Farmers face a May 10, 2013 deadline to have a spill prevention plan in place if they have diesel or oil storage facilities on farm.
According to the EPA, the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Program (SPCC) is meant to prevent oil spills into the waters of the US and adjoining shorelines. The program applies to farms, says Pete Reich, EPA's Region 9 oil program representative.
Farms that store, transfer, use or consumer oil or oil products are covered under the program. It applies to storage of more than 1,320 U.S. gallons above ground or more than 42,000 gallons below ground.
Farms that are covered under SPCC should develop and implement a plan. The EPA will begin scheduling inspections shortly after the deadline passes, Reich told participants at the USA Rice Outlook Conference. "These are federal regulations. We are charged with a mission. We want you to never see an EPA inspector."
The EPA will provide "guidance and tools to farmers to meet the responsibilities of regulation compliance," Reich says. "We want to be helpful and supportive."
Farmers will have to certify their spill plans through a professional engineer.
•A SPCC farm plan includes the following information:
•A list of oil containers at the farm by parcel, including contents and location of each container.
•A brief description of procedures you will use to prevent oil spills.
•A brief description of the measures you installed to prevent oil from reaching water.
•A brief description of the measures you will use to contain and cleanup an oil spill to water
•A list of emergency contacts and first responders.
Spill prevention measures include:
•Using containers designed for flammable liquids to store gasoline.
•Identifying contractors or other local personnel who can help clean up an oil spill.
•Providing overfill prevention for oil storage containers, using a high-level alarm or audible vent or establish a procedure to fill containers.
•Providing effective, sized secondary containment for bulk storage containers, such as a dike or a remote impoundment.
•Periodically inspecting and testing pipes and containers.
In the case of an oil spill on the farm, farmers would be required to implement the plan to prevent the oil spill from reaching a creek or river, Reich says.
In addition, farmers would be required to notify the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.
Oil spills of more than 42 gallons on two different occasions within a 12-month period or more than 1,000 gallons to water in a single spill would require written notice to the EPA regional office.
For more information, click here. Or call, 1-800-663-2155