In Industry Win, EPA Opts for No New Changes to SPCC Plans
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule to not establish any new requirements for facilities required to have spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans for oil products contained at those facilities; more specifically being subject to section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The original proposal to amend this portion of the CWA was precipitated by a lawsuit in 2015, alleging EPA failed to “issue regulations to prevent and contain CWA hazardous substance discharges.” Through a consent decree in early 2016, EPA agreed to propose a rulemaking to essentially expand the types of materials that should be part of SPCC plans, beyond just oil products. After careful consideration from EPA and receiving comments from the public and stakeholders, EPA determined that this change not only wasn’t necessary, it would be redundant.
As outlined to EPA by NRMCA, expanding the current rule would merely be duplicative, as the materials EPA was looking to further regulate were already covered by myriad other regulatory schemes across multiple regulatory agencies. As well, EPA relied on data it has collected showing that its current regulatory structure is adequately equipped to handle “the relatively small number of discharges and reported impacts”.
NRMCA commends EPA and its final action. This development to not expand SPCC plans is not just a win for the ready mixed concrete industry, but will save the industry countless dollars, time and resources since it will not be required to keep SPCC plans for numerous other materials in addition to oil products.