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EPA Amends Oil Spill Rule

Release Date: 12/02/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Kerry Humphrey, 202-564-4355 / humphrey.kerry@epa.gov

(12/2/05) Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed modifications and compliance extensions for the oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule.

EPA is proposing to streamline requirements for qualified facilities, qualified oil-filled operational equipment, and airport mobile refuelers. The proposal also offers a separate extension of the compliance date for farms and the removal of certain SPCC requirements for animal fats and vegetable oils.

In order to allow facilities that may be affected by the final rule the necessary time to apply the provisions, EPA is also proposing to extend the compliance deadline by which all facilities must prepare or amend and implement their SPCC Plan to Oct. 31, 2007. The agency also wants to provide members of the regulated community with sufficient time to understand the full impact offered in today's proposal in light of the information contained in the forthcoming "SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors" document. Finally, the effects of the recent hurricanes on many industry sectors could have adversely impacted their ability to meet the upcoming compliance dates if no extension is provided.

The SPCC rule applies to non-transportation-related facilities that meet an oil storage capacity threshold and that could reasonably be expected to discharge oil into navigable U.S. waters. SPCC regulations require each owner or operator of such a facility to have a SPCC plan, certified by a professional engineer. The plan must address the facility's design, operation and maintenance procedures for preventing discharges as well as countermeasures to mitigate effects in case of discharge.

For more information on Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plans, go to: http://www.epa.gov/oilspill/index.htm