Those who store fuel, oil, crop oil, hydraulic oil, surfactant, adjuvant and other materials on farms or ranches must comply with EPA-mandated Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans by May 10.
The EPA’s new SPCC rule includes requirements for oil spill prevention, preparedness and response to prevent oil discharges to navigable waters and adjoining shorelines.
“The SPCC regulations apply to any farm if an oil spill from your farm could reasonably be expected to reach water,” said Sandra Frost, UW Extension educator. “Many farmers and ranchers will find it simple to comply with EPA regulations while others, with larger tanks on one parcel of land, will have to hire a certified engineer and build berms or dikes.”
Those who store more than 1,320 gallons in aboveground tanks (55 gallons or more each), or 42,000 gallons in buried tanks on one parcel of land, are subject to SPCC regulations.
“Do not add together the storage capacity on different parcels you own or lease,” said Frost. “A farm may have a plan for each parcel where storage exceeds 1,320 gallons.”
The plan includes requirements for measures such as security, employee training, overfill prevention (alarms), system inspection, emergency contacts and secondary containment (dikes, remote impoundments, or double-walled tanks) if required.
“In many cases, farmers can write a simple plan by writing down what they already do and have in place,” said Frost.
Tier I farms and ranches are those with 10,000 gallons or less of aboveground storage capacity and in the three years before developing and certifying a plan had no oil spills to water larger than 1,000 gallons in a single spill or 42 gallons each from two spills within any 12-month period and that have no aboveground oil storage containers with a capacity greater than 5,000 gallons.
“You may use the short SPCC Plan template to create your SPCC Plan and self-certify,” said Frost.
Tier II farms and ranches are defined the same except they have aboveground tanks larger than 5,000 gallons requiring certification by a professional engineer.
“Create a full SPCC Plan and self-certify,” said Frost. “Tanks larger than 5,000 gallons will require emergency berms, dikes or other containment systems.”
For sample forms and blank templates for Tier I and Tier II farms and ranches, go to epa.gov and type SPCC for Agriculture in the Search field. Click on the SPCC for Agriculture link.
“Sign and put the plan document in your office desk drawer,” said Frost. “This written plan must be reviewed and updated when your farm fuel equipment changes. Employee training and inspections must be logged on it. It must be reviewed at least every five years.”