Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans

What is a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan?

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) of 1972, commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA), is the principal federal statute for protecting navigable waters, adjoining shorelines, and the waters of the contiguous zone from pollution.

The EPA requires that certain facilities prepare, amend, and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. This is a written document that describes measures your organization has taken to prevent and contain oil spills, and how your company will respond to and clean up any oil spills, should one occur. This rule is in addition to any oil spill requirements required by your stormwater pollution prevention plan.

All SPCC plans must include:

  • Tank/container storage capacity and oil type
  • Secondary containment systems
  • Tank integrity testing and inspection procedures

SPCCs must be reviewed and approved by a professional engineer if the facility has an aggregate storage capacity greater than 10,000 gallons and it must be reviewed and evaluated a minimum of once every five years. This plan must be amended within six months whenever there has been a change in any facility design, construction, operation, or maintenance that materially affects the facility’s potential for the discharge of oil.
A copy of the SPCC plan must be available to the EPA for onsite review and kept at any facility that is open at least four hours per day; otherwise it must be kept at the nearest field office.

Criminal penalties for the discharge oil to navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines (such as lakes, rivers and streams) may result in fines of up to $100,000 per day and/or up to six years in prison. Hefty fines and penalties can also be imposed if your company fails to conduct proper training and implementation of the SPCC plan.
Our engineers at Pacific Engineering & Consulting have developed SPCC plans for numerous industrial and agricultural facilities. We can help you develop a SPCC plan tailored to your specific needs, provide revisions to your existing plans, and conduct program audits.

SPCC Plans for the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Brewery / Winery
  • Construction
  • Education / Schools
  • Electronics
  • Food Processing
  • Gas Stations
  • Hospitals
  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Municipalities
  • Petroleum

The SPCC rule applies to any site that has an aboveground oil storage capacity of more than 1,320 gallons of oil in containers greater than 55 gallons of storage capacity, or more than 42,000 gallons in completely buried containers.

Any facility that could reasonably be expected to discharge oil of any kind or in any form into to navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines is subject to this rule and is required to create and implement a plan with a professional engineer. This includes heating oil, crop or vegetable oil, animal fat, mineral oil, gasoline, diesel, and solvents.

Call (559) 337-5040 to learn how we can help you.

Does my Facility Require an SPCC?

The owner or operator of a Qualified Facility can prepare and self-certify an SPCC Plan, rather than have a Professional Engineer (P.E.) review and certify one. There are two types of qualified facilities, Tier I and Tier II.


To be considered a “Qualified Facility,” the site must have a total oil storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or less, and in the three years before the SPCC Plan is certified, the facility has had no discharges to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines as described below:


  • A single discharge of oil greater than 1,000 gallons, or
  • Two discharges of oil each greater than 42 gallons within any 12-month period
  • This does not include discharges that are the result of natural disasters, acts of war, or terrorism.

    Tier I - If the Qualified Facility does not have an individual aboveground petroleum tank with capacity greater than 5,000 gallons, the facility can complete and self-certify the SPCC Plan (Appendix G Title 40 of Code of Federal Regulations – 40 CFR - part 112).


    Tier II - If the Qualified Facility has an individual aboveground petroleum tank with capacity greater than 5,000 gallons, the facility can prepare a self-certified SPCC Plan in accordance with all applicable requirements of 40 CFR Section 112.7 and subparts B or C.


    Facilities with greater than 10,000 gallons of oil in qualifying aboveground tank capacity must have a registered P.E. review and certify the SPCC Plan.


    Are there any State-Specific requirements?

    Many states adopt stricter or similar requirements to the federal government. California’s Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act (APSA) regulates facilities with aggregate aboveground petroleum storage capacities of 1,320 gallons, or more, stored in aboveground storage containers, tanks, oil-filled equipment, or tanks in an underground area. APSA requires that owners and operators complete an SPCC, as required by the Federal Regulations, but it does not stipulate a risk to navigable waters.

    Pacific Engineering & Consulting can provide tailored plans designed to meet your specific needs and can arrange an onsite consultation to determine the best implementation methods to save your organization money and resources.

    1,320 gallons of petroleum or greater stored in 55-gallon containers or greater (Steel drums, totes, tanks)

    Please contact one of our Engineers with any questions or a free proposal