Special Topics in Environmental Management

Facility Response Plan FYI

What is an FRP?

An FRP is essentially a plan that describes how a facility would respond to a worst-case discharge of oil and to a substantial threat of such a discharge. An FRP also includes how to respond to small and medium discharges, as appropriate.

EPA may, at any time, require the owner or operator of any non-transportation-related onshore facility to prepare and submit an FRP after considering certain factors, including:

  • Type of transfer operation
  • Oil storage capacity
  • Lack of secondary containment
  • Proximity to fish and wildlife and sensitive environments and other areas determined by the EPA Regional Administrator (RA) to possess ecological value
  • Proximity to drinking water intakes
  • Spill history
  • Other site-specific characteristics and environmental factors that EPA determines are relevant to protecting the environment from harm

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Any person, including a member of the public or any representative from a federal, state, or local agency, may petition EPA to determine whether the facility meets the applicable threshold. If a determination is made, EPA will notify the facility owner or operator in writing and provide a basis for the determination. If EPA notifies the owner or operator in writing of the requirement to prepare and submit an FRP, the owner or operator of the facility must submit an FRP to EPA within 6 months of receipt of the written notification.

The RA reviews FRPs submitted by the facilities to determine whether the facility could, because of its location, reasonably be expected to cause significant and substantial harm to the environment by discharging oil into or on the navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.

FRP Format and Contents

An FRP must follow the format of the model facility-specific response plan included in Appendix F of 40 CFR 112, unless an equivalent response plan has been prepared that is acceptable to the RA. If the FRP does not follow the model facility-specific response plan, the facility must have an Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP) that is supplemented with a cross-reference section to identify the major elements of the FRP.

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Generally, the information that must be addressed in the FRP includes:

  • ERAP, including the identity of a qualified individual (QI) with the authority to implement removal actions
  • Facility name, type, location, owner, operator, and qualified individual information
  • Emergency response information, including emergency notification, equipment, personnel, evidence that equipment and personnel are available (by contract or other approved means), and evacuation information
  • A hazard evaluation, including the identification and evaluation of potential discharge hazards and previous discharges
  • A discussion of specific response planning, including the identification of small, medium, and worst-case discharge scenarios and response actions
  • Description of discharge detection procedures and equipment
  • Detailed implementation plans for containment and disposal
  • Facility and response self-inspection
  • Training, exercises, and drills
  • Meeting logs
  • Diagrams of facility and surrounding layout, topography, evacuation paths, and drainage flow paths
  • Security measures
  • Response Plan cover sheet (form with basic information concerning the facility)

Is your ERAP up to snuff? See tomorrow’s Advisor to make sure you’ve got a complete plan that is in compliance with EPA’s requirements.