The Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov) is proposing revisions to certain regulatory requirements for facilities subject to the “Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Rule.” The revisions are designed to tailor and streamline requirements to particular industry sectors and facility owners or operators subject to the rule.

Specifically, the EPA is proposing to: exempt hot-mix asphalt; exempt pesticide application equipment and related mix containers used at farms; exempt heating oil containers at single-family residences; amend the facility diagram requirement to provide additional flexibility for all facilities; amend the definition of “facility” to clarify the flexibility associated with describing a facility’s boundaries; define “loading/unloading rack” to clarify the equipment subject to the provisions for facility tank car and tank truck loading/unloading racks; provide streamlined requirements for a subset of qualified facilities; amend the general secondary containment requirement to provide more clarity; amend the security requirements for all facilities; amend the integrity testing requirements to allow a greater amount of flexibility in the use of industry standards at all facilities; amend the integrity testing requirements for containers that store animal fat or vegetable oil and meet certain criteria; streamline a number of requirements for oil production facilities; and exempt completely buried oil storage tanks at nuclear power generation facilities.

According to the EPA, nothing in this proposed rule removes any regulatory requirement for owners or operators of facilities in operation before Aug. 16, 2002 to develop, implement, and maintain an SPCC plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations then in effect. These facilities are required to maintain their plans until the applicable date for revising and implementing plans under the new amendments. Public comments on the proposed changes will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register, which is expected within two weeks.

Additional information about the SPCC rule proposed amendments can be found at www.epa.gov/oilspill/spcc_oct07.htm.