One of the toughest tasks in compliance audit is telling a well-intentioned client that the environmental program that he has been ignoring does, in fact, apply to his operation. In most instances, it’s not a matter of being unaware of the regulation but instead incorrectly determining that the requirement doesn’t apply. This can result from several sources of false confidence:
• A program may not be an exact fit–An emergency response program would seem on the surface not to apply to a facility that doesn’t house any hazardous materials or dispose of hazardous waste
• A program may not have been intended for them–An oil spill prevention program would seem not to apply to a facility that does not store oil
• A facility may have had successful agency compliance inspections–The inspector may have been conducting a media-specific inspection and may not have looked at issues outside that specific medium. Or, as inspectors or human, he may have just missed it—this time.
This is the third in a five part series. In part one, we examined the requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). In part two, we looked at the Clean Water Act’s Stormwater Permtting Program.
In this third article of a five part series, we will briefly touch on the requirements of the Clean Water Act’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) rule.
EPA regulations require certain facilities that use, store, or process oil to develop written plans to prevent, mitigate, and respond to spills. The Facility Response Plan (FRP) rule and the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) rule were implemented in response to a catastrophic 1988 spill in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, where nearly 1 million gallons of diesel fuel was spilled into the Monongahela River. The accident was determined to be the result of an improperly reassembled storage tank.
The SPCC rule requires facilities to install secondary containment and other structures to prevent a spill from migrating offsite, to develop a written response plan, to conduct routine training, and to perform periodic inspections of storage tanks and piping.