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Be Proactive; Plan Ahead for Disaster

Posted By Mary Atkins on September 11, 2013

SPCC Plan ChecklistWho could forget the BP oil spill that happened almost three years ago? For 87 days, more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. While your facility might not be a global, multi-million dollar company, think about those locations where you use or store oils and fuels:

  • Vehicle or equipment fueling with aboveground tanks
  • Mobile tanks that are used to transport fuel or oil
  • Maintenance shops or garages
  • Used motor oil storage
  • Generators that are powered by gasoline or diesel fuel
  • Electrical equipment that contains heat transfer oil
  • Drums or tanks of cooking oil

It is important to have a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) program ready if disaster strikes. In many instances, you are required by Federal law to comply with SPCC regulations.

What is SPCC?

The SPCC program is a federal regulation that establishes procedures for the proper storage, spill response, training, and management of oils in order to prevent a discharge to any waterways. The SPCC rule is concerned with oils of any type and in any form including, but not limited to:

  • petroleum and other refined products;
  • fuel oil; sludge, used or waste oils;
  • oil mixed with waste other than dredged spoil;
  • fats, oils or greases of animal, fish or marine mammal origin;
  • vegetable oils including oil from seeds, nuts, fruits or kernels; and
  • other oils and greases, including synthetic and mineral oils.

Does this apply to me?

While some facilities are very familiar with the SPCC rule, others may think it does not apply to them because they are a small facility, or they only use oil occasionally. If you farm, store animal or vegetable oils, or are part of a municipality, you might not be exempt from the regulation. If you answer YES to the following questions, the SPCC rule applies to you.

√ Do you use oils or fuels?

√ Do you store oils in containers 55 gallons and greater?

√ Do your containers (greater than 55 gallons) total 1,320 gallons or above?

My facility is regulated.  What is the next step?

You must create an SPCC Plan that describes the efforts and procedures your facility will implement. Download our free ebook, “A Guide to SPCC Planning”, for assistance in developing your plan.



Download a Free SPCC Guide