SPCC Plan Review

If you have a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, the EPA requires you to review your plan at least every 5 years. This review gives you an opportunity to see if your plan needs amending based on more effective prevention and control technology.

Plans must also be amended when there is a change in the facility design, construction, operation, or maintenance that materially affects its potential for a discharge.

According to the Enviro.BLR.com web site, some frequently asked questions on amending an SPCC plan are:

1. As it relates to amendment requirements for SPCC Plans, what is considered a material change?

A “material change” is defined as a change in the facility design, construction, operation, or maintenance that affects its potential for a discharge.

According Enviro.BLR.com, changes that may require amendment of the Plan include, but are not limited to:

  • Commissioning or decommissioning containers
  • Replacement, reconstruction, or movement of containers
  • Reconstruction, replacement, or installation of piping systems
  • Construction or demolition that might alter secondary containment structures
  • Changes of product or service
  • Revision of standard operation or maintenance procedures at a facility

An amendment made under this section must be prepared within 6 months and implemented as soon as possible, but not later than 6 months following preparation of the amendment, per 40 CFR 112.5(a).

2. Is approval from the EPA required for any amendments to the SPCC Plan?

EPA approval of an amendment to the SPCC Plan is not required. However, if the Regional EPA Administrator (RA) is not satisfied that the amendment fulfills the requirements of the SPCC rules, the RA may require further amendment of the Plan.

3. Does the decommissioning of a container constitute a material amendment?

The decommissioning of a container that results in permanent closure of that container is a “material amendment”. According to the EPA, decommissioning a container could materially decrease the potential for a discharge and require Plan amendment, unless the decommissioning brings the facility below the regulatory threshold, making the preparation and implementation of a Plan no longer a requirement.

4. Is the replacement of tanks, containers, or equipment considered to be a material change?

The replacement of tanks, containers, or equipment may not be a material change if the replacements are identical in quality, capacity, and number. However, a replacement of one tank with more than one identical tank that results in greater storage capacity is a material change because the storage capacity of the facility, and its consequent discharge potential, have increased.

5. Is a change to the type of product stored in a container considered to be a material change?

It may or may not be, depending on the situation, because if the change may materially affect facility operations, it may be considered a material change. An example of a change of product that would be a material change would be a change from storage of asphalt to storage of gasoline. Storage of gasoline instead of asphalt presents an increased fire and explosion hazard. A switch from storage of gasoline to storage of asphalt might result in increased stress on the container, leading to its failure.

However, changes of product involving different grades of gasoline might not be a material change and may not require amendment of the Plan if the differing grades of gasoline do not substantially change the conditions of storage and potential for discharge.

For more information on Spill Prevention Plans, go to this web page at the Enviro.BLR.com web site.