By: Mike Arozarena
To drive additional value in your portfolio company post-acquisition, it is important to identify areas to implement or enhance environmental, health and safety (EH&S) programs and best practices. In this article, we discuss the importance of developing an adequate Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures (“SPCC”) plan to achieve EH&S best practices. Environmental regulatory requirements at most industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities that store oil necessitate the development of (SPCC) Plans to prevent the release of petroleum and non-petroleum oils into the environment.
Does your facility require the implementation of an SPCC plan?
In general, any facility with more than 1,320 gallons of oil onsite in aboveground containers 55-gallons or more (e.g., drums, totes, tanks, oil-filled operational equipment, etc.) is subject to the oil pollution prevention regulations in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 112. The regulations in 40 CFR §112.7 require the preparation and certification of an SPCC Plan. Even though these federal regulations have been in effect for decades, it is not uncommon to find facilities that have never developed an SPCC Plan even though the facility met the applicable criteria.
Other common problems with SPCC Plan compliance include:
- the Plan is older than 5 years
- the Plan has not been properly signed by management or a registered, Professional Engineer
- the oil inventory is not accurate and does not list all oil sources
- inaccuracies in the drainage map (e.g., doesn’t list all outfalls or indicate flow direction)
- substantial harm form has not been completed and signed by management
- lack of secondary containment calculations
- insufficient tank integrity testing program
This last item is a vulnerable aspect of attaining SPCC Plan compliance. USEPA has made it clear that facilities must inspect and test their bulk storage containers (e.g., drums, totes, and aboveground storage tanks) in accordance with industry standards like the Steel Tank Institute’s SP001, or the American Petroleum Institute’s, API-653. Many facilities are not performing these required inspections or tests, and in fact, are not even aware that they are supposed to be testing their tanks. This creates a serious risk of a tank failure which could lead to a spill or release that could have a costly impact on the environment.
Whether divesting or acquiring a property or company, a thorough evaluation of the facility’s compliance status with the SPCC regulations, tank integrity testing standards, and local fire code is important to identifying vulnerabilities with the management of oil. If you need assistance conducting an evaluation of your company’s compliance, please contact EHS Support’s Mike Arozarena or Amy Bauer.