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November 01, 2007   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
November 01, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing changes to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rules as they apply to farms, and will seek public comment on the proposal.

EPA, citing a need to improve clarity of the rules and to tailor certain requirements toward farms to increase compliance, said the SPCC rule applies to owners or operators of farmers that store, transfer, use or consume oil or oil products (such as gasoline, heating oil, off-road diesel, on-road diesel, lubrication/hydraulic oils, animal fats and vegetable oils) above "applicable thresholds," and may discharge oil into U.S. waterways.

The "applicable thresholds" for facilities subject to the SPCC rule are above-ground storage capacity (counting only containers with a capacity of 55 gallons or greater) greater than 1,320 gallons or completely buried oil storage greater than 42,000 gallons.

Farmers whose operations are above the allowable threshold are urged to maintain their existing plans until the EPA specifies a definite compliance date for farms.

Farm owners and operators are urged to pay special attention to the proposed revisions to the SPCC rule:

-- Pesticide application equipment and related mix containers used at farms; and

-- Heating oil containers at single-family residences (such as farm residences).

The EPA is also proposing the following amendments to the SPCC rule:

-- Exclude farms from the "loading/unloading rack" requirements; and

-- Streamline requirements and allow the use of an SPCC Plan template for a subset of qualified facilities, known as "Tier 1" qualified facilities (such as those with no individual oil storage container with a capacity greater than 5,000 U.S. gallons up to an aggregate container capacity of 10,000 gallons).

-- Additionally, all SPCC-regulated facilities, including farms, would be potentiallyl affected by the proposed amendments to provide:

-- Clarity on the general secondary containment requirements

-- Flexibility in the security requirements;

-- Flexibility in the use of industry standards to comply with the integrity testing requirements.

-- Additional flexibility in meeting the facility diagram requirements;

-- Clarification on the definition of "facility" associated with describing a facility's boundaries.

Finally, EPA is clarifying in the preamble to the proposed amendents that farm nurse tanks are considered mobile refulers under the SPCC rule amendments finalized in December 2006 and are, therefore, exempt from the specifically sized containment requirements for bulk storage containers.

For additional information on the proposed rule amendments, please visit: www.epa.gov/emergencies. Please submit your comments on the proposed amendments at www.regulations.gov.

For specific questions about the proposed amendments, contact the EPA helpline at 1-800-424-9346.

Download EPA Summary Sheet Here

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