News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

U.S. EPA Extends SPCC Compliance Date for Farmers

On October 18, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published in the Federal Register a rule extending the compliance date for the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule for owners and operators of farms.

The goal of the 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 an SPCC plan.  These plans can help farmers prevent oil spills that can damage water resources needed for farming operations.

Under the SPCC rule, a “farm” is defined as “a 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.”  The rule applies only to a “farm” that (1) 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 (2) stores more than 1,320 US gallons in aboveground containers or more than 42,000 US gallons in completely buried containers, and (3) could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines, such as interstate waters, intrastate lakes, rivers, and streams.

The October 18th rule amends the date by which farms must prepare or amend, and implement their SPCC Plan to May 10, 2013.  EPA decided to grant the extension because many areas were impacted by natural disasters, including flooding and fires.  EPA also took into consideration that EPA may have been unable to reach every farm owner or operator to inform them of the SPCC rule.  EPA also encouraged farmers not to delay “and to take advantage of the off-season for planting and growing” to prepare their SPCC plans.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments. To set up a free initial consultation to discuss your legal matter, please contact Chicago environmental attorney Dave Scriven-Young at (312) 239-9722 or

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