As Predicted, Even More Changes to Spill Prevention Rules

EPA just published a notice it’s delaying the SPCC regulation for the fifth time – a big deal for any facility with an SPCC plan since they can wait even longer to update it.

Pennwell web 400 313

• EPA just published a notice it’s delaying the SPCC regulation for the fifth time – a big deal for any facility with an SPCC plan since they can wait even longer to update it.

Pennwell web 400 313
Oily water Source: mayang.com

As was updated in this column in the November/December 2007 and January/February 2009 issues, changes to the Spill Prevention, Controls, and Countermeasures (SPCC) plans have been a regular occurrence coming out of the hallowed halls of EPA. And it has happened again.

On Nov. 10, the agency posted a notice that it was amending the rules once more. The main point of contention this time is the final rules published Dec. 5, 2008. The change of administration has forced a long hard look at the changes that were first published under President George W. Bush.

The changes are mostly technical corrections to the core of the December 2008 modifications, but these changes will have some impact on farms and oil production facilities.

The biggest impact is yet another delay in the deadline regulated facilities must update their plans from the old 1974 rule to the revised 2002 rule (which includes the modifications published in 2006 and 2008). The deadline has yet to be determined but by the time you read this column, it should be published. To check, visit: www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/

This is the fifth extension (and depending on how you count it, a sixth since one change was changed back to an earlier date) to the deadline. And I wouldn’t rule out another one if a number of negative comments are generated from this proposal.


About the Author: Jay Collert is a nationally recognized environmental trainer and consultant with the Aarcher Institute of Environmental Training LLC, based in Houston, TX. Since 1994, he has focused on helping companies understand and comply with the complexities of environmental regulations. Contact: 281-256-9044, jcollert@aarcherinstitute.com or www.aarcherinstitute.com

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