Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program

The EPA requires farm and gin owners to prepare and implement a SPCC Plan for covered facilities.

Published: December 15, 2010
Updated: December 15, 2010

In approximately one month, owners of an Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) - regulated facility must prepare or amend and implement a SPCC Plan. The deadline is November, 10, '11.

Currently, farms or gins in operation on or before Aug. 16, '02, must maintain or amend their existing plan by November 10, '11. Farms or gins in operation after Aug. 16, '02, but before Nov. 10, '11 must prepare and use a Plan on or before Nov. 10, '11.

The EPA page on the SPCC Rule site, SPCC for Agriculture, is a valuable resource for producers and ginners. This page is dedicated to helping farms and gins prevent oil spills, as well as control a spill should one occur. The current example template and newly added documents, including one on how to fill out the template, contain background information for the example farm -- making this process much more understandable.

The NCC has developed a General Summary (99k pdf and contains Federal Register notice) of the requirements for a typical cotton gin that has only press pump tanks and possibly small above ground fuel tanks. Under conditions outlined in the above documents, gin and farm owners have the option to develop their own plan and self-certify. It is also important to remember that contiguous or non-contiguous buildings, properties, parcels, leases, or structures under the ownership or operation of the same person may be considered separate facilities.

Tier I and II qualified facilities are those facilities that have more than 1,320 gallons of above ground oil storage capacity and 10,000 gallons or less. If a facility contains any individual above ground container greater than 5,000 gallons, the facility is classified as a Tier II facility.

A Sample Tier I SPCC Plan (657k pdf) and a Tier I Plan Template are available to assist in developing a plan. Owners who meet criteria for Tier II have the option to develop their own plan and self-certify in lieu of a professional engineer (PE) plan. The EPA has not posted a Tier II Plan Template at this time. However, Tier II Plan Templates are available from third parties online. Tier III owners need to have their plan certified by a PE. For an in-depth review, please refer to EPA's website, SPCC Rule.

NCC staff also has developed a slide set (4k pdf) that may be useful in helping explain the basics of the SPCC Program. The slides include information regarding who is covered, what a covered facility should do, current deadlines and where to get additional information.