Regulatory Update: New Federal Regulations Require Amendments of Your SPCC Plans

Barry Needleman Headshot
Barry Needleman
Managing Director and Director, Administrative Law Department
January 1, 2002

Federal regulations require that facilities with certain types of above-ground or below-ground storage tanks must have spill prevention, control, and counter measure (SPCC) plans in place. On July 17, 2002 the United States Environmental Protection Agency finalized amendments to the regulations governing these plans.

Given this regulatory change, now is a good time for facilities to revisit and update their existing SPCC plans. Moreover, if you have storage tanks on site and you have not evaluated the applicability of SPCC regulations to those tanks, now is a good time to do so.

Existing plans must be amended by February 17, 2003 to account for the new regulatory requirements. The regulations do provide certain exemptions. Thus, not all storage tanks will be covered.

In addition to SPCC planning, storage tanks may also be subject to other regulatory requirements depending on the size and contents of the tank. It might be useful when facilities analyze these new SPCC requirements to consider other regulatory issues pertaining to storage tanks such as the potential effect of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act reporting requirements and Clean Air Act, Section 112(r), Accidental Release Requirements.