U.S. EPA Extends SPCC Plan Deadlines

May 18, 2007

On May 16, 2007, U.S. EPA issued a final rule extending the dates by which regulated facilities must prepare or amend Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plans and implement those Plans.  The final rule extends the deadlines from October 31, 2007, to July 1, 2009. 

Following publication of a final rule in July 2002, U.S. EPA amended the SPCC regulations several times, each time extending the compliance dates by which regulated facilities must amend and implement their SPCC Plans.  Prior to the recent action, the deadline had been October 31, 2007.  The new compliance dates are intended to allow regulated facilities additional time to understand and implement various revisions of the SPCC rule, including further revisions that U.S. EPA intends to propose later this year.

Pursuant to the final rule issued and effective on May 16, 2007, an owner or operator of a regulated facility that was in operation on or before August 16, 2002 is required to make any necessary amendments to its SPCC Plan and implement that Plan on or before July 1, 2009.  Similarly, an owner or operator of a facility that came into operation after August 16, 2002, but before July 1, 2009, is required to prepare and implement an SPCC Plan or before July 1, 2009.  The owner or operator of a facility that becomes operational after July 1, 2009, must prepare and implement an SPCC Plan before beginning operations.

Finally, U.S. EPA has indicated that it intends to issue revisions to its SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors, to address December 2006 amendments to the SPCC rule, as well as additional revisions that the Agency expects to propose later this year.  The guidance is available at http://www.epa.gov/oilspill/.

For more information about SPCC requirements, contact a member of the Environmental Department. 

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