40 CFR 112 Oil Pollution Prevention

Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan

Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Clean Water Act required that regulations be issued to establish procedures, methods, equipment, and other requirements to prevent discharges of oil from vessels and facilities into or upon navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or into or upon the waters of the contiguous zone, or in connection with activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act or the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, or which may affect natural resources belonging to, appertaining to, or under the exclusive management authority of the United States (including resources under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (here on out, to be described with the phrase “navigable waters of the US and adjoining shorelines”).  These regulations were promulgated on December 11, 1973 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are found in 40 CFR Part 112, Oil Pollution Prevention.


Oil Definition Clarification:

“Oil” is defined, to include oil of any kind or form, including but not limited to:  fats; oils; greases of animal, fish or marine mammal origin; vegetable oil, including oils from seeds, nuts, fruits, or kernels; and other oils and greases, including petroleum, fuel oil, sludge, synthetic oils, mineral oils, oil refuse, or oil mixed with wastes.  In 1975, EPA published a notice on the applicability of the SPCC rule to included non-petroleum oils (animal fats and vegetable oils) in addition to petroleum-based oils.



40 CFR 112 applies to owners/operators of facilities engaged in drilling, producing, gathering, storing, processing, refining, transferring, or consuming oil and oil products.  Under 40 CFR 112, facilities must have a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan if:

  • Facility is a non-transportation-related (i.e., a fixed facility)
  • Oil storage at facility > 1,320 gallons in aggregate Above Ground Storage Tanks (ASTs) OR > 42,000 gallons in aggregate Underground Storage Tanks (USTs).  Aggregate capacity includes any container 55-gallons or greater.
  • Facilities that could reasonably expect spilled oil to reach navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines


The Owner/Operator is responsible for over-seeing preparation and implementation of the SPCC Plan.  The plan must be prepared using good engineering practices and must be certified by a licensed Professional Engineer.  There is no requirement to submit the SPCC Plan to the EPA, but it will be requested during inspections.


SPCC Requirements:

  • Discussion of facility’s conformance with the requirements
  • Facility name, location, date of operation, and description of business activity
  • Contact list and phone numbers for facility response coordinator, contract response personnel and National Response Center
  • Written commitment of manpower, equipment, and materials
  • Physical layout of the facility identifying location and contents of each oil storage container and storage locations (must identify containers storing >55 gallons).  Include storage capacity and/or number of containers
  • Discharge prevention measures including procedures for routine handling of products (loading, unloading and facility transfers, etc.)
  • Countermeasures to contain (i.e., secondary containment), clean-up and mitigate an oil spill (i.e, oil spill contingency plan)
  • Methods of disposal of recovered materials within applicable legal requirements
  • Establish inspection procedures, including integrity testing of storage tanks
  • Describe security procedures to control access
  • Document the history of significant oil spills
  • Require annual training for oil-handling personnel.
  • Management approval
  • PE Certification
  • Plan is required to be reviewed and updated once every 5 years OR whenever there is a change.


It is recommended that the plan also includes secondary containment evaluation, storm drain inlets, direction of flow, locations of response kits and firefighting equipment, location of valves or drainage system controls, topographical information.


Training Requirements:

  • Train oil-handling personnel annually
  • Maintain documentation of employees trained
  • Training to include:
  • Operation and maintenance of equipment to prevent discharges (alarms, notification systems, tanks, regulated equipment, dikes, etc.)
  • Discharge procedure protocols (on-site response activities vs. contracted mitigation activities)
  • Applicable pollution control laws, rules, and regulations (should be outlined in SPCC Plan)
  • General facility operations (facility layout, policies, and day-to-day operations)
  • Contents of the SPCC Plan


Facility Response Plan:

Facility Response Plan (FRP) requirements were proposed in February 1993 and became effective in August 2002.  It applies to facilities that have 42,000 gallons or more of oil storage capacity and transfer oil over water to or from vessels OR have 1,000,000 gallons or more of oil storage capacity and lack secondary containment, are located at a distance such that a discharge from the facility could cause injury to fish and wildlife and sensitive environments or shut down a public water intake, OR have experienced a reportable oil spill in an amount greater than or equal to 10,000 gallons within the last 5 years. 


Spill Reporting Requirements:

Whenever your facility has discharged more than 1,000 U.S. gallons of oil in a single discharge OR discharged more than 42 U.S. gallons of oil in each of two discharges, occurring within any twelve month period, submit the following information to the Regional Administrator within 60 days from the time the facility becomes subject to this section:

  • Name of the facility;
  • Your name;
  • Location of the facility;
  • Maximum storage or handling capacity of the facility and normal daily throughput;
  • Corrective action and countermeasures you have taken, including a description of equipment repairs and replacements;
  • An adequate description of the facility, including maps, flow diagrams, and topographical maps, as necessary;
  • The cause of such discharge as described in §112.1(b), including a failure analysis of the system or subsystem in which the failure occurred;
  • Additional preventive measures you have taken or contemplated to minimize the possibility of recurrence; and
  • Such other information as the Regional Administrator may reasonably require pertinent to the Plan or discharge.


Foundry Applicability:

If you answer YES to all three questions below, your foundry is applicable.

  • Is your facility a non-transportation-related (fixed facility)?
  • Does your facility-wide oil storage in containers ≥55 gallons total > 1,320 gallons in ASTs OR > 42,000 gallons in USTs?
  • Is it expected that an oil spill could potentially reach navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines?        


More information can be found at the EPA website:


Frequently Asked Questions on the EPA website:


Secondary containment calculation worksheets: