If you’ve been following the news on ohfarmersunion.org, you know that U.S. EPA is nearing a deadline for enforcement of SPCC or “Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures” planning.
SPCC has been on the books for years, but under its last version was not to be enforced on farms until May 10, 2013. Congress has effectively pushed that deadline back with an amendment to a recent spending bill to September 26, 2013.
SPCC is all about getting industries that use and store oil and oil-derived liquids such as lubricants and fuels to plan and implement measures to avoid and control petroleum spills from entering water supplies.
While the law has been on the books, farmers have been given much longer than the oil and gas industry (as one example) to prepare for compliance. The “enforceability” deadline was extended to May 10, 2013 and now the end of September.
Farmers who store less than 1,320 gallons of oil or oil-based products above ground, or less than 42,000 gallons of the same below ground need not worry about documenting an SPCC plan. Farmers who do fit SPCC criteria can find information and a plan template at the EPA’s website.
Enforceability doesn’t mean that EPA inspectors will be descending on the family farm after the new deadline passes, but it does mean that if your farm meets the criteria, you’ll need to be prepared.