Special Topics in Environmental Management

SPCC Tier Program: Why You Want to Qualify

What is the SPCC Tier Program?
Under pressure from industry to reduce the burden on smaller SPCC-regulated facilities, EPA included a tiering program for SPCC in its 2008 amendments to the regs. This means that certain “qualified facilities” may be eligible for more simplified requirements. A qualified facility is usually a smaller oil storage facility that is less likely to have a spill event.

Two factors that determine eligibility:

  1. The facility has less than 10,000 gallons (gal) of aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity, and
  2. The facility has not had  a single discharge of oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines exceeding 1,000 gal or two discharges of oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines each exceeding 42 gal within any 12-month period.*

*This reportable discharge history is for the 3 years before plan certification or since becoming subject to the rule (if it has operated for less than 3 years).

Benefits Eligibility

The biggest incentive to meet the eligibility requirements is that a facility may self-certify its plans instead of having it reviewed and approved by a licensed professional engineer. These facilities are also subject to more streamlined integrity testing and security requirements.

Qualifying for SPCC Self-Certification

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