Special Topics in Environmental Management

Looming SPCC Deadline

Under SPCC, a farm is defined as  "a facility on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising of animals, including fish, which produced and sold, or normally would have produced and sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during a year."

SPCC applies to a farm that:

  • Stores, transfers, uses, or consumes oil or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat; and
  • Stores more than 1,320 U.S. gallons in total of all aboveground containers (only count containers with 55 gallons (gal) or greater storage capacity) or more than 42,000 gal in completely buried containers; and
  • Could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines, such as lakes, rivers, and streams.

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How to Determine if Your Farm Could “Reasonably Discharge” Oil to Navigable Waters
You can determine this by considering the geography and location of your farm relative to nearby navigable waters (such as lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and other waterways) or adjoining shorelines. You should consider if ditches, gullies, storm sewers, or other drainage systems may transport an oil spill to nearby navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.

Estimate the volume of oil that could be spilled in an incident and how that oil might drain or flow from your farm and the soil conditions or geographic features that might affect the flow toward navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. Also, you may want to consider whether precipitation runoff could transport oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines.

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You may not take into account man-made features, such as dikes, equipment, or other structures that might prevent, contain, hinder, or restrain the flow of oil. Assume these man-made features are not present when making your determination. If you consider the applicable factors described above and determine a spill can reasonably flow to a waterway/navigable water or adjoining shorelines, you must comply with the SPCC rule.

See these additional resources on SPCC and farms: