up, figure out how much fuel you will need.
  • Don't top off the tank.
  • Make sure anyone fueling the boat knows which deck fill is for fuel.
  • Replace the deck fill cap with a color cap so it's easy to distinguish from the water or sewage deck fills.

For more ideas, see the BoatU.S. Foundation's Fueling Basics Exit

Preventing petroleum spills is a team effort involving both the marina, the fuel supplier, and the end user - the boater.

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Additional Resources

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