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Oil Spill/SPCC - Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures  

Welcome to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Oil Program, one of the areas covered by the Office of Emergency Management. This Web site provides information about the U.S. EPA's program for preventing, preparing for, and responding to oil spills that occur in and around inland waters of the United States. The Oil Program is administered through EPA headquarters and the 10 EPA Regions.

On Monday, December 12, 2005, EPA proposed two separate amendments to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule in the Federal Register. The first (FR EPA-HQ-OPA-2005-0001) streamlines the regulatory requirements for qualified facilities and equipment regulated under 40 CFR part 112. The second (FR EPA-HQ-OPA-2005-0003) extends the SPCC compliance dates for all facilities.

EPA is requesting public comments on the proposed rules between now and February 10, 2006 for the proposed streamlined provisions, and between now and January 11, 2006 for the proposed compliance date extension. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPA-2005-0001 or Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPA-2005-0003, through the Federal Rulemaking Portal. To locate a docket, enter the Docket ID (EPA-HQ-OPA-2005-0001 or EPA-HQ-OPA-2005-0003) in the "Keyword" field and click "Submit".

If you have questions about the proposed amendments please call the Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP and Oil Information hotline at 1-800-424-9346. If the hotline is unable to answer your specific questions, your question will be forwarded to an EPA staff member for a response.

On December 2, 2005, EPA released the SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors. The guidance document is intended to assist regional inspectors in reviewing a facility's implementation of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule at 40 CFR part 112. With its publication, EPA seeks to establish a consistent understanding among regional EPA inspectors on how particular provisions of the rule may be applied. The SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors is available online.

EPA is taking comments on this guidance in conjunction with the comments on the SPCC streamlining rule between now and February 10, 2006. This is a “living document” which will be continually updated and revised. Therefore EPA will continue to take comments on the guidance after the initial 60 days. EPA will not respond to all comments; however, all comments will be reviewed and will be used to inform ongoing revisions to the guidance document.

To comment on the SPCC Guidance for Regional Inspectors, e-mail us at SPCC.OilSpill@epa.gov.

If you have questions about the guidance please call the Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP and Oil Information hotline at 1-800-424-9346. If the hotline is unable to answer your specific questions, your question will be forwarded to an EPA staff member for a response.

EPA will be hosting the Sixth Biennial Freshwater Spills Symposium (FSS) in Portland, Oregon on May 2-4, 2006. Free short courses will be offered for the first time ever at FSS on Monday, May 1, 2006.

The FSS offers an opportunity for local, state, federal, and industry responders, natural resource trustees and managers, facility response planners, and other stakeholders to engage in an exchange targeted at the unique problems presented by freshwater oil spills. Through the efforts of excellent speakers and presenters, plenary sessions, and short courses, the Freshwater Spill Symposium aims to further our understanding of the challenges posed by oil spills in freshwater environments, and to expand the resources and information available.

For more information, and on-line registration, visit the Freshwater Spills Symposium 2006 Web site. Agendas and presentations from previous Freshwater Spills Symposia can be accessed from the Freshwater Spills Symposia archive page.

The Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Federal On-Scene Coordinator established a forward operating base in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to coordinate pollution response efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. USCG, EPA, and the State of Louisiana are working together with local industries to recover spilled oil and mitigate further environmental damage resulting from the hurricane. The October 2005 Oil Program Update (PDF, 9 pp., 851 KB, about PDF) lists the companies that that are working with officials to remediate releases from their properties and points of operation, and describes the actions they are taking. For more information on EPA's response to Hurricane Katrina, please refer to the Hurricane Response 2005 Web page.

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