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EPA may ease burden on above-ground oil storage

November 22, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to reduce the burden on dealerships that store oil—fuels and new and used oils—in above-ground tanks and drums.  

The National Automobile Dealers Association has led a push the last two years to exempt small facilities from having to develop a Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan and have it certified by a professional engineer.


The EPA’s existing rules cover all dealerships with above-ground oil storage capacities above 1,320 gallons.  

The new proposal still would require dealers with 1,320 gallons to 10,000 gallons of above-ground oil storage to have an SPCC Plan, but they would be permitted to self-certify, eliminating the costly expense of hiring a professional engineer.


The EPA also has proposed to extend its SPCC compliance deadlines. Currently, regulated facilities need to amend their plans by Feb. 17 and implement those changes by Aug. 18. 

Under the proposal, covered dealerships would have until Oct. 31, 2007, to both amend and comply with their SPCC plans.


In addition, the EPA has issued an inspector guidance document addressing several SPCC compliance issues that dealers face, including when secondary containment is necessary, oil water separators, and how to put together a model plan.   

Dealers who have above-ground oil storage greater than 1,320 gallons are encouraged by the NADA to consider waiting to amend their SPCC plans until the EPA has finalized its regulatory relief proposal.


Questions on this matter can be directed to the NADA’s Regulatory Affairs department, by telephone at 703-821-7040 or by e-mail at