- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA announced Wednesday it is extending the compliance dates yet again for all facilities, and establishing new compliance dates for farms subject to the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule as part of the agency's multi-phased strategy to address concerns with the current regulation.
The extended deadline could allow companies to better understand the agency's revised definition of "Navigable Waters." In November, the agency announced a final rule restoring the 1973 definition, narrowing the scope of the Clean Water Act. More information is available by clicking here.
Specifically, this amendment extends the dates by which the owner or operator of an SPCC-regulated facility must prepare or amend and implement its SPCC plan. Production facilities except for farms in operation on or before Aug. 16. 2002 must maintain their existing SPCC plan and implement a new plan by Nov. 20, 2009. Facilities that started operation since then must prepare and implement that plan on the same date. However, production facilities and farms will now have until Nov. 20, 2013.
The agency has extended the SPCC compliance date numerous times since promulgating the regulation in 2002, but readers have been advised in PE editorial to prepare for the regulations nonetheless. Originally intended to be effective immediately, the EPA's first decided to extend that date by 12 months. A second extension was issued in 2003, which would have made companies comply by Oct. 17, 2004. On Aug. 11, 2004, the agency extended the compliance date 18 months, to Feb. 17, 2006. However, as that date approached, the EPA decided on yet another extension, which would have made the SPCC compliance date Oct. 31, 2007. But before it could go into affect, the date was again moved up to July 1, 2009.
The amendments do 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 SPCC regulations then in effect. Such facilities continue to be required to maintain their plans during the interim until the applicable date for revising and implementing their plans under the new amendments.
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