The Environmental Protection Agency’s Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program was initiated in 2013. It establishes reporting requirements on certain farms related to on-farm oil storage. There have been some important revisions in 2015 to the SPCC program.
The goal of the SPCC program is to prevent oil spills into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. Oil spills can cause injuries to people and damage to the environment. A key element of this program requires farmers and other facilities that exceed the SPCC oil storage requirements to have an oil spill prevention plan, called an SPCC Plan. These Plans can help farmers contain potential oil spills which could damage water resources needed for farming operations.
Revisions to the original SPCC program
1. A Farm is not required to have an SPCC Plan if it has:
2. A farmer can self-certify the SPCC Plan if the farm has:
**The 6,000-gallon threshold may be adjusted by EPA, following a study to determine the appropriate exemption.
3. The following do not count when calculating aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity:
Summary of the SPCC program
What is considered a farm under the SPCC program?
Under SPCC, a farm is: “a facility on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising of animals, including fish, which produced and sold, or normally would have produced and sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during a year.”
Does my farm have to meet requirements of the SPCC program?
The SPCC program applies to a farm that meets ALL THREE (3) of the following:
Farms that meet all three criteria are covered by SPCC and need to review the “SPCC Program: Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)”fact sheet found at the following website:
Sample plans and plan templates are available at the following website (these have not been updated to reflect the new guidelines): http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/tier1temp.htm
What do I do with my SPCC plan?
The plan should be maintained at your facility if you are usually present at least 4 hours per day or at your nearest office if the facility is not staffed. Your SPCC plan must be updated when any changes are made to your storage and/or containment. Additionally the plan must be reviewed every five years.
Peter Tomlinson, Environmental Quality Specialist, Agronomy
Aleksey Sheshukov, Watershed Assessment Specialist, Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Kerri Ebert, Extension Assistant, Ag Safety and Health Program, Biological and Agricultural Engineering