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EPA Site Inspections on the Rise

Enforcement Initiative

EPA is about to “kick off” a broader SPCC enforcement initiative. We expect EPA regions to begin actively visiting SPCC-regulated sites beginning October 1.  It will be very useful for the owner/operator of any jobsite or facility that may be subject to the SPCC regulations to participate in one of the below-referenced webinars.  EPA will explain how it intends to implement the SPCC rule nationwide and answer questions.  At AGC’s request, during the webinar, EPA will also explain the opportunity for an “informal” enforcement action, should your site receive a visit by an EPA inspector.  EPA will share with us a copy of the Notice of Deficiencies “cheat sheet” that could very well be your ticket to a second chance: allowing you to promptly correct any potential violations on your site and avoid paying out huge fines and penalties. 

EPA Headquarters, and EPA’s SPCC Team Lead, Mark Howard, will be presenting two private webinars for AGC contractors to learn about and ask questions concerning what’s in the new inspector’s guide and what companies can expect during an inspection.

Each session will be approximately 90-minutes long, including time to address questions.  The webinar schedule and registration links are below —

NOTE: The webinars on EPA’s main SPCC web page are completely full.  AGC members should use the links above (which are not posted on EPA’s web page) to sign up for a webinar program that will be just for the construction industry.  Please do not delay; sign up right away to ensure you get a spot.

More Information:

The newly revised SPCC inspector’s guide is meant to provide a consistent national policy on SPCC-related requirements, found at 40 CFR Part 112.  The revised guide updates the prior (2005) edition and reflects the series of amendments made to the SPCC rule in December 2006, December 2008, November 2009, and April 2011.  According to EPA, the new guidance is a “living document” and it will be updated, as necessary, to reflect any relevant regulatory amendments.  To this end, the agency will accept comments from the regulated community and the public on the guidance.

EPA’s guidance is a 911-page, 31 MB file.  Click here for AGC’s SPCC Fact Sheet, which should (hopefully) be a more manageable read to get you started.

Site inspections Are on the Rise

Several AGC members have reported recent SPCC inspections at their asphalt plants.  EPA’s Oil Program Office has shared that the agency has shifted its focus from outreach (i.e., increased awareness of the regulations) to inspecting individual sites/facilities to determine compliance.  The regulated community should expect to see an increase in the number of SPCC compliance inspections being conducted in the near term.  Based on EPA feedback, in some cases, inspectors will be giving verbal feedback and providing site owners/operators with a “check sheet” documenting potential violations at the conclusion of their inspections.  If you provide a summary of actions taken to correct potential violations within approximately 30 days of inspection, formal enforcement and penalties (up to $37,500 per day/ per violation) may be avoided.  But if the site/facility has no documented SPCC plan, then there is no chance for informal enforcement.

The SPCC rule applies in all 50 states and is administered and enforced by federal EPA in every state; however, state and localities may also have supplemental oil programs.

Please use the below contact information if you have any questions or need more information.

Leah F. Pilconis

Consultant on Environmental Law & Policy

Senior Environmental Advisor to AGC of America

Direct: 703.837.5332 | Fax: 703.837.5401 | pilconisl@agc.org  | www.agc.org/environment

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