Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Program

IntroductionChief White discussing the SPCC Program

The Department of Agriculture recently implemented the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) pilot initiative in eight states to help agricultural producers comply with revised regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The SPCC program is intended to prevent and mitigate fuel and oil spills on agricultural operations. The pilot program will be administered by NRCS, which will provide up to $3 million to help farmers and ranchers comply with EPA's SPCC.

The agency will help develop or update existing spill prevention plans that avoid and mitigate on-farm oil spillage.

Program Description

The purpose of the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) program is to prevent oil spills into waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. A key element of this program calls for farmers and other facilities to have an oil spill prevention plan, called and SPCC Plan. These plans can help farmers prevent oil spills, which may damage water resources needed for farming operations.

Under SPCC, a farm is considered any 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. SPCC applies to a farm which:

Stores, transfers, uses, or consumes oil or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat; and

Stores more than 1,320 gallons in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 gallons in completely buried containers; and

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.

Farms that meet all of these criteria are covered by SPCC.

SPCC Implementation

The SPCC program requires producers to prepare and implement an SPCC plan. Producers who already have a plan in place should maintain it. Producers who do not yet have a plan should prepare and implement one.

Farms in operation on or before August 16, 2002, must maintain or amend their existing plan by May 10, 2013. Any farm that started operation after August 16, 2002, but before November 10, 2010, must prepare and use a plan on or before May 10, 2013.

Due to the small amount of stored fuel and oil on most operations, up to 84 percent of farmers and ranchers are able to self certify by completing an online template (for farm operations with an oil storage capacity between 1,320 and 10,000 gallons). Operators with above ground storage capacity of 10,000 gallons or more are required to have a plan prepared by a registered Professional Engineer.

Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance is available through EQIP during fiscal year 2013 to provide assistance for both the SPCC Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) and the supporting implementation practice. Approximately $1 million will be made available to States to support development of the SPCC CAP and approximately $2 million will be made available for the Agricultural Secondary Containment Facility (710) interim practice to be made available in the Conservation Practice Standards (CPS) database.

An initial allocation of $150,000 per State will be distributed to each State piloting this effort. The agency has established that the maximum amount paid for the development of the SPCC CAP will be $2,500. Moreover, the agency has established a maximum payment of $10,000 for the interim practice 710 to be applied at the time of payment in ProTracts

Applications as accepted on a continuous basis. Applications on file by close of business on Friday, April 19, 2013, will be considered for fiscal year 2013 funding.

SPCC Materials

The following documents may require Acrobat Reader or Microsoft Excel.

NDSU SPCC Document (PDF; 111 KB)
SPCC Fact Sheet (PDF; 111 KB)
SPCC Ranking Summary - CAP - (PDF; 8 KB)
SPCC Ranking Summary - Implementation  - (PDF; 8 KB)

For more information and updates about SPCC, please refer to the EPA SPCC web page, the National NRCS Web site, or contact your local NRCS field office. 

Program Contact:

Jennifer C. Heglund
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)
Phone: 701-530-2095

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