Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan

40 CFR Part 112 | Last Updated April 2024

The Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) regulations apply to facilities or farms that store, transfer, process, refine, use or consume oil (e.g. crude oil, animal, soy and vegetable oils, petroleum products, etc.) in excess of the limits and from which an oil leak or spill could ultimately discharge to a surface water (i.e., storm sewer, ditch, drainage tile, river or lake). The SPCC regulations were established to reduce the likelihood and severity of oil leaks and spills.

By preparing and implementing a plan, your facility assures it has installed effective spill prevention equipment/secondary containment, established emergency response plans and operating procedures, and provided employee training to prevent and/or respond to oil spills. These proactive activities will reduce emergency response and environmental liability costs associated with spills.

Finally, federal law requires SPCC plans for facilities that exceed the storage limits listed below and thus, should be implemented from a strict compliance standpoint.

  • Total facility aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons in containers (i.e., bulk storage containers, oil filled equipment, etc.) with a capacity of 55 gallons or more
  • Total facility completely buried capacity greater than 42,000 gallons

Plan Preparation and Certification

Preparation of the SPCC Plan is the responsibility of the facility owner or operator and may require certification by a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). However, the owner or operator may also be eligible to self-certify the SPCC Plan if the facility meets the eligibility criteria below:

The total facility aboveground oil storage capacity is greater than 1,320 gallons but less than 10,000 gallons…


And the facility has…

Then the facility is a:

Within three years prior to the Plan certification date, or since becoming subject to the SPCC rule if in operation for less than three years, the facility has not had:

  • A single discharge of oil to navigable waters exceeding 1,000 gallons, or
  • Two discharges of oil to navigable waters exceeding 42 gallons within any 12-month period1.

No individual aboveground oil containers greater than 5,000 gallons

Tier I Qualified Facility:
Complete and self-certify the Plan template2

Any individual aboveground oil container greater than 5,000 gallons

Tier II Qualified Facility:
Prepare a self-certified Plan in accordance with all applicable requirements

1 The gallon amount(s) specified (either 1,000 or 42) refer to the amount of oil that actually reaches navigable waters or adjoining shorelines, not the total amount of oil spilled. Oil discharges that result from natural disasters, acts of war, or terrorism are not included in this qualification determination. 
2 https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations/tier-i-qualified-facility-spcc-plan-template

An owner/operator that certifies a facility’s SPCC Plan attests that he/she is familiar with the requirements of 40 CFR 112 and has visited and examined the facility. The owner/operator also certifies the following.

  • Plan has been prepared in accordance with sound industry practices and standards and with the rule requirements
  • Procedures for required inspections and testing have been established;
  • Plan is being fully implemented
  • Facility meets the qualifying criteria
  • Plan does not deviate from rule requirements except as allowed and certified by a PE
  • Management approves the plan and has committed resources to implement it

If the facility does not qualify as a Tier I or Tier II qualified facility, the SPCC Plan must be certified by a licensed PE.

By certifying the SPCC Plan, the PE confirms the following:

  • They are familiar with the requirements of the rule.
  • They or an agent have visited and examined the facility.
  • The SPCC Plan has been prepared in accordance with good engineering practices, including consideration of applicable industry standards, and with the requirements of the rule.
  • Procedures for required inspections and testing have been established.
  • The SPCC Plan is adequate for the facility.

All Facilities

  • Must maintain a copy of the Plan at the facility or property where oil is stored or at the nearest field office if the facility is not normally attended at least four hours per working day.
  • Must amend the Plan within six months when there is a change in facility design, construction, operation, or maintenance, which affects potential for oil discharge.
  • Must complete a review and evaluation of the SPCC Plan at least once every five years. As a result of the review, amend the Plan within six months to include more effective prevention and control measures for the facility, if applicable.

Immediate Spill Reporting

Emergency notification requirements are outlined within the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-know Act (EPCRA) and include immediate reporting to:

Additional Reporting

In addition to emergency notification requirements, facilities must provide a written report to the Region VII Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within 60 days if more than 1,000 gallons of oil are discharged or a discharge of more than 42 gallons in each of two spill events within a 12-month period.

Facilities must also provide a 30 Day Written Report Form to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) within 30 days as outlined in the DNR Spill Reporting Guide. Links are included to the right.