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Farm Spill Plan Deadline Approaches


By Andy Bowman, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

Farms that are for the first time required by federal regulations to implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan (SPCC Plan) have until May 10, 2013 to have a SPCC Plan in place.  Farms that started operations prior to August 16, 2002 that were already subject to SPCC Plan requirements must have their SPCC Plan amended and updated by the May 10, 2013 deadline.  Generally, farmers need to have a SPCC Plan if their operation meets all three of the following criteria:

  • Oil or oil products (e.g., diesel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic fluid, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil or animal fats) are stored, used, transferred or consumed at the farm;
  • Oil or oil products are stored in above ground containers with a capacity of more than 1,320 gallons or in underground storage tanks with a capacity of more than 42,000 gallons; and
  • An oil spill from the farm could be reasonably expected to reach waters of the United States (e.g., lake, river, stream).

Some farmers will be eligible to self-certify their plans if the farm has a total oil storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less and a clean spill history.  Otherwise, the SPCC Plan must be certified by a Professional Engineer.  SPCC Plans must be updated every five years.

Additional information on SPCC Plan content and eligibility to self-certify is available on EPA’s website at

To view a complete PDF of the January/February 2013 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.


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