Pocket that coin. We have some easy guidelines to help you choose which secondary containment system will suit your needs.
The two big questions are: What are you storing? And how much do you have of it?
If you are storing hazardous waste, then you have to make sure you comply with 40 CFR 264.175, which states: “Hazardous waste containment systems must be free of structural cracks or gaps, be designed to keep spilled liquids from remaining in contact with the container, prevent run-on and have sufficient capacity to contain 10% of the volume of the containers, or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater.”
Bottom line: This means you need to be concerned with the sump capacity. A pallet is your best choice, especially if you’re not storing a lot of drums. (For more info on how to calculate the required sump capacity to meet the regulation, click here.) PIG Containment Pallets typically have 66 gallons of sump capacity, since 110% containment is what is recommended by local fire marshals. Ramps are also available for most pallets. If you don’t want to worry about not meeting the 110% containment restriction, and if being able to move the containment system with a forklift is on your possible to-do list, pick a pallet.
Confused and bewildered about federal secondary containment regulations? Trust us, we know how mind-numbing this stuff can be. So we broke it down for you into the five main things to consider under the EPA’s hazardous waste storage regulation 40 CFR 264.175, aka, “The Secondary Containment Regulations.”
1. Your secondary containment system must be impervious and free of cracks or gaps.
So, a little housekeeping is in order. Regularly (put it on your calendar) inspect your containment system to insure there is no damage to the sump or to the unit itself. Any damage could prevent it from doing what you want it to do: containing liquids properly in the case of a container failure. It’s also important to be sure that the containment system is chemically compatible with whatever liquids could come into contact with it. Your containment system won’t be effective if the liquids it’s supposed to hold can damage it!
You’ve probably heard the words active and passive being tossed around when people are talking about their SPCC plans. Do you nod and smile knowingly while inside you feel like you’re not one of the cool kids? Then read on.
Active and passive containment are two ways to comply with SPCC general secondary containment requirements that deal with the most likely discharge from a container or piece of equipment. These spills are typically smaller and more easily contained than worst-case discharges.
You have an oily spill but you don’t want to absorb any water? Grab the PIG Oil-Only Absorbent Mat. This water-repellent, eight-layer mat absolutely loves soaking up all kinds of oils and oil-based liquids, including lubricants and fuels. But it just wants nothing to do with water. Watch it in action!
Secondary containment means different things to different people. So it’s understandable that you may be a little confused! The first thing you need is a basic understanding of what secondary containment is. You also need to understand how your secondary containment needs are tied into the specific EPA or OSHA regulation or regulations that apply to your facility.
A little 411 on secondary containment.
Here’s the scenario: Your primary container fails (e.g., a drum/barrel, IBC tote, storage tank — you get the picture). The spill is heading directly toward a drain that connects with the public sewer system. But you’re not too concerned, because your secondary containment stops the spill from spreading. So, basically, secondary containment is any system, device or control measure that is used to stop a discharge from leaving a specified area. The theory is that if a spill can be contained, it will not pollute the environment or cause additional harm. More than a dozen EPA and OSHA regulations require secondary containment, and it is mentioned in several industry standards.