One of the environmental engineering services that Encorus Group offer is the creation of an SPCC Plan. Environmental Engineer Mary Padasak gave us some insight into what exactly SPCC Plans are and why they are important.
Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans (SPCC Plans) are documents created for facilities containing large reserves of oils, both petroleum and non-petroleum based. Their purpose is to protect navigable water and shorelines by helping prevent spill scenarios, and to provide roadmaps for cleanup and control of a spill should one occur. SPCC plans are required under federal law 40 CFR 112 for facilities that have greater than 1,320-gallon aboveground storage capacity or greater than 42,000-gallon completely buried underground storage capacity. Each SPCC Plan is unique to the facility and its contents. SPCC Plans include procedures to prevent spills during operations, control measures to be in place to prevent oils from entering the environment should a spill occur, and countermeasures to contain and clean up the spill, as well as mitigate any impacts to the environment. SPCC Plans must be certified by a Professional Engineer. They must also be reviewed annually and re-certified every five years.
New York State has requirements that go above the federal standard and are more protective of the environment. Under 6 NYCRR 613, tanks over 110 gallons, with some exceptions, must be registered to an owner who is responsible for their care and maintenance to prevent discharges to navigable waters. These registrations must be renewed every five years and are periodically audited by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. For underground tanks, trained operators are also required. These operators have been trained on the specific tank system they are using or registering, are knowledgeable in safe operation of the system, and know how to control, contain, and mitigate impacts should a spill occur.