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U.S. EPA Proposes New Revisions to Streamline SPCC Rules

10.01.2007

By Andy Bowman, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

On October 1, 2007, the U.S. EPA announced that it is proposing several amendments to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule to clarify, streamline and tailor certain requirements applicable to facility owners or operators who are required to prepare a SPCC Plan. The U.S. EPA is taking comments during a 60-day period ending on December 14, 2007. The proposed rule was published in the October 15, 2007 Federal Register. Information about the proposed amendments can be found at www.epa.gov/emergencies.

The proposed amendments include new exemptions from SPCC requirements for hot mix asphalt, residential heating oil containers (i.e., at farm residences, homes on military bases and residences located with covered business) and pesticide application equipment and mix containers used at farms.

U.S. EPA also is proposing streamlined requirements for so-called “Tier 1” qualified facilities (i.e., no individual oil storage container with a capacity greater than 5,000 gallons up to an aggregate of 10,000 gallons). Qualified Tier 1 facilities would have the option of self-certifying a simplified SPCC Plan template rather than a full SPCC Plan.

The proposed amendments include clarifications of the definition of “facility,” scope of covered loading/unloading rack equipment and general secondary containment requirements. Additional flexibility is proposed for the security, integrity testing and facility diagram requirements. Several other changes are proposed for oil production facilities, farms and facilities handling animal fats and vegetable oils.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov.

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