Special Topics in Environmental Management

More On Oil Spill Response Plans

Facility Response Plans (FRP)

Certain facilities that store and use oil are required to prepare plans to respond to a worst-case discharge of oil if they reasonably could be expected to cause "substantial harm" to the environment in the event of a discharge.

The spill response and removal requirements impose a "worst-case discharge" standard that is more stringent than that under SPCC rules. This standard requires that private parties demonstrate ability to manage their own spills.

Owners and operators of nontransportation facilities that handle, store, or transport animal fat or vegetable oil are required to prepare FRPs. FRP regulation requirements do not apply to:

  • Completely buried tanks that are subject to underground storage tank technical requirements in 40 CFR 280 and 40 CFR 281
  • Containers with a storage capacity of less than 55 gallons
  • Portions of certain facilities used exclusively for wastewater treatment

EPA’s SPCC regulation affects over 630,000 facilities. Is yours one? Download your EHS Essentials Kit—SPCC Plan Compliance now for all the tools you need to be in compliance. Download Now

See these popular Environmental Daily Advisor articles for more details on FRPs.

Shipboard Plans

Shipboard oil pollution emergency plans must be developed by an owner and operator of a ship that is an oil tanker of 150 gross tons and above or other ship of 400 gross tons and above, or is a fixed or floating drilling rig or other platform.

To be regulated, a ship must also be operated under the authority of the United States and be certified for ocean service, certified for coastwise service beyond 3 nautical miles from land, or operated at any time seaward of the outermost boundary of the U.S. territorial sea, or be operated under the authority of a country other than the United States and travel in the navigable waters of the United States.

Plans are not required for warships, naval auxiliary, or other ships owned and operated by a country other than the United States when engaged in noncommercial service, for Canadian or U.S. ships being operated exclusively on the Great Lakes or their connecting and tributary waters, or for Canadian or U.S. ships being operated exclusively on the internal waters of the United States or Canada. In addition, plans do not have to be developed for any barge or other ship constructed or operated in such a manner that no oil in any form can be carried aboard.

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A shipboard oil pollution emergency plan must be available onboard in English and in the working language of the master and the officers of the ship if the language is other than English. The purpose of the plan is to provide guidance to the master and officers onboard the ship with respect to the steps to be taken when a pollution incident has occurred or is likely to occur.

Be certain your SPCC plan is compliant with EHS Essentials Kit–SPCC Plan Compliance. This kit covers all the latest regulation changes with expert analysis, important FAQs, and comprehensive checklists. Create or update your SPCC plan with confidence. A sample plan will guide you in the development of a finished, usable document to achieve and sustain compliance.

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