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SPCC requires emergency response plans designed to prevent fuel spills and define how you will respond to a spill, if one should happen.

Uncontained oil spills can cause injuries and damage our environment.

SPCC Plans help farmers prevent spills that could damage Vermont's valuable water resources.


Poured in place concrete containment for fuel supply at a Vermont dairy farm - see completed work below, with roof


Date Extension Announcement from U.S. EPA!   

Please Read Carefully:

On October 18, 2011, the U.S. EPA amended the date by which farms must prepare/amend and implement their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans.

An overwhelming segment of the continental U.S. was affected by flooding during the spring and summer of 2011.

As a result, EPA believes that because of their unique nature farms were disproportionately affected and need additional time to prepare and implement a SPCC Plan.

For more details of this amendment, please visit EPA's web site:  www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/spcc_extfarms.htm

The amendment does not remove the regulatory requirement for owners/operators of farms in operation before August 16, 2002, to maintain and continue implementing an SPCC Plan.

Such farms continue to be required to maintain plans during the interim until the applicable compliance date for amending and implementing the amended Plans. Finally, the amendment does not relieve farms from any other applicable environmental regulations or requirements.



Information for Farmers

What is considered a Farm under the SPCC program?

Under the SPCC program a “farm is a facility on a tract of land devoted to the production of crops or raising of animals, including fish, which produced and sold, or normally would have produced and sold $1,000 or more of agricultural products during a year.”

How do I determine if my farm is subject to the SPCC program?

Your Farm is covered if:
-If you store, transfer, use, or consume oil or oil product, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat; and

-If you have storage capacity** of more than 1,320 gallons in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 gallons in completely buried containers; and

- If you could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines, such as interstate waters, intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams.

(Count only containers of oil that have a storage capacity of 55 gallons or more)

NOTE:  Adjacent or non-adjacent parcels, either leased or owned, may be considered separate facilities for SPCC purposes.

Containers on separate parcels (that the farmer identifies as separate facilities based on how they are operated) do not need to be added together in determining whether the 1,320-gallon applicability threshold is met.

**The key word being "capacity" - Regulations apply regardless of whether the aboveground tank is full or nearly empty.



Poured in-place concrete containment for a Vermont dairy farm's fuel supply   >

Soon to have a roof.


SPCC Plan for Farms  (Tier 1 Template, Blank) in Word doc

SPCC Model Plan for Vermont Farms (Tier 1 Template - "VT Quality Farms Dairy")  

SPCC Sample Plan for Farms (Tier 1Template - US EPA Doe Family Farm Sample Plan) 

SPCC Powerpoint Presentation for Farms 01/2012  new!

Aboveground Tank Rules (includes requirements for new tank installations)   new!

Hazardous Material Spill Response

Spill Contractors

EPA Fact Sheet on Final Rule for Farms 03/2011     

Top Five EPA Region I - Inspector Violations Found at SPCC Businesses in New England 2010

Outreach Contacts for Farmers

Secondary Containment Calculations

Vermont Agency of Agriculture   

Workshops (check with VAAFM for the latest schedule!)

Enforcement Alerts 

Links of Interest

EPA's Tier 1 Inspector Checklist new!


Facility completes containment area with roof

3.6 (dark red) to 5.2 inches (dark green)

For a more detailed map, visit: http://precip.eas.cornell.edu


Data & Products, Regional/State Maps



  Poured in-place concrete containment for a Vermont dairy farm's fuel supply - with roof/side walls.

Who can use the Tier I Template to "Self Certify" and who has to hire a Professional Engineer?  *

In order to Self-Certify using the Tier I Template, you must meet the eligibility criteria:

• a total aboveground oil storage capacity of 10,000 U.S. gallons or less;

• no aboveground oil storage containers with a capacity greater than 5,000 U.S. gallons; and

• in the 3 years prior to the date the SPCC Plan is certified, had no single discharge of oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines exceeding 1,000 U.S. gallons, or no two discharges of oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines each exceeding 42 U.S. gallons within any 12-month period.*

Tier I qualified facility has the option to complete an SPCC Plan template (in Appendix G to 40 CFR part 112) in lieu of a full SPCC Plan, use the Tier I Template, or hire a Professional Engineer.

Tier II facilities must hire a Professional Engineer to certify their SPCC Plans.


What is Considered “Oil”? 

Any kind of oil in any form such as crude oil; refined petroleum products (gasoline & diesel fuel); sludge; waste oil; oil emulsions; lube oils; grease; fats, oils or greases from animal, fish, or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils, including oils from seeds, nuts, fruits, or kernels; and other oils and greases, including synthetic oils and mineral oils.*


What is Considered “Bulk Storage”? 

A container with a capacity of 55-gallons or more.*

What does the basic SPCC Plan include? 

The plan must include information on storage containers, maps and diagrams of the facility, secondary containment structures, site drainage, preventative measures, containment procedures, clean-up equipment and material, employee training, routine inspections and recordkeeping.*

Will I have to provide Security?

Yes.  You will have to address how will you prevent unauthorized access and secure and control storage areas.*

Will I have to provide secondary containment for all my bulk oil containers? 

YES. Secondary containment is required and must hold the contents of the largest container plus freeboard for precipitation, if outdoors (see 24-hr, 25-yr rain chart). Double-walled storage tanks meet the requirement for containment.*

If I have secondary containment in place, do I still need an SPCC Plan? 

Yes. You still must have a SPCC plan.*

I don’t have secondary containment where we load and unload mobile refuelers. Am I compliant? 

Maybe - if you provide effective, general secondary containment to address the most likely discharge where you transfer oil to and from containers and for mobile refuelers, such as fuel nurse tanks mounted on trucks or trailers then you meet compliance. For example, you may use sorbent materials, drip pans or curbing for these areas; and
Periodically inspect and test pipes and containers. You should visually inspect aboveground pipes and inspect aboveground containers following industry standards.

You must “leak test” buried pipes when they are installed or repaired. EPA recommends you keep a written record of your inspections.*

Integrity Tank Testing.. Is it Required?

Yes.  There is flexibitly in inspection and integrity testing, but you must use industry standards to determine the appropriate qualifications for testing.*

Do my employees need to be trained? 

YES. All employees handling oil will need to be trained (at least once a year). Training should include: oil handling procedures to prevent spills and the proper response to control, contain, and clean up a spill. Training can be done in-house (third party training is not required).*

What are the certification requirements? 

If a facility has 10,000 gallons or less in aboveground oil storage capacity and is able to comply with the oil spill history criteria (see following question), then the facility may prepare a self-certified plan.  If a facility has oil vessels over 5,000 gals and/or has more than 10,000 gallons or fails to meet the spill history requirements, then the plan must be reviewed and certified by a Professional Engineer.*

In Order to Self-Certify a facility must meet the following “Eligibility Criteria”

Facilities must have 10,000 gals or less in aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity*

For 3yrs prior to plan certification, or if it has operated for less than 3yrs – the facility must not have had:

-      A single discharge of oil to waters of the state exceeding 1,000 gals or

-      Two discharges of oil to waters of the state each exceeding 42-gals (within any 12 month period).

Compliance Dates*


A Farm starting operation...


On or before August 16, 2002

Maintain its existing SPCC Plan and Amend and implement the amended SPCC Plan no later than May 10, 2013


After August 16, 2002 through May 10, 2013

Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan no later than May 10, 2013


After May 10, 2013 Prepare and implement an SPCC Plan before beginning operations





Spills happen


But releases to the environment can be prevented


Acceptable Containment  >


< Spill Release

Farm site: drums stored inside on impervious surface with containment capabilities.


Enforcement Alerts & Penalties



Be advised that a facility in noncompliance with the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations at 40 CFR Part 112 constitutes a vioation of the Clean Water Act for which both injunctive relief and penalties can be sought.  Under the Clean Water Act, a facility is subject to penalties up to $32,500 per day for violations occurring from March 16, 2004 through January 12, 2009, and up to $37,500 per day for vilations occurring after January 12, 2011.



What are “multi-media or multi-sector” inspections? 

Environmental inspector’s who come to your facility may be carry a “checklist” and can ask about other activities at your facility that are regulated. The inspector may be with EPA, a state agency or even the local government. Sometimes a "team" inspection occurs, where you will be visited by 2,3, or more program inspectors at a time.  These other regulated areas may include (but are not limited to):

·         Air Pollution Control

·         NPDES (wastewater) Permits

          Water Quality (stormwater, wetlands, etc.)

·         Hazardous Waste Generation (RCRA)

·         Underground Storage Tanks

·         Hazardous Sites

·         Solid Waste


* For More Details on the SPCC Regulation for Farms, Please View Our SPCC Powerpoint Presentation For Farms  01/2012  new!



Example Facilities Is an SPCC Plan necessary?
1- A facility has a 1,000 gallon aboveground tank of gasoline and a 1,000 gallon aboveground tank of diesel fuel.  There are also eight, 55-gallon drums of lubricant on site.


The bulk storage container capacity equals 2,440 gallons, exceeding the 1,320 gallon capacity requirement.

2- A facility maintains 750 gallons of used oil in an aboveground tank.  They also have one, 55-gallon drum of new oil (product) along with 45, 30-gallon drums of biodiesel (B-20).


The 30-gallon containers do not meet the definition of bulk storage, so they do not count.  The remaining 805-gallons of gasoline/oil does not trigger the 1,320-gallon requirement.

3- One owner/two farms. 

The first farm maintains a 3,000-gallon aboveground storage tank of diesel, but never puts more than 900 gallons of fuel in it. Across town, they own a second farm and they maintain a 500-gallon aboveground tank of gasoline, but they never store more than 250-gallons of fuel.

Yes and No.

The first location must have a SPCC Plan.  The second does not.  You must count the "capacity" of the tank, not what you hold or store. 

Contiguous properties must count all containers toward one SPCC Plan.  If the properties are not contiguous, then they are considered separate facilities.


Indoor containment of used oils and hydraulic fluids by way of concrete berm at a Vermont farm >


Agency of Agriculture contact for SPCC Regulation (farms): 

Anne Macmillan, Agrichemical Toxicologist

802-828-3479    anne.macmillan@state.vt.us

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

A R M E S Division

116 State Street, Drawer 20

Montpelier, VT  05602-2901


Agency of Natural Resources contact for SPCC Regulation (businesses/municipalities):

Environmental Assistance Office


VT Department of Environmental Conservation

103 South Main Street

Waterbury, VT 05671-4911


Secondary Containment Calculation Worksheets

Example and blank worksheets used to calculate secondary SPCC containment capacity can help you comply with the secondary containment requirements of the SPCC rule. These blank worksheets address four specific scenarios and may not be valid for every facility. Although the SPCC rule does not require you to show the calculations of sized secondary containment in your Plan, you should maintain documentation of secondary containment calculations to demonstrate compliance to an EPA inspector.

*Disclaimer: Please note that these are simplified calculations that assume:

1) the secondary containment is designed with a flat floor;

2) the wall height is equal for all four walls; and

3) the corners of the secondary containment system are 90 degrees.

Additionally, the calculations do not include displacement for support structures or foundations.

For Professional Engineer (PE) certified Plans, the PE may need to account for site-specific conditions associated with the secondary containment structure which may require modifications to these sample calculations to ensure good engineering practice.

*Please note: Word versions are fill-in the blank only. The PDF forms compute the calculations for you.


S P C C  S p i l l  C o n t r a c t o r s

See State Wide Map of available spill cleanup contractors - Click here



L I N K S  O F  I N T E R E S T

Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR Part 112, SPCC 

EPA Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasure website 

SPCC For Agriculture (Tier I Template for Agriculture)  

EPA SPCC New England Enforcement  

SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors 

A Facility Owner/Operator's Guide to Oil Pollution Prevention ( EPA Brochure) 

Report an Environmental Violation, Environmental EnforcementReport an Environmental Violation (Vermont)

EPA's Small Business Ombudsman 

The Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) serves as an effective conduit for small businesses to access EPA and facilitate communications between the small business community and the Agency. The SBO reviews and resolves disputes with EPA and works with EPA personnel to increase their understanding of small businesses in the development and enforcement of environmental regulations. The SBO function was established in 1982 and is currently a part of EPA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization located within the Office of the Administrator.  The SBO's primary customer group is the nation's small business community. Significant secondary customer groups include state and EPA regional small business ombudsmen and national trade associations serving small businesses.


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