SPCC Rule Changes Now Effective in 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is delaying the effective date of the final rule that amends the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations promulgated in the Federal Register on Dec. 5, 2008, in accordance with the memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget ("Implementation of Memorandum Concerning Regulatory Review," M-09-08, Jan. 21, 2009). The amendments will now become effective on Jan. 14, 2010.

Additionally, EPA is requesting public comment on whether a further delay of the effective date may be warranted, according to a March 30 press release from the agency.

The Dec. 5, 2008, amendments to the SPCC rule clarified regulatory requirements, tailored requirements to particular industry sectors, and streamlined certain requirements for facility owners or operators subject to the rule. With these changes, EPA expects to encourage greater compliance with the SPCC regulations, thus resulting in increased protection of human health and the environment.

The amendments did not remove any regulatory requirement for owners or operators of facilities in operation before Aug. 16, 2002, to develop, implement, and maintain an SPCC plan in accordance with the regulations then in effect. Such facilities are still required to maintain their plans during the interim until the applicable date for revising and implementing their plans under the new amendments.

For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/spcc/index.htm.