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Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Act

The purpose of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule is to help facilities prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. This rule is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s oil spill prevention program and was published under the authority of Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) in 1974. The rule may be found at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 112.

Definition of Oil

Oil of any type and in any form is covered by the rule, including, but not limited to: petroleum; fuel oil; sludge; oil refuse; oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil; fats, oils or greases of animal, fish, or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils, including oil from seeds, nuts, fruits, or kernels; and other oils and greases, including synthetic oils and mineral oils.


This regulation applies to owners or operators of facilities that drill, produce, gather, store, process, refine, transfer, distribute, use, or consume oil and oil products, and might reasonably be expected to discharge oil in quantities that may be harmful into or upon navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shore-lines. A facility is covered by the SPCC rule if it has an aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 U.S. gallons or a completely buried storage capacity greater than 42,000 U.S. gallons. 
If a facility stores oil products above the stated thresholds, they must prepare and implement Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plans. These Plans specify the locations of the oil containing devices and to prevent releases to the environment. The Plans contain the following:

  • General Facility Information
  • General Location Maps
  • Oil Storage Locations and Inspection Frequencies
  • Operating procedures at the facility to prevent oil spills;
  • Control measures (such as secondary containment) installed to prevent oil spills from entering navigable waters or adjoining shorelines; and
  • Countermeasures to contain, cleanup, and mitigate the effects of an oil spill that has impacted navigable waters or adjoining shorelines
  • Appendices
    • Checklists
    • Review & Revision Records
    • Training Records
    • Cross Reference to 40 CFR 112
    • Spill Response Supplies & Inventory
    • OESO Spill Response Policy

Duke’s Plans cover all buildings located on the University campus including:

  • The fuel storage areas that serve diesel emergency generators dedicated to a particular building or parking garage,
  • Any location that stores 55 gallons (individual container) or greater of oil (including used oil),
  • Used cooking oil storage locations that exceed 55 gallons (individual container),
  • The fuel oil storage areas used or equipment fueling, and 
  • Elevator equipment rooms.

For more information, please contact us at (919) 684-2794.