In This Issue

Oil Pollution Prevention; Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Rule Requirements–Amendments [Federal Register: October 15, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 198)

On October 1, 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson signed a proposed rule to amend the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule at 40 CFR part 112 in order to provide clarity, and tailor and streamline the requirements.

Proposed changes relevant to the oil and gas industry include: clarity on the general secondary containment requirements; flexibility in the security requirements; flexibility in the use of industry standards to comply with integrity testing requirements; additional flexibility in meeting the facility diagram requirements; and clarification on the flexibility provided by the definition of “facility.”

In addition, EPA is proposing to: define “loading/unloading rack;” exclude oil production facilities from the loading/unloading requirements; and streamline requirements to allow the use of an SPCC Plan template for a subset of qualified facilities known as “Tier 1” qualified facilities. Also, several requirements for oil production facilities, including: modifying the definition of “production facility;” extending the timeframe by which a new oil production facility must prepare and implement an SPCC Plan; exempting flow-through process vessels at oil production facilities from the sized secondary containment requirements, while requiring other measures; exempting flowlines and intra-facility gathering lines at oil production facilities from all secondary containment requirements; and clarifying the definition of “permanently closed” as it applies to an oil production facility are proposed.

EPA is also taking comment on approaches that could be used to establish alternative criteria for an oil production facility to be eligible to self-certify an SPCC Plan as a qualified facility, and approaches to address produced water containers at oil production facilities.

Comments must be received on or before December 14, 2007 (docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPA-2007-0584) to: .

For a full copy of the proposed changes, contact Jessica Roger at